Matthew Simkin is Head of Organisational Effectiveness at Genesis Housing Association, one of the UK’s leading housing associations, owning or managing around 33,000 homes across London and the east of England. Genesis is one of only five organisations in the UK to publish its gender pay gap.
“…organisations should be clear about why people get paid the amount they do for the roles that they undertake…”
Why did you sign up to publishing your gender pay gap?
Genesis has a clear set of values and behaviours and signing up to gender pay reporting is a way that we are able to demonstrate two of them, namely being a good employer and respect. It is important that we are open and honest about any pay anomalies and one of the best ways of ensuring that we demonstrate that openness and honesty is to publish our total pay reporting which of course includes gender pay. We’ve been doing this since 2011.
How did you go about putting procedures in place and what were the challenges?
The key challenges were less about obtaining the data and its initial analysis, but more around understanding any anomalies that were flagged and determining whether they revealed an underlying issue or not.
Was it easier or harder because you are smaller than the other organisations who have done it?
This is difficult for me to comment on as we haven’t done this in a larger organisation. I would say that they key requirements are a genuine desire to find out whether there are pay differentials and then a genuine desire to take any corrective action required.
Why is it important to the organisation and its values?
Publishing our pay data is a clear way we can demonstrate our values as an organisation.
What have the benefits have been to the organisation in term of your workforce relations, PR etc.?
The benefits have been that we have demonstrated our determination to be a fair employer. I hope that by doing so we can assure a diverse range of potential employees that Genesis is an organisation where people can thrive and be rewarded on contribution rather than on the basis of their gender.
What are the implications for other firms who may be forced to report by the Government in 2016 following their consultation on the gender pay gap?
I think that it is important for other organisations to embrace pay reporting and transparency and to view doing so as a positive thing that they want to do rather than as something they are forced to do.
I strongly believe that organisations should be clear about why people get paid the amount they do for the roles that they undertake. It is against my personal values and that of Genesis for this to be based on something that isn’t relevant such as gender. As a man it is important to me that all my colleagues are respected and valued for what they contribute and so I was honoured to have been one of the very few men at the launch event at the House of Commons.