Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn, IT service provider Fujitsu prioritised efforts to make gender pay improvements as part of its equality and equity approach.
The organisation, which employs more than 7,000 UK employees, has published its gender pay gap report since 2017 and its ethnicity pay gap report on a voluntary basis since 2021. Its gender pay gap reduced by 44% from 2017 to 2022, and its ethnicity pay gap reduced by 34% between 2021 and last year.
The organisation has been successful in decreasing its pay gaps because it has put in place a comprehensive action plan focused on achieving pay parity, explains Kelly Metcalf, head of people experience at Fujitsu.
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“Our efforts include working with all of our supply chains in recruitment to try to achieve equal representation in candidate shortlists,” she says. “We’ve examined our overall hiring approach and provide training for our hiring managers to support them, implementing mixed panels that consist of more than one person to ensure a balanced and inclusive perspective during the recruitment process.
“We aim for a minimum of two people from the underrepresented gender on each shortlist, which has led to an improvement in candidate quality and a higher conversion rate of female applicants to offer. Ultimately, we are always evolving our approach to diversity, which should be unwavering but also agile.”
To support female employees when promotion opportunities arise, Fujitsu has implemented skills and development programmes aimed at women, as well as an internal women’s business network. It cites offering career sponsorship to all staff of ethnic minority backgrounds at certain levels of the business as the reason why its ethnicity pay gap has improved, because sponsorship provides advocacy and support to develop and progress. It also hosted inclusive hiring training for its people managers to help them understand and take steps to mitigate potential sources of recruitment bias, provided anti-racism training and completed bi-annual equal pay audits.
Fujitsu internally calculates its disability pay gap as it believes measuring and understanding pay differences and disability representation at all levels of the organisation to be fundamental. It intends to publish it externally in the future to encourage more staff to share whether or not they have a disability to create a more reliable measure of any gaps.
Cost-cutting measures implemented as a result of the current economic climate, such as the reduction of functional job roles, may disproportionately affect female employees or people from certain social backgrounds, resulting in a worsening representation of diverse groups, says Metcalf.
“Now is not the time to reduce focus, but rather to remember the competitive advantage that can be gained from diversity and inclusion,” she concludes. “It should be embedded into every aspect of the organisation, so that if cost restrictions are necessary, they take into account the impact on diverse groups and design inclusive processes that do not disproportionately affect one group over another. It’s important to consider who is in a supply chain and ensure suppliers continue to focus on diversity and inclusion within their workforces.”