What is the Gender Pay gap?
The pay disparity between men and women in the same role is referred to as the gender pay gap. Women tend to work in lower-wage jobs, whereas men tend to work in higher-wage jobs. They are typically paid 97-98 percent of what their male counterparts are paid. Women frequently leave their jobs or take sabbaticals to fulfil caregiving responsibilities at home, which has an impact on their work experience and contributes to the widening of the gender gap.
What causes the Gender Pay gap?
1. Differences in Employment Opportunities
It’s no surprise that certain jobs and industries are perceived as "men jobs" and "women jobs," even if this is usually unintentional. This is especially prevalent in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, where men predominate and women are discouraged from pursuing these fields.Women are more likely to be steered toward nurturing caregiver roles such as nurses, teachers, or child care workers, where pay is already low. This contributes to the gender pay gap even more.
2. Differences in years of experience
When children enter the picture, it is usually the mother who quits her job to stay at home and raise the children, while the father works to provide for the family. Child care costs, on the other hand, are continuing to rise, making it difficult for families or single parents to justify the expense while working. When mothers leave the workforce to raise their children, they have significant gaps in their work experience and tenure. As a result, women may have "less job experience" than men and, as a result, receive lower pay.
3. Availability for employment
In keeping with the fact that women are the primary caregivers in the home, mothers are frequently called away from work to care for their children, attend doctor appointments, participate in extracurricular activities, and balance the family home. As a result, men work an average of 41 hours per week, while women work an average of 36.3 hours. The difference in working hours has a significant impact on the gender pay gap.
4. General discrimination
Pay discrimination based on gender is illegal in workplaces across most parts of the world. However, this does not prevent the wage disparity between men and women from persisting. This discrimination can be due to office politics or outdated hiring preferences, but it can also be due to prior salary history, which has historically been lower for women.
What can HR do to close the Gender Pay gap?
Here are some strategies that HR professionals can use to address the Gender Pay Gap at their workplace:
- Establish standard salary ranges for job roles. Rather than asking for their previous salary, compensate your employees for their knowledge and experience.
- Take steps to combat unconscious bias. Use tools such as Textio or Gapjumpers to ensure that the emphasis is solely on the candidate's skill set.
- Provide alternatives to people who are forced to resign due to family obligations. Allow mothers to work without worrying about their children by providing flexible working hours or a childcare facility at work. By providing paid paternity leaves, you can try to reverse the entire gender bias.
- If possible, be as forthcoming as possible about each employee's pay to avoid any form of discrimination.