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Tips for conducting an effective gender pay gap audit

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read

With the introduction of legislation requiring companies to disclose gender pay gaps coming into effect in 2024, leaders may now be taking the time to conduct audits to gauge if their business is up to scratch.

The Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 was passed in Federal Parliament earlier this year, which will require businesses with over 100 employees to disclose their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) from 2024.

A step that may prove worthwhile for companies is conducting a gender pay gap audit, which can prepare them for the 2024 launch. The aim of these audits is to uncover the causes that influence gendered pay gaps at an organisation.


To assist in this process, Elmo Software released “5 Key Steps to Help You Run a Successful Gender Pay Gap Audit”.

1. Create a remuneration and benefits policy for your business

This policy outlines how employees are compensated, including things like salaries, bonuses, leave, and superannuation.

ELMO lead product manager Stacey Hill said gender parity must be a consideration when implementing remuneration and benefits policy.

“If you don’t have gender parity in your remuneration and benefits policy, then what are you working towards? You need a framework to make sure those standards are consistently applied to everybody to ensure gender pay equity,” said Ms Hill.

ELMO listed some examples of remuneration and benefits policy considerations:

  • Conducting a gender pay gap audit to identify gaps regularly (quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly)
  • Allocating a budget to address gender pay gap discrepancies
  • Implementing a gender-neutral performance management framework
  • Providing flexible work policies and equal parental leave for female and male employees

2. Analyse your data

Audits need data to be conducted effectively: “You need to collect your data, analyse it and see how big the gap is,” said Ms Hill.

“That will help you get a baseline you can measure against your policy. You can’t fix what you don’t measure, and analysing your data is a really important step.”

Ms Hill added: “Once you know where you are, you can make incremental steps towards fixing the gender wage gap. And you can also make sure you’re not employing measures to widen that gender inequity.”

3. Be transparent about the results

Transparency builds trust, as people appreciate honesty. This will show employees you acknowledge the issue and you’re working to resolve it.

Ms Hill commented: “If an organisation really wants to initiate change, then they need to be honest and accountable.”

4. Set goals and measure them

Goals allow organisations to track their progress and ensure nothing is overlooked.

“A lot of organisations seem to stop after point one, which is simply sharing the policy. More progressive companies will also complete steps two and three, which focus on remedy. But it’s critical that companies don’t just stop there,” Ms Hill explained.

Making sure not to set and forget goals is important too, as Ms Hill said they should regularly be reflected on: “It’s easy to go backwards if you stop analysing and measuring.”

5. Create an inclusive hire and promote process

Gender parity goes beyond pay. Organisations should be promoting equality in hiring and promoting, too, so as to create an inclusive workforce.

“Over time, it’s possible for someone with a long tenure in the company to fall below the Compa-ratio. This could be because when you hire new staff, you’re offering a high starting salary as well as other benefits,” said Ms Hill.

“This means there could be a disparity between a new hire and someone who’s got a long tenure. So, you might have a working mum who’s been with the business for 10 years but who is earning less than the new guy who’s just been hired with a significant sign-on bonus. It’s important to make sure you’re compensating people correctly based on their experience in the company and their business knowledge.”


Gender pay gap

The term "gender pay gap" refers to the customarily higher average incomes and salaries that men receive over women.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.