Transparency and trust: There's a gender pay gap but what are you going to do about it? Zara Nanu
Hey welcome, to a new episode of the tough cookie series today. I'm going to be meeting with Zahra, Nana Zahra. Is the CEO, and founder of, a, Bristol, start-up called gap square we're going to talk about how a Bristol, start-up, is tackling, the global, problem of gender pay gap why. Gender pay gap exists and how, we can solve it I hope, you enjoyed the show see, you see. Hi. There hi how are you yeah yeah good good for, the, approximately. Six. Listeners, of these podcasts would you mind presenting, yourself yeah so I'm Zara, nanu I, lead. A company called get up square the company's based in Bristol and we've set up the company four years ago to, specifically, look at the gender pay gap at. That time the World Economic Forum was saying that it will be 217. Years before the gender pay gap globally, is gonna be, closed, and. The gender pay gap was at about 49%, or, something like that and. At the same time the World Economic Forum was talking about how by 2030, most, of us will be in self-driving, cars waving. People up to Mars or doing. A lot of amazing things with technology and, yet when we do that we, would still somehow be 200, years away from achieving pay, parity so. At that point we thought is there a way in which we can leverage that technology, and innovation. To look at the gender pay gap and how businesses. Understand. How they can use data to leverage. A lot of information about them who is in their talent, in order to build more inclusive more diverse, companies, and. Make the most of diversity, and inclusion in general it's, a tech, product, is that great yes it's a tech product we're developing software as-a-service cloud-based, that, companies, can use anywhere in the world and we, have. Customers. From IDC, to London MIT police, to. Accenture, who are using the product to look at their pay rewards, and compensation, in light of gender. And, other. Employee. Characteristics, in order to understand where the gaps are and most, importantly, from our point of view is get insights, about why those gaps are there because, if you can't understand, why the gaps are there and where the root causes are it's, really difficult to then identify where. You put your resources and, how, you make the most of an action plan to drive, equality. And diversity forward. And how does this software helps finding, those gaps and I always say oh is there some sort of Conservancy, on the back of it so currently. We help companies augment, their payroll, and HR data, through, into the software and. Then they get instant insights, about where the gaps are depending, on that like results. Are only as good as the data that goes in the more data a company has the. More insights, they'll be able to get around. Gender. Equality and diversity or, ethnicity, as well as, an. Employee's, age Department, location, length. Of service and any other characteristics. That can help build a picture and, then we use statistical, regression models, to help them identify, how. Many like how much of the difference can be explained, by this employee, characteristics, how much can't be explained how much is down to geographic, location, because someone based in Bristol at. A law firm would earn a different, wage than someone who works in London at the same at. The same firm and although. The gap is there it can be explained, by the fact that one chose to live in Bristol and the other chose to live in London and, how much of this, desire. From the company. Perspective how much of that desire. To learn about a gender pay gap is driven by, the. People at the top are all given of drivin by regulation. Exist, so, right now we're seeing kind of three trends, in terms of where the drivers are coming from one, is we have a lot of Millennials and Generation, X and Zed and all, the latter letters, of the alphabet coming, into the workforce and they're a generation, that's really interested in transparency. And they're, very much interested in fairness they want to know that, they're being paid fairly compared, to a colleague they, also want to make sure that their female colleague earns, the same as other, peers in the company and if that's not the case Glassdoor, research, indicates, that they will leave a job so they, want that it's a generation, it's a new workforce, that really wants to make sure that everything's done right then.
The Second, factor the second driver is regulation, in. The UK companies, with 250. People or more currently, have to report on their gender pay gap on an annual basis and their, data goes into a government equalities, portal and becomes publicly available so. I, anyone who's, looking for a job or who works for a specific company. Let's, take like a local. Like. Old one Clark is one of one, of our customers if an. Employee could just go onto the government to pull his website and see what the pay gap is so. Regulation, is driving that in the UK and the UK is a leading force in regulating, the space but, at the same time we currently have, countries, like France Germany, Switzerland. Canada. The US even catching, pace with this and bringing in legislative. Requirements, in their respective countries. In. Addition, to the regulation, then there's anis, and need. For companies to we, see a need within companies to understand what their payroll is telling them in general a lot of companies have grown through acquisitions, through. Kind of historical. Changes, that have led them to what a current, workforce, looks like many. Times they use different, payroll. Systems, different, HR systems, across their organization which, means the data is not. Really, cohesive and it's really difficult to analyze, and compare people so, there's, a real need to for, companies to to, actually try to get to grips with this data and some. Research from Gartner from, a couple of years ago was showing that companies, want to tackle this agenda but, about. 3/4. Have no idea how and don't, know if they're doing it right ok. So. Do. You see yourself, at some point or do you think it's, a. Dream. To have like almost like an open glass, door before gentle. Thank, ya I definitely. Think we're moving into that space. Definitely. The use of glass door is increasing. By the minute and. A lot of the jobs are now kind of available, on there with people putting their wages on so, companies are catching, up with that agenda I, think we are moving into that space interestingly, enough, we are also moving. Away from pay, per hour and. Pay, for a specific job, that's a nine-to-five job, into. Paper value, so. It's, looking at how much value a person. Could bring to their organization, or a role could bring to their organization, and structure, remuneration, and compensation, in that way so, there's definitely a shift, from. More, historical, traditional, ways to compensate, on women right people and and rightly so we in the 21st century we're, about sent people on to Mars we, should really rethink how. We, do. You pay an done conversation, on remuneration, automation, is putting also a lot of pressure on this because so many jobs are gonna be gone and. Then how do we value the time of the people who are still going to be employed and what other. Jobs can we create for the people who are going to lose their jobs to automation, so, the pressures, are there and it's actually a unique interesting, time to innovate this space and tech, and data can be key to this as well as a downfalls, for it so it could go either way and. So. Just before these this, before this recording we were talking together and there's there's one question that somehow.
During. These discussion, we have to ask any kills, my it kills me to ask these question is why. Do we need. Obviously. Gender. Pay equality but, gender representation equality. In companies. Like, what, should be the driving force for that yeah I actually. Have a very dear friend who's. A bit older and we went together to I think it was an International Women's Dave and or some launch of a report around women. In Bristol and she. She said I can't I can't even stay here and listen to this event because I can't believe you that I fought for Equal Pay Act 50, years ago and now we're still here talking about this so it feels like 50 years have gone by and, really. Very little or no progress has has, been made the interesting thing around, this agenda is that you still have people saying oh is this a myth you, still have people saying does this need positive discrimination, will, these will, this leave out men is, this gonna leave out other groups like why are we emphasizing. This it's it's more should be more focus on skill or focus, on experience, or a focus on fit. And cultural, fit of someone within the organization, why are we talking about gender but. There's. There's this really good behavioral. Economics. Professor at Harvard I responded who we've had the pleasure of working with. Over. The past few years and she actually, has a book called. Gender. Equality by design and the, entire theory is that nothing's, gonna shift unless, we actually. Specifically. Design, and embed policies. And practices, within an organization. To change behavior. Around, this we've, certainly seen we work with larger organizations and we see how this, kind of this. Is a myth, this shouldn't be a priority. Exists. But. We also see how the use of data is helping focus, people's minds on this issue as a management issue so, all of a sudden it becomes this. Is where the numbers are this, is where I want them to get to and this. Is how I'm going to get from point A to point B and that that way it moves beyond the political, and beyond, the emotional that, sometimes surrounds, this agenda and. So. We obviously have, the. Legacy, of the problems so currently. A. Pay. Gap between for, the same job between a woman and a man but. And, and, and that like is kind of like I'm putting those aside for one second not certainly, undermining, the bbc's, big. Problem on the, other side, tomorrow. A woman. Go into a new job. Do. We and is it is it actually true that some men will actually. Decide. And, maybe other woman, to decide to pay less because that. Person is a woman and is this something that we've. Been able to like. Identify. And is it how, does it manifest because. It's something I can't even picture like how would you decide whatever. Reason like other than. The. Face value of the work or the the. Face value of the person, whether. There's gender color. Anything. Else I can't imagine that it has any impact on this area for person yeah. How. Those people think my basically. So I was actually talking to a journalist, in London a couple of weeks ago and she was telling me about a case where she found out she was being paid 10,000, a year less than her male colleague she, was no longer at that company so she could share the details but, she, said the Rieman when she challenged, the employer she was given the reason that the man negotiated. When being offered the job and she. And ultimately, this. Burden, shouldn't be on the, employee if you decide to pay a job a certain rate, then you should pay everyone. The same rate and if someone's negotiated. Then that should apply to everyone else who you're bringing on at, at. The same level to do the same same, job but. It. It still happens, and even in Bristol the number of networking events I've been to where conversations, devolved around something. Like oh yeah I've employed. Her but initially. We were thinking of this job being a 50k, a year job but, I knew her husband, is earning a lot of money so we thought we'd give her 40 and. Conversation. Like it's. Been surprising for, me too because I I. Grew, up in a world, it was facilitated, by my parents, and by many educators, where everything. Was possible and achievable so. It came down to me to, make the most of my life and like make the most of my opportunities, and then the, more I worked. And, the more I met people I saw how actually the. World isn't structured in a way where, I can make the most of my opportunities, because this case, is like this still happen, and do, we. So. Basically to much wider problem then obviously, the. Payee, quality itself is what, what you're telling, me is that. When. I come. As a straight white male, middle-class, I, can. Negotiate things, I have. That privilege, that, I can actually have.
Multiple Offers or I don't I can take risk but. They are other. To. Lots of people, that. Either Don them that, they can take, that risk, well they have to well. They're actually can't afford it and therefore they don't they don't do it and therefore they. Have to settle for whether he's given and that's how we perpetuate, the circle yeah yeah absolutely there's, also an, interesting, research, published, in the Atlantic, a couple of years ago and, he was done by Harvard and, a, few tech companies in Silicon, Valley to, look at the confidence, gap for women because they started with the premise that women, lack confidence to. Ask for more money to ask for a promotion so, they were trying and, sting that theory, in a future companies in the Silicon Valley and, interestingly. Enough the conclusion, they came up with is that there, isn't a confidence, gap women. Have the same level of confidence as men it's, more the fact that women have started over time to hide their confidence, because they sometimes get penalized, for, showing confidence they. They can be thought of as, rude or they you know if we, have certain understandings. And stereotypes, about what a woman should look like and what a man should look like and how they should behave and women, are more encouraged to be around the kind of. Emotional. Intelligence kind, of softer, approach to, everyone in Co civet II and things like that so so, that is praised more in a woman whereas a man needs. To be seen as more driven knowing. What he wants to achieve kind. Of not always consultative. Very. Determined. Approach, to leadership so, it, was interesting that it was showing that women had the confidence, that they chose to hide, it because, they were worried they. Would get penalized, and. Overall. Not have a good working experience, within the organization, so, we we are, both. Parents, and. One. Thing that recently, happened with Alice, our. Middle. Daughter a second, and, she. Is five. And I'm pretty, sure she was really five at the time where she was going to be five. Anyway. So Alice grew up in in, the. House. We're both on that and I runs a business so she knows that I mean. I when we talk about what you want to do like when your order, I think this this idea in the family that floats around there we've all been a manager restaurant, so she knows she can run a business basically, because she's seen it the. One Ella one thing had been recently is this I. Come. To remember how the conversation, went on but she said she could not be a doctor and. We. Started, question like who said that was it school was it like somebody else that said he told, you you can be a doctor and, he just turns out to be much simpler than that it was just that the. Few times she went to the GP. The. GP was a man and therefore, she, assumed that in order to be a doctor you have to be a man and if you wanted to do something medical you had to nurse and not a doctor a woman so. That. Idea of that, that tackles to me into two questions the ideal for representation, whether. That's in work place of business or sea level kind of, in. The businesses and then, also how, we as, parents. I would generation at like for, us it's, not this done but everything, is written ready, we're trying to change it we're trying to be reactive, to change but, with the kids how can we, instill. This idea of equality between. Them. Regardless. Of sex and gender and. Color. Of skin yeah all these kind of things yeah, kind. Of three. Result. To this so, one, is that I. Have, my oldest one is 12 and she, continuously, tells me that we live in a world where everyone's equal and boys or girls it doesn't matter you still have you, have the same opportunity you can achieve anything you want and I'm encouraged, by that if they all think like that then there's hope that they. Can actually drive change. And live in a world of change but. Interestingly enough I did a talk at their school a few years ago to talk about the gender pay gap so I went into the school and we were talking about the differences of pay between men and women now how they're paid differently and this little boy looked up of me I said well it that's because mommies and daddies do different kind of jobs and I. Said well in what kind of way can you tell me in what kind of way and he was saying well, construction. Jobs are only for, daddies, like construction, jobs are only for men and. Women, don't do construction jobs, and I said why why do you think that is and he was the sweetest boy he said well we wouldn't, want a woman to walk on a construction site, because a brick could fall on her head and.
Hurt Her which is very sweet for like a seven-year-old. But the preconceptions. Are already there in terms of occupational, segregation and, what kind of jobs one. Can do and and another can't and it's. Important, that we create that representation. In those jobs so that they can start seeing each other and it's, equally, important that we not, only create that representation. But actually highlight, it and showcase, it and talk about it especially, when it breaks barriers. About being into specific. Job types and. Patience, because ultimately what. You can't see, you, can't be, especially. At that age about, my very fluid is actually. Cuz. No. Idea about teaching to the kids that we are equal actually. Should we go. Little bit further than that and actually say no look there are problems, and technically today we are not equal and. You. Have to be mindful because you're gonna hear about those preconceptions. I had. The luxury. Recently, about talking, to timmy, analysis, Tim it's likely all those aids and I, can't. Remember again I think we're listening to the radio and we had to talk about racism and it's, for. Him something that he's never experienced, and. Something. That he's. Never seen whether in these friends whatever life there's no for, him everybody's, equal and actually, we had to talk to him about what, is racism, and. Also highlight. The fact that or at least that's why I was trained to do how, like the fact that we. Should be equal but technically we're not and sometime we have to be slightly more mindful. About what's, happening over there because somebody. Could be in a position where, they. Are hurt and then we have to actually step up and say there, is no equality but. How, do we like, is there any way. To, include, that well, this is this is where we've seen the challenge, over the past four years we, talk to companies and they're saying obvious. Issues too big like this is too big for us to address if you're looking at a company. Based in Bristol with like 1,000 employees or a company based in London with 40,000, employees both, of them think that this is too big for them there's, lack of pipeline. For women and science technology, and engineering to. Start thinking about more creating. More equal representation within, the workplace the, issue is too big because we need government to be involved with me policy, we need to change society, stereotypes about, who does what we need to address, discrimination. By, gender by ethnicity, like the way the system is currently set, up does. Not work for, facilitating, inclusivity, and diversity but. We do see how actually, focusing, attention on, data and data-driven insights, can, actually. Paving, a pathway towards. Achieving that success, because it moves. Organizations. And it moves people towards, working, together on achieving a goal and that goal is very clear, like it's not oh let's create, more diversity, cuz sometimes what does that mean but.
If You're looking at let's increase. The, number of women in our leadership, teams, from, 12%. 35. Then that becomes. More tangible, that becomes more doable and everyone. Can rally together around that and and, going back to transparency. And trust that I mentioned at the beginning all. Of the employees, the entire workforce of the UK understands, that there is a gender pay gap we've we're now in year three of reporting, into the government portal and we, know that most, companies have a gap the. Shock isn't around the fact that there is a gap employees, understand, that it's there it's, more about what the company is doing about. This gap and how, they're taking their employees on that journey so they can achieve everything together okay. And is, it I mean, if we go back to data is, it. A big. Company problem, do, small, companies, suffer, the same gap. Or is. There is there a tipping point in, a small company that drives them on to actually they are now, creating, this gap like how does it work and when does it manifest this is really interesting because we've just looked at the entire data set that companies, are so 11,000, companies in the UK report, on their gaps and we also have office for national statistics collecting. Data on this and also producing, reports and, we. Found that the larger the company the smaller the gap okay. The, smaller the company the larger the gap, there's. Some issues that over there in terms of methodology. And the way you look at it because the smaller company, means smaller representation. So could be statistically, insignificant because, if you look at a department. It could be made of three people, if. Depending, on the agenda the gap can be quite high or quite low but. Yes larger. Companies have smaller gender, pay gaps and. We, think a lot of it can be attributed to the fact that they have bigger, budgets more resource in HR to think about this and actually. More they, have the luxury of being able to think more strategically about. This issue and think about ahead of time whereas. For smaller companies, the. The need to grow and to hire kind. Of overcomes, that need to grow in a certain way and when, you have to employ 50, people a month you're pretty much going and taking anyone. Without, much. Consideration for, any of their characteristics. And, if we narrow it down to Bristol now how, is Bristol doing so. I think, Bristol. Is doing better so. Interestingly. Enough by, region Bristol, is doing better than say, the. Gaps that are in, London or the gaps, that. Are in other regions, and we, found that a lot of it is attributed to the. Type of jobs in the region so the higher the pay, for a region so in London salaries, are high, salaries. Are really high the gaps are really high in Wales, the gaps are really small but then the type of jobs that are available in Wales and they kind, of the amounts. Being paid to people in Wales are. Significantly. Lower than London, so there's when. We look at the UK and, we see the region's we can get really excited about Welsh, the, Welsh having a very low gender pay gap but ultimately, we're talking about very. Low paid jobs so. It's it's not yet cause to celebrate we, want to make sure that some of the wealth is, redistributed. Across the country and therefore. Available. To everyone and the. The home of gap, squares in Bristol, but, the problem is global, are. You. Playing. In a global market are you playing in a national market everything in a local market so, our, vision is that we want to develop a software that helps companies globally. To create, fair pay and to create fair workplaces, for anyone, regardless, of their gender ethnic background, religion, any kind of employee characteristic.
And. We started in Bristol. Because, Bristol. Is a wonderful, City from the point of view of bringing. Together business. And purpose, and. We have a load of kind of inspiring, businesses, around the city that are ethically, minded, and kind of focused on being. Sustainable, and, the. Impact on environment in, terms of human rights and, any other issues so from, that point of view bristles been the best place for gap squared to start and, we love being here and, we're, looking at actually playing a role in the Global Agenda in about, five years time when people think about Fair Pay we. Want them to think up square they. Will hopefully, now. That's usually the part where I try to go, a bit more personal, so your. Relationship, with bristles who you moved here 14. Years ago it's like a movie eleven years ago now. We've, both seen the growth, and spurt. Of like Bristol. Has been changing. Basically, over time. What's. Your feel about Bristol today compared, to where was like ten yeah, well. So when I when I moved to Bristol I moved to Bristol from, California, where I did my masters in Monterey, and I, moved, here because I was looking to move to Europe and. Someone said Bristol's just like San Francisco so, I moved, to Bristol unfriended. The people who told me that Brussels, just like San Francisco. By. There's a bridge there, yeah there's a bridge and some hills and. Also the kind of the ethically minded, communities. And an overall kind of diverse, community. Feel around it and I think Bristol. Has real potential to, set an example on the global arena of how you bring together. Profit. And business, with creating. Change sustainable change. And making the world a better place that works for our children, and actually, delivers, and and is still there in two hundred and seventeen years what's. Your favorite. Place in Bristol I, could. Be anything that's gonna. Park. Like. Your favorite place whooping. Wharf yeah. Nice. Area there's, a choice of foods yes really, nice service oh yeah yeah. And when you like when. You were nine years old. Did. You always have that. Fighting. You for any, kind of like civic. Movements, or like. What are you wanting to be when you were known as. An interesting, time when I was nine years old because I lived in what was the Soviet Union and he was just about to all fall apart so we were experiencing, shortages, of food of. Like, an uncertainty, in jobs uncertainty. In what's gonna happen tomorrow so, I, think. There was less focus, on what I can achieve when, I'm older and more, focus, on kind of survival, and making, sure we we're. Still around so. That was a kind of a different time but I think it has helped shape a lot of resilience, in, me and a lot of kind of determination.
And Drive to, make things better for everyone this, is something that you're trained to still push your kids like because. They. Do. Something to. Push their kids that resilience, yes, I think resilience. Is definitely, important, and one. Thing that I'm really I really. Try to create. For my children as opportunity, as many as possible opportunities. To fail I think. That is really important and what I've learned over the past nearly 40 years of my life is that failure. Is my best friend I've never learned from anything else better than I've learned from failure and, the. Ultimately, I see a lot of parents trying to kind of create opportunities, for success for, their children to be successful I think actually, I see, a lot of value in creating, opportunities for them to fail and when, they want to do something that I can say is gonna result in disaster, I am, more likely to let that intuitive led. Them to an activity learn from the best yeah that's why we, also try recently. To try to keep one not teach and, we. Forced them to be bought for, bets I think we yeah there's the elements, now of like they're always. Doing. Something there's always something, you like a something today and actually like just. Hearing on board. Something. Is gonna come out yeah, absolutely. Right. Thank you very much for your turn today it was really lovely yeah I'll let you go back to the office which is just with it yeah injured, I talked to you those yeah thank you Thanks.