A lack of data access is a barrier to achieving pay equity, according to HR leaders.
More than a third (35%) of senior professionals believe they do not have enough salary information, while half (50%) don’t have employee self-identification data, research by XpertHR and Executive Networks found. Nearly three in five (69%) said they don’t have employee demographics data.
The survey of more than 1,000 HR leaders, business leaders, and employees in the UK and US, found that as well as significant gaps in data, businesses were relying on outdated technology and legacy processes to analyse pay equity, with spreadsheets being the most common tool used to do so, reported by 59%.
In terms of pay audits, fewer than one in 10 (9%) of HR bosses said they carried out a data review monthly, while three in 10 (30%) admitted to doing so annually. Nearly half (45%) struggle to access the necessary data needed for amending pay equity gaps, with almost the same number (47%) of senior business leaders citing the same challenges.
Zara Nanu, CEO of Gapsquare, part of XpertHR, said: “An effective data collection method is key. Without one, leaders have no way of tracking where they stand when it comes to pay equity and other measurables. The first step is to get the basics right: getting set up with the best tools and work processes and ensuring they are being done correctly and regularly.
“Leaders know the importance of pay equity, but data gaps mean uncertainties persist and progress is slow. Establishing fair pay practices relies on a detailed analysis of data, which many either don’t have access to or have the skills to interpret, causing a lot of businesses to fall at the first hurdle. What’s needed are more robust employee workforce data and pay analytics that support leadership teams with actionable insights about how to close equity gaps across the entire workforce.”
Jeanne Meister, EVP, Executive Networks and author, added: “It’s clear that, within many organisations, there is limited technical capability to use tools and meaningfully interpret data on pay equity. Not only is poor data a barrier for organisations tackling the issue, but there is also a lack of sophistication in how pay equity analysis is done. We need to take advantage of the capabilities that technology can provide to better understand and correct pay equity issues if we are to see undisputed progress.”