The first thing to say is that it will not be a PR win for a business, if the reporting on its gender pay gap, that it legally has to do, shows a big divide. Believe it or not The Equal Pay Act dates back to 1970. Isn't it extraordinary that here we are, nearly 50 years after its introduction, and we have still not cracked how to treat men and women equally in terms of pay and conditions of employment.
We know that most boards are populated by men - a situation that is changing if slowly. I presume that many of those men are fathers to daughters. I am sure they must encourage them in their careers, give them confidence to develop and aim high. How would they answer their daughters if asked "Dad - why does your business not pay women on an equal basis? are you saying that we are not as good?".
Legislation has not led to change. It has to come from the top. Leaders need to pay heed and challenge their HR and management teams to tackle this issue. There may well be a gap. But the PR win will come from acknowledging the issue and showing - both internally and externally - how the business intends to tackle and reduce it.
What the rest of us, those of us living in the 21st century, now need to do is enter a discussion about how to do that. The pay reporting requirement represents a step in the right direction. Some businesses will recognise that they have work to do, and will act to address the issue. There is a clear benefit to their doing so. Not only will they be held up as an exemplar of best practice if their pay gap declines (PR win) they might very well find that bright, talented women beat a path to their doors (business win).