The UK’s Scarlet Letter of Wage Discrimination

Workplace Employment Inequity is a Worldwide Problem.

All things strive to achieve balance; including, wages, and supply and demand. These are terms we use all the time in HR and in the business world.

HR planning is all about sustaining equilibrium with your employees – you want the right number, at the right price, with the right skills. HR strives for balance and to treat all individuals fairly and equally.  Unfortunately, research from all over the developed world, is showing that we treat half our employees unfairly!

Click here to read the article.

Women in Canada make 73% on the dollar, when compare to their male counter parts.  This statistic does not following the basic HR principles of consistency or fairness.

The United Kingdom (UK) is trying to address income inequality between genders in the workplace through legislation.  All companies, with over 250 employees, will have to publish their gender pay gaps.  Public shaming, the proverbial scarlet letter to announce and embarrass the wrongdoer, is hoped to be a effective strategy to achieve balance.  The UK’s Prime Minster, David Cameron, stated:

“[It] will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.”

This may or may not be work as planned, in fact, it could backfire and start driving male wages down! Oh well, as least we will have equality…

Wage inequality between the genders is a complex problem that touches on our economy, our cultural, and our sociological mores and norms.  It is too bad that HR and organizations cannot solve this problem without resulting to public shamming.

Discussion Questions:

  1. You are the new Director of HR, and have conducted a wage analysis with results demonstrating gender inequality issues. What steps would you take to correct this imbalance?
  2. Research the statistical evidence of wage inequality in your province. What have you discovered?  How does your province compare to other provinces in Canada, the US, around the world?



The Delphi Technique

All HR professionals are expected to understand the basic tools necessary to determine HR Demand.  All the HR textbooks cover the topic, and all HR provincial regulatory examinations will test you on the subject.  Learning the concepts and applying the concepts, are two vastly different tasks. Many HR Professionals use the Delphi Technique, outlined in this Belcourt’s, Strategic Human Resources Planning, to determine HR Demand.

The Delphi Technique is described as:

“A process in which the forecasts and judgments of a selected group of experts are solicited and summarized in an attempt to determine the future HR demand.”

Now let’s take the theory behind the Delphi Technique and make it practical.  The following step-by-step guide for application, was written by Project Manager, Duncan Haughety:

Step 1: Choose a Facilitator

Step 2: Identify Your Experts

Step 3: Define the Problem

Step 4: Round One Questions

Step 5: Round Two Questions

Step 6: Round Three Questions

Step 7: Act on Your Findings

Click here to read more about Haughety’s Step-by-Step Guide.

The next time you are asked to predict HR demand, pull out this step-by-step guide to help you along.

Discussion Questions:

  1. You are the HR director for a solar panel manufacture, currently employing 500 engineers, project managers, sales people, general assembly workers and installers.  Your current annual production is 100,000 units.  Your sales forecasts predict that your sales will double next year, and 500% in five years. Develop an action plan by using the Delphi technique and predict the future HR demand for employees in your industry.