Analysing and reporting data
In order to make this reporting transferable and therefore comparable with other companies, other departments and even other countries, it is essential to be clear and open about methodologies around recording and calculating reporting metrics and to make the underlying data available for analysis by others.
This means that the definition of women-owned and women-led businesses needs to be standardised across organisations, similar to financial returns or tax returns. Beneficial ownership data needs to include flags to identify male or female names. This is because it is not immediately obvious whether the person behind a name is male or female:
'Alex Smith' could refer to Alexander Smith or Alexandra Smith
The methodology needs to be standardised as well. For gender pay, it might mean comparing the pay of men to women as an absolute value. This might appear to be a simpler approach but raises issues of comparability. A better approach is to compare pay on a role by role basis. For instance, listing the roles within an organisation:
- Director - Manager - Consultant - Analyst - Administrative assistant - HR - Accounting
This way, the pay of females and males in a firm can be directly: for instance average pay for female analysts compared to male analysts.