Abstract for: Tipping the scales: using microworlds to uncover systemic issues driving organisation's gender pay gap.
In 2017 the UK government mandate organisations with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap. The results highlighted existing inequalities and lack of women’s representation at higher organisational levels. At least publicly the report created momentum in the private and public sector to address this challenge and to try to reduce gender unbalance in organisation structures. However, this well intended actors quickly realised that organisational gender pay gap is a complex problem resulting from embedding organisational structures and behaviours and hence difficult to grasp or fix without understanding the system as a whole. In this paper we summarise our experience using microworlds (system dynamics interactive environments) to facilitate conversations about the structural issues driving gender pay gap at an organisational level. It is the summary of three years conducting workshops with senior leaders of private and public sector entities. Our experience shows that stock and flow structures are not only helpful but necessary to understand the main issues organisations face to reduce gender pay gap. These same structures, and the simulation models they support, have also proven important on identifying metrics of progress on a problem that will take years to solve.