Published on in Responsible Business

Winning the BITC Equality Award and being named Gender Champion for 2018 was a fabulous honour and a huge responsibility.

We have positioned Fujitsu as a thought leader in Diversity and Inclusion and we were an early adopter of the Gender Pay Gap Report. So the spotlight is on us to ensure we continue to be a place where women can succeed.

For me it’s not enough to just report our figures with in our statutory declaration. I want to make sure we can delve deep into the data and really understand what is influencing our gender parity.

Having a solid understanding of what the key influencers are enables Fujitsu to set meaningful key actions that will deliver real change both now and into the future.

This year Fujitsu gave a commitment to carry out an independent Equal Pay Audit, alongside our gender pay gap analysis, to make sure our pay processes are free of gender and ethnicity bias.

I am delighted to report that no equal pay issues were found on both gender and ethnicity. This is great news as it means we have equitable pay across our business for work of the same value.

We can also report a decrease in our Median Gender Pay Gap from 17.9% in 2017 to 16.3% this year. Again this is good news and is the result of a proactive approach at the pay round that saw 90 women have their pay adjusted.

However, the Mean Gender Pay Gap has increased from 16.7% to 17.3%. And the bonus pay gap showed a widening as well. The figures for part time workers also report an unacceptable gap. It’s imperative we understand what’s driving this so we can make the changes to reverse these trends.

Key influencers

Here are the 10 key influencers of our gender pay gap:

  1. More men than women work at Fujitsu UK
  2. There are more men in senior roles which attract higher salaries
  3. The timing of bonus payments has an influence
  4. More men work in sales which attracts higher bonus payments
  5. More older, senior men are taking advantage of flexible working as they approach retirement
  6. More younger, junior women are taking advantage of flexible working to support work life balance
  7. Fujitsu has made several acquisitions in the past meaning employees are TUPED into the business, resulting in a legacy of historic pay scales
  8. More men than women have in the past been TUPED into Fujitsu
  9. The tech industry has in the past attracted more men than women giving us a legacy of more senior males with longer service
  10. Women are put off from applying for senior roles

Understanding the key influencers is really important so that we take the right actions.  Here’s one example of why insight is so important

This year we are reporting a median gender pay gap on part time workers of 26.9%. (2017 figure was 23.2%). On average men on a part-time salary earned £24.24 compared to women who earned £17.71. A net difference of £6.53. This seems to be moving in the wrong direction and the gap appears to have widened.

Looking at the reason and key influencer this is not all bad news.

More men than women in the business are approaching retirement and are taking advantage of a flexible working policy that encourages a phased approach to retirement. This is to be expected as in the past we have employed more men than women in senior roles and more men than women have long service.  Also, men in senior roles with longer service are likely to earn a higher hourly rate and this impacts on the part-time median gender pay gap.

Equally women in the business enjoy a good flexible working policy enabling them to commit to childcare balancing this with their careers. Women taking maternity leave and choosing to return on a part time basis are likely to have less service and be in lower paid quartile.

Both of these policies support colleagues with work life balance, which is a priority for the business. The impact is seen in the part time median pay gap. However, we believe both these policies have a very positive impact on the wellbeing of colleagues. Understanding the reasons why a gap is happening is vital to help you take the right actions.

10 Key Actions driving change

 However, we do need to take positive action to reduce the overall pay gap. I have set out 10 key actions that will drive the change we need to see to improve our overall gender parity.

  1. Creating a balanced talent pipeline of graduates at a 50:50 gender profile
  2. Managing the pay process, removing individual negotiated pay increases
  3. Demanding 50:50 short lists for all new recruitment hires
  4. Supporting a new Recruitment for Success programme
  5. Mandatory unconscious bias training for all managers
  6. Ensuring gender neutral job adverts
  7. Enabling a Women’s Business Network
  8. Finding and supporting role models within the business
  9. Sponsors programme to help develop female talent
  10. Anonymous exit interviews online to establish why women may leave

Fujitsu has now set itself an ambitious course of action to close its gender pay gap. Implementing the above actions will have a real impact.

At the end of the day we need more women in senior roles. In December 2017, 11 senior roles were advertised across EMEIA. By mid January, only 2 out of 54 applicants were female. Analysis showed that the communications had not reached most of the 80 women in customer facing roles who could apply.

The focus on the gender pay gap brought into sharp focus that we needed to do more to understand why the number of female applicants was so low.

We took a very targeted approach. A senior female leader sent a personal email to all female colleagues encouraging them to apply. Feedback showed the largest reason for women not applying was that they felt they were not ready to move role. Many ruled themselves out of applying and felt the job adverts were off-putting.

We are now doing much more work in ensuring we support women to apply for new roles, ensuring gender-neutral job adverts. We are launching a sponsor programme and putting structures in place to support women who are promoted.

None of this is a quick fix but Fujitsu is determined to make real measurable progress to affect the key things influencing our gender pay gap.

Let me leave you with a favourite quote:

I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy

– Marie Curie

This isn’t an easy or swift journey but it’s one we are committed to.

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