International Equal Pay Day and the journey to Gender Pay Equality

Last week, on September 18th, we celebrated International Equal Pay Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap and advocating for wage equality amongst all. It is both a reminder of the work yet to be done, and a celebration of the progress made so far. In this blog, Claudia McIntosh, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at SmartestEnergy shares what we have learnt from our latest Gender Pay Gap Report and highlights the steps we are taking to achieve equal pay. 

At SmartestEnergy, it is mandatory for us to publish our UK gender pay gap, but we also know that reporting on pay by gender and providing a narrative of our data year on year is the right thing to do for our people and our business.  

Currently, our ambitions for gender equality are still some way away, but we know that meaningful EDI actions have the capacity to transform the face of a workplace. We hope that by holding leaders accountable, setting targets, and maintaining a people centred approach while reflecting on data, our actions will steer us in the right direction. 

So what are our commitments for the future? 

  • Diverse Pay Reporting – We recognise that building a working environment which fosters equity, diversity and inclusivity at its core is critical to attracting and retaining the best talent. Our reporting plays a significant role in achieving this goal, and extending beyond gender pay reporting to diverse pay reporting enables us to better understand the make-up of our firm across all levels, monitor progress, identify where more support is needed, and ultimately helps drive positive change. 
  • Mentoring Scheme - Coaching and mentoring are development techniques to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge or work performance. We want to give the groups that we understand to be impacted by a pay gap the opportunity to upskill, advance in their line of work, and make the kind of career progress they aspire to. Our goal is to promote social mobility and support our employees in their professional development. 
  • Positive action for women - We are committing to finding ways to bring more women into the business by expanding our hiring pool and working with the Women's Utility Network (WUN) to establish further partnerships and opportunities for women, gender equality and allyship. We are also looking to further our enterprises both in and outside of the energy space to ensure that our recruitment funnel invites more women to apply for roles here at SmartestEnergy. 
  • Annual D&I survey - We are proud to have launched our very first DE&I employee-focused assessment earlier this year to give our employees the opportunity to have their diverse perspectives heard. This has given us the capacity to see with clarity what our inclusion and equity gaps are in 2023 and allowed us to assess how satisfied our people are on a granular level. By continuing to capture robust EDI data from our employees moving forward, we hope to understand exactly what we need to do to progress with every aspect of our EDI offering. 

We recognise that in order to inspire meaningful, long-lasting change, we must continue to listen to our greatest assets, our people. We want to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to a seat at the table and to thrive in the workplace irrespective of their protected characteristics or personal identifiers, and the commitments we have made are a step forwards in taking the targeted and purposeful action to see the change that we aspire to achieve. 

Read our latest Gender Pay Gap report here for more information on our current gender pay gap and the steps we are taking to close the gap.