Cambridge came calling. After my blog about unequal pay at Cambridge University – the Director of External Affairs and Indi Seehra, Director of Human Resources, came to Portcullis House. Having referred Cambridge University to the Equality and Human Rights Commission after seeing its voluntary pay audit (full credit for producing one) they were keen to tell me what steps they are taking to improve their gender pay gap. They said that they knew by publishing the pay audit they would expose themselves to criticism.
And they were right on that – and that is why these pay audits should be mandatory not voluntary, because many will balk at exposing their organisations in this way. The Government still is sticking to voluntary audits in the coming Equalities Bill (if it ever arrives) – so will keep on pushing for this to change.
In Cambridge’s case – by publishing the figures, I was able to pick it up, question their gender pay gap and the lack of women particularly at higher grades – and they came and explained what they were doing. I listened to their explanation and also the reviews and the efforts they are now going to put into narrowing that pay gap.
The real proof of the pudding though, will be next year, and the year after – when we can see whether their efforts result in a closing of the gaps. So – Cambridge – so far, so good – let’s see where we are next year.