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You’ve all seen such ubiquitous hashtags on social media platforms. And all such hashtags talk about gender discrimination.
The gender pay gap and gender equity in the workplace have been the pain point of the corporate world for a very long time.
Since the second half of the 20th century, women’s participation has grown significantly across different industry domains. Women are working longer hours and pursuing higher education in great numbers. However, despite this progress, women are paid less than men. And that is where the gender pay gap comes into the picture.
So, what exactly is the gender pay gap? What drives it? And how can the organizations address it? This blog post provides an answer to all such questions and more.
Finding out WHAT the gender wage gap is?
The gender pay gap is wider than you thought. In simple terms, it refers to the difference in earnings between men and women. It can be calculated in many ways, and it is found that women constantly earn less than men.
If you look at the stats, it is found that women of all races earned, on average, just 82 cents against $1 earned by men of all races. Similarly, female employees working in the retail trade managed to earn $632 per week on average, while male employees earned $747 per week in the U.S.
The above stats indicate that women's earnings are less in nearly 300+ occupations than men's. There are only a few occupations where women earn slightly more than their male counterparts, which shows the gender wage gap by industry. Women make less money than men in different industries in the U.S. According to the research from howmuch, median male earnings were approximately $45,893 compared to women, who made approximately $32,436. This shows that women earn hardly 70% of what men earn. Take a look at the visual below.
Image Source: https://howmuch.net
The gap even follows women into retirement. As a result of lower lifetime earnings, women receive less in terms of pension and social security. Isn’t it surprising and demotivating, specifically when we talk about gender equity in the workplace? So, what causes the gender wage gap? Let’s figure it out.
What causes the gender wage gap?
Women do not make less money simply because they work in a different domain or career stream than men or choose to become a mother. There are various factors for the biases in wages and compensation for women, such as:
Differences in industries or occupation. Occupational segregation plays a vital role in gender discrimination as well as wages and compensation. Women and men still tend to focus on different jobs and fields. Usually, jobs associated with men pay better than female-oriented jobs. Such jobs do not pay less because it requires fewer skills, but they pay less because women do it. Moreover, women's work is always undervalued.
The penalty of being a mother. Many working mothers felt biased in wages and compensation because of gendered norms and expectations set for them. Mothers who work full-time are paid less than fathers – even if they never leave their workforce. Moreover, lack of paid family, medical, and sick leave add more problems for women to work.
Years of experience. Since women are responsible for caregiving and other unpaid obligations, they have less work experience than men. As discussed above, paid family and medical leaves can help women return to work more easily.
Gender discrimination. Direct or indirect discrimination and bias have been the major pain points for women regarding wages and compensation. Many employers often make decisions for women less than men based on their prior salary. Women from one job follow this kind of discrimination to another.
Lack of pay transparency. Some workplace practices fail to be transparent with salary information. While federal government workers pay a 13% pay gap between males and females, that number increases up to 29% in the private sector.
Why the Gender Pay Gap Still Exists
In the majority of the jobs, a gender pay gap is based on multiple reasons, as discussed above. An employer assumes that women are less competent or qualified in certain positions and decides to offer a low salary while making an offer.
Another possible reason for the gender wage gap still exists because of women themselves. There might be multiple obstacles that stand in the way of women advancing in their career paths. Many women often hesitate to apply for a promotion because they might need to work part-time to fulfill their other responsibilities.
Many women often look for jobs that offer certain non-wage benefits as such benefits could help them fulfill their family obligations. On the other hand, due to career disruptions, women face many difficulties building rich experience and other skills.
How to Address towards Gender Pay Gap
Given these reasons, closing the gender pay gap is a daunting task to deal with. It is not only complex and nuanced, but it is very stubborn. Without an updated and comprehensive equal pay structure, it is hard to close it.
To begin with, the organizations must bring updated comprehensive equal pay laws such as the Paycheck Fairness Act. Such actions will strengthen the existing payment structure and help fight back gender discriminatory practices followed within the organizations.
Another way out is to bring work-family policies for women. It will help women focus on their work or job responsibilities and help them fulfill their social or family responsibilities without compromising their work commitments. Apart from this, society must defeat cultural biases that are harmful to women – based on their color.
Gender Diversity & Equal Pay @ AddWeb Solution
At AddWeb Solution, we believe in equal opportunity for everyone. Instead of referring to employees’ salary history, color, or cast, we truly focus on their skills and talent. And that’s what we call diversity. Diversity is not just about different genders/skin colors but also about equality among all, and we value this in our work culture. We believe that women are the sole or co-breadwinner in all families. So, when women take home less than they have rightly earned, it hurts us. With the right work environment for everyone irrespective of their cast, color, or gender we achieve greater workplace diversity.
At AddWeb, this gap just doesn’t exist and why? Because we never thought of this stupid thing, it was never in our work genes. We believe that we are an equal creation of God. No gender/skin color/ethnicity-based biasing. Diversity is not just about different genders/skin colors but also about equality among all, and we truly value this in our work culture.
“It’s important for us to create a culture of innovation—one that both values and rewards risk.”
Here is what our employees say about gender pay gap in AddWeb