Even though the year is 2020, there is still a huge disparity when it comes to the number on the paychecks of men and women. It is a problem that is found across almost all sectors and is a great division within society.
The focus on equality and diversity in the workplace has brought the gender pay gap front and center and more companies are now confronting it head-on and adapting their policies.
Businesses of all sizes can help close this gap by adopting a new approach.
How Wide Is The Gender Pay Gap?
In the US, women earn around 79 percent of the salary of their male counterparts. It might not seem like much, but over the course of a career, the average woman could earn 500,000 dollars less than a man! That is not an insignificant amount for doing the same job.
Progress has been painfully slow, even with the current progress, gender pay inequality will not be achieved until 2060.
This effects women across all industry sectors and despite the fact that over 60% of graduates are female.
There is some positive momentum towards change, with companies such as Microsoft, Weibel Scientific, and government departments all taking steps to encourage women into traditionally male-dominated areas of the economy.
The Many Benefits Of Closing The Gap
Not only is providing equal pay the right and moral thing to do, but there are also other benefits, including:
Attracting the best talent – people want to work for companies that treat their employees fairly and act in a socially responsible way.
Employee engagement – employees who are treated fairly have higher levels of engagement, which is good for morale and productivity.
Good PR – with companies forced to be more transparent about their pay structures, bad PR will be an inevitable consequence of not tackling the pay gap. You risk customers voting with their feet and wallets and boycotting your business.
Legal action – companies leave themselves open to costly legal action if they continue to pay men and women unequally.
Assess Your Own Company
Pay structure – review the salary of your employees by the team, level, job responsibilities, and gender. Don’t forget to look at bonuses and benefits too.
Management structure – these people have the most say over who gets hired, pay raises, and promotions. Company management should be as diverse as possible.
Hiring policies – don’t base salaries on those of previous jobs, this is unfair to women who were probably paid less in their last job too. Assign pay scales to seniority and job roles instead.
Don’t Be Afraid To Own Up To Your Mistakes
If your internal company assessment unearths inequalities and pay gaps, then you need to address these. Chances are that your employees already have a sense of this inequality in the workplace.
Some issues will be easier to rectify than others. Changing someone’s salary is a simple process, tackling the systemic inequalities that caused it will take longer.
This is a contributed post