Getting comfortable with pay gap data

Ellie Thompson

15 Sep 2022

Data – and the transparency of it – sits at the heart of Harvard’s DE&I journey. It directs our action and drives open, positive conversation and progress across our 100-person team. Therefore, taking part in both the first PR Week Pay Gap Report last year and this year’s (click here) was never a question in our minds.

We review our pay gap data quarterly, keeping it front of mind as part of our everyday actions and decisions in a granular way. We protect pay parity diligently; we share our salary bands across the whole agency and we talk openly at all levels about pay equality and the steps we are taking towards it.

There are things the data tells us right now that we are proud of:

  • We have virtually no pay gap at any level in our business from a gender perspective.  Where a small pay gap does exist, it is in favour of women at all but one level of our business. At that one level there is a 1% GPG
  • The average gap across two levels in our business favours black, Asian and ethnic minority employees, and where there is an ethnic pay gap  this has reduced to 3% and 10%
  • And significantly we have increased senior representation from 4% to 8% at Harvard (overall representation is now 26%), which includes diversity on our board

That said the data also tells us there is more to do and what we need to continue to focus on to achieve it….which includes but is not limited to:

  • Increasing representation at all levels and areas of diversity as well always providing equal access to opportunities and development
  • We have more diversity at a senior level than we have ever had and we intend to keep building on this.
  • Ensuring we continue to create clear pathways to senior leadership for women and black, Asian and ethnic minority members of the team
  • This includes a focus on supporting heavily traditionally difficult career transitions or shifts into leadership positions
  • It also means investing time and budget in internal and external coaching and mentoring

Getting comfortable with pay gap data isn’t about using it to highlight only the positive progress – it is fuel for where we focus next! Its something any leadership team should be having an ongoing, transparent dialogue about.

In a business our size one hire, one promotion, one resignation impacts our pay gaps. We need to be aware of that as it happens. Our commitment is to be comfortable with and live in the data in a way that means we can continue to reduce and ultimately eliminate both our GPG and EPG.