Why I welcome having to publish JLL’s gender pay gap data
Today, we published JLL’s first gender pay gap report. In Closing the Gap, we’ve shared figures not just for each individual JLL company as required by the new UK legislation, but in an aggregated form too, to give ourselves the broadest possible overview of how our company is doing.
It’s worth reiterating that the gender pay gap is not the same thing as equal pay. The issue is not that men and women are unequally rewarded for doing similar jobs. Equal pay has long been enshrined in UK law and is the principle that people doing comparable work with comparable performance should be paid the same. At JLL we have robust processes in place to ensure this is the case. The gender pay gap is about men currently outnumbering women at the most senior levels – and it’s an issue companies across the property sector are facing.
That said, I don’t think it will come as much of a surprise to anyone that some of the figures for our sector will make for uncomfortable reading. But personally, I welcome the fact that businesses now have to make these figures public. Not only does it help focus our minds on the gender role gap and the need to balance our organisation at every level, but publishing the figures each year will allow us to measure our progress towards making JLL a gender-balanced company.
Why am I so confident that we will be able to hold our heads up high? When putting together the information for this report, we took the opportunity to extract historical data going back over several years so that we could build a picture of our recent progress. It shows that we are already narrowing our gender pay gap.
This has only happened thanks to deliberate and sustained actions, of course, and I’m proud that JLL was one of the founding members of Changing the Face of Property, set up in 2012 to improve diversity in the industry.
Diversity & Inclusion are core elements of our business strategy. We’ve been trying to look afresh at every aspect of our business and our culture and identify the things that get in the way of creating a more equitable organisation. This means looking at the long and unsociable working hours that have been the hallmark of our industry, introducing more flexible ways of working, and creating a more family-friendly culture. We call it, Success through Inclusion.
We try to focus on people’s performance rather than the number of hours they spend at their desk. Our senior managers have been trained to recognise ‘unconscious bias’. This year we appointed our first Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Claire England. And these are just a few examples of the many initiatives underway.
We’ve some way to go, but our efforts are working. Today, half of the new staff we recruit are women. More than half of the people on our mentoring scheme are women. Over the last five years, the success rate of female candidates applying for a promotion has increased from 66% to 93%. And to help increase the number of women in senior roles, we’ve introduced gender-balanced shortlists.
Women have long been under-represented at the senior levels of the property industry. But the pace of change is exhilarating. In the last two years alone, the number of women in JLL’s top roles has increased by about one-third.
I’m genuinely looking forward to reporting back to you in 12 months’ time and sharing further progress.