You recently participated in a panel event as part of this year’s ‘Dive In Festival’ (the festival for Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance) – what topics did you cover? I was invited to discuss Willis Towers Watson’s approach to Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) in Germany, particularly on the topic of equal and fair pay from the following teams’ perspectives:
- Human Resources
- I&D Council
- International governance, which provide cross-organizational guidelines to embed fair pay best practice
- Works Council, which oversee that fair pay best practice is carried out throughout Willis Towers Watson in Germany
The discussion also focused on the 2017 fair pay law that was introduced in Germany and how the companies that participated in the panel had to adapt in order to comply with the guidelines of this law. Why was it important to you personally to participate in the panel? My role as the HR Services and Recruitment Lead for the DACH region requires me to be the liaison between the teams and stakeholders mentioned above, that’s why I’m involved in fair and equal pay conversations on a regular basis. However, this topic is not new for me. Throughout my professional career I’ve fought to close pay gaps that might exist between men and women, so I’ve been able to see the evolution that global companies have had in this area, particularly in Germany. For me, this panel represented an opportunity to share my insights on the evolution of equal and fair pay, especially regarding gender but of course also, race, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic. What makes you proud to work at Willis Towers Watson? One of the things that makes me a proud Willis Towers Watson colleague is our unwavering commitment to I&D and how teams globally go above and beyond to action this commitment. For example, in Germany we implemented an infrastructure that includes processes and tools that help us focus on embedding fair pay best practice throughout the organization and across all professional levels. How do you champion Willis Towers Watson’s values? By always upholding Willis Towers Watson’s I&D commitment in all my HR functions and responsibilities. This has made me live our values to the fullest with a focus on:
- Promoting teamwork
- Being a client-focused colleague; HR and the business have the same overall goals
- Strengthening our reputation as an equitable employer of choice
- Respecting other colleagues’ ideas, contributions and personality
What are your hopes/aspirations regarding the panel topic for the future? My hope is that we continue to discuss how closing the pay gap is part of creating an inclusive, fair and diverse work culture and environment and take steps to address this. Willis Towers Watson is globally committed to I&D. This also includes raising awareness about any potential pay gaps between men and women and sharing knowledge on how to address this. Is there anything else you want to share about the panel discussion or topics that were discussed? The panel discussion was very valuable because we were able to share our experiences and learn from each other. The fact that the panellists were from a very diverse range of disciplines (HR professionals, works council members, consultants, freelancers, authors, etc.) helped to introduce a myriad of insights, perspectives and pain points that otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to identify and discuss. I believe that the most important takeaways from this panel discussion were:
- Fair pay creates value: while some leaders might think that embedding fair pay best practice may negatively impact an organization’s financial performance, the result is the contrary. Fair pay means that your workforce is motivated and committed towards the growth of the company.
- Sharing knowledge helps to close the pay gap: openly discussing the challenges on the topic of fair pay in events like Dive In create great opportunities for companies and thought leaders to share knowledge on how to close the pay gap globally and throughout the industry.
We must focus on creating more opportunities to exchange ideas, insights and approaches to make fair pay the common practice! Learn more about our different roles and business areas here.