The gender pay gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working. Women are generally considered to be paid less than men.
The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap report found that the pay gap has been widened by the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the likely waiting time for women to achieve parity from 99.5 years in 2020 to 135.6 years in 2021.
Change starts with awareness. Just ask yourself: “Do I notice how the gender pay gap impacts my colleagues if I am not the one who is being affected?” It’s not a surprise that we don’t notice things if we are not directly impacted in our income, lives, etc.
However, if we want to achieve gender equality we do need to mind the gender pay gap and stop ignoring it!
Let’s work towards a workplace that is an equal environment on all fronts. Studies show that organisations see so many positive outcomes when this happens:
➡️ 42% return on Sales
➡️ 53% return on equity
➡️ 66% return on invested capital
A number of factors are contributing to the gender pay gap:
➡️ Unequal pay
➡️ Unequal shares of caring work in the home
➡️ A failure to promote women
➡️ A lack of women entering careers in the STEM field
➡️ Under-valuing of the types of work women do
Another potential contributing factor could actually be linked back to childhood behavior. Recent research by Chicago and Northwestern universities in the US (https://harris.uchicago.edu/files/w29509.pdf) suggests that “girls who are described as argumentative or disobedient may be at a particular disadvantage when it comes to achieving equal pay as young women. While boys who are characterized as clingy or demanding are likely to end up being paid less than their young adult-male peers.”
Even with the best intentions, organisations need to overcome certain challenges in order to address the gender pay gap. Some of these challenges are:
➡️ They do not have an objective system in place to identify similar roles
➡️ They do not have enough funds to address any inequalities
➡️ They recognize that individuals of one gender or ethnicity are overpaid