Another week and still more furrows to plough

Another week and still more furrows to plough

This week it’s gender pay gaps and age diversity. My managing director wants to know where we stand against the benchmark average. Bench-press more like.

Still, it’s something for our ‘comps and bens’ specialist to get busy with. She’s benchmarked our workforce for everything bar incidence of dentures among the over-50s, so this will be a doddle for her. We’ll come out as within the median range for our industry, of course. We always do.

But the fact is that our female staff do earn less than the men. They start on more-or-less the same package, but once they’re into middle-age, most are trailing behind. The main reason is, as everyone in HR knows, continuity of service.

For, even in an age of rising childlessness, many of our female staff leave to have children and the majority don’t return to full-time work. Also, churn among female staff is higher. Meanwhile, their male counterparts get annual pay rises and the incompetent are promoted.

What my managing director will do about this gap is unclear, but pay cuts for all males bar those on the board would be his favoured option.

My option would be to lower pay for board members bar those with HR in their job titles.

My other solution – you might call it the final one – is to have a word with our ‘comps and bens’ expert about making benchmarking more of a moveable feast. A few judicious moves of the goalposts should ensure that we’re always in the best quartile on every measure.

Job done, I’d say.

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