Equal pay advocate issues plea to employers

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A leading figure in the HR field is calling on employers to get involved with the YWCA Equal Pay Awards, saying the process isn’t as intimidating as many might think.

“Many organisations don’t want to put their head above the parapet on this issue because it attracts a lot of attention but it’s not as daunting as it might seem,” says Claire Walker, group general manager of HR for SKYCITY Entertainment Group.

The Kiwi casino giant picked up a Silver Award in 2014 and Walker – who has been named as a member of the judging panel for this year’s event – says any organisation can get involved.

“One of the really positive aspects of the awards is that is does recognise that people may just be at the very start of their journey,” she says. “We’re not looking for perfection - It’s about highlighting the issue, talking about it and encouraging organisations to make a move.”

While the awards do recognise the front runners fighting for fair pay, Walker says she’s particularly interested to find out how organisations are making their first steps towards pay equity.

“I’ll be really encouraged if we see loads of organisations which are really just starting out because it means that people are taking those first brave steps,” she says.

“That could be as simple as doing an analysis, understanding where the company sits and what issues there are, then coming together to create a clear plan with steps, goals and targets.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Walker says the awards are also the ideal opportunity for industry innovators to showcase any new strategies they’ve put into place.

“I hope that we see some really new and creative ways of looking at pay equity and I hope to be inspired by those organisations that perhaps have been on the journey for a longer period of time or have more resources to throw at this,” she says.

“I’m really excited actually seeing what comes through and hopefully there’ll be some creative, bold initiatives which can inspire the HR community as a whole.”

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