20th Jan 2021
3 Min Read

Are you telling the real story behind your gender pay gap headlines?

Russell Norton
Russell Norton
People & Change

Gender Pay Gap Deadlines

  • 30 March 2021 for most public authority employers
  • 4 April 2021 for private, voluntary and all other public authority employers

Gender pay gap reporting is now a regular feature in the communications calendar. Some organisations are even going as far as reporting on their ethnicity pay gaps and LGBT+ pay gaps, in order to put the spotlight on pay inequalities among different communities within their workforce.

The truth is, when executed well, these reports can be the beginning of a rich, honest and open conversation about where your organisation is now, the ambitions it has for the future, and how it intends to get there.

With the deadline for this year’s report submission looming, here are our top tips for creating a gender pay gap report with true purpose:

Give context to the numbers

Your audiences will absorb information in different ways. Some will love the cold hard facts, but others will need this quantifying in a summarising paragraph or even an infographic.

Make your data meaningful

True infographics give you real data at a glance and they’re much more than just page decoration. Take a look at what we mean. Remember though, sometimes the content of the narrative will be more powerful – and more positive – than the data alone. You might choose to make infographic elements smaller on the page and pull focus on action plans or quotes to draw the eye to the right messages.

Keep it clear, keep it simple,

keep it informative…

… but bring some life to it, too. We’re talking about people and the benefit of being a diverse organisation. Telling short, people-focused success stories can further promote the tangible benefits of gender parity, diversity and inclusion.


While there’s something to be said for avoiding ‘being the best of a bad bunch’, benchmarking against others in your industry, or other industries, can highlight any areas of strong progress, or even concern.

Set expectations

Outline what’s possible and by when for an organisation of your size, model, location, current employee population and industry. Is it realistic to set ambitious targets and completely change the landscape of your employee population in one, two, five or even ten years?

Be honest

If there’s something the business wants to focus on improving, say so! It’s transparent, builds trust and respect, and can create further opportunities to engage your employees in being part of the solution.

Can your people help?

Is there an opportunity to build your employer brand and create advocates of your people who can recommend your organisation as a great place to work?

Where can more information be found?

For some, the report will be enough, but others may want further information. Pointers to both internal and external resources can build context and credibility to your report.

Inside your leadership teams

Give your leaders and managers a crib sheet or a briefing session on some of the questions they may get from their teams. Pay can be a difficult subject matter to navigate, so this can include when it’s ok to not have the answers straight away.

Give regular updates

Why wait for the next report deadline to come around? Can the business make a promise to update your people on a more regular basis and keep the subject matter front of mind for all?

More on this TopIC

The Point.

The latest thinking from the team, direct to your inbox.
We’d love to hear from you

01904 633 399

AWARDS BADGES Agency Business white

The Old Chapel,
27a Main Street,
YO10 4PJ


The Black & White Building,
74 Rivington Street,

© scarlettabbott 2024 Privacy Notice