SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens on closing the company's gender pay gap

SkyCity has identified two main issues that are feeding into its gender pay gap: more men in senior roles, and more men generally in the gaming industry. We caught up with Champion for Change and SkyCity CEO Graeme Stephens to find out what the company is doing to measure and close its gender pay gap.

Champions for Change: How do you measure, and continue to measure, your organisational gender pay gap?

Job Sizing MethodologyGraeme Stephens: At SkyCity we use reporting from our HR System to analyse the gender pay gap. That is, comparing the median salary of women and men, across the managerial hierarchy and vertically through functions within the business.

We use the Korn Ferry/Hay Group Job sizing methodology, which provides an evaluative tool for assessing job profiles and company structure. This methodology assesses the following:

  1. Know How – an assessment of every kind of relevant knowledge, skills and expertise (however acquired) which is needed for the acceptable performance in a job or role.
  2. Problem Solving – which assesses the amount and nature of the thinking required in the role in the form of analysing, reasoning, evaluating, creating, using judgement and so on.
  3. Accountability – this assesses the degree to which a role is answerable for actions and their consequences.

At SkyCity, specialists within the HR team assess role size. We use the position description and organisation chart to start the process and will approach the HR business partner or in some cases, work directly with the hiring manager to understand the impact and contribution of the role.

Our salary review tool reports on gender as standard, so managers can see the impact of the salary decisions they are making. Managers are also able to review their team’s salary and market position at any given time through our HRIS system.

In addition to the gender pay gap as a percentage, we also regularly review and action data points that feed into the vertical pay gap, including: training hours, development opportunities, promotions, average pay and turnover by gender.

We report internally to our Board and externally in our Annual Report on diversity, our metrics and what our objectives are. This transparency ensures we are accountable and strive for progress and positive change.

What barriers exist, and how are you overcoming these?

At SkyCity, a significant factor in our gender pay gap is having more men in senior positions than women. We are focussed on increasing the representation of women through a gender balanced talent pipeline.

One way we are working to resolve this is by consciously promoting equal opportunities at every stage of the employment process, from training and development through to promotions and pay reviews.

For example, we reduce the potential for unconscious bias in the salary review process by using a merit matrix, linking salary increases to both performance and market positioning through defined salary ranges.

Graeme Stephens


"Anyone hiring has to demonstrate to me that they've followed a process to identify women for that role."

Graeme Stephens, CEO SkyCity



What support and/or guides do you use to assist you in the process?

We look to best practice, both in other organisations and from the experience of our team and our Board, to ensure we are doing all we can to measure and close the gender pay gap.

We use market benchmarking and data to build our salary ranges, and regularly update them to ensure we stay relevant to the market.


What insights would you give to support other organisations looking to measure their gender pay gap?

Use technology to your advantage, by empowering managers to make informed decisions.

Ensure that people making remuneration decisions have relevant gender pay data, or even a salary review tool that shows them the impact of salary decisions on the gender pay gap.

It’s important that you can rely on your data, so review it regularly, alongside your data collection methodology.