Living in the 21st century, it should be quite obvious that men and women should be paid equal amounts for doing the same job. Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, this still isn’t the case in many countries. So how can we tackle gender pay gap? Below are some practical ways you can help bridge the gap and bring equity to the workforce.
In 2016, there was a 20% drop in the percentage of women with full-time jobs, as compared to their male counterparts. Gender pay gap is an age-old issue and while it’s been gradually improving since the 70’s, social scientists firmly believe that equal pay won’t become a norm until the year 2119.
While experts continue to conduct research on the root cause and possible solutions to the inequality, one thing’s for sure: We can’t remain helpless in the workplace.
The gender payment gap is an ever-present issue in the global workforce that affects women throughout their careers. According to a study conducted by the Institute of Women Policy Research in the United States, women are paid 20% less than men on average.
Women of colour gain even less, but the wage inequalities are present in almost all countries around the globe.
Whether you’re an employee or business leader and regardless of your gender, here are eight practical ways to overcome this issue.
Cultivate negotiation skills
Poor negotiation skills are one of the leading causes of the gender pay gap. If you are a woman looking after a pay raise, learn how to ask for more. Even if you’re not asking for a significant salary raise immediately, building negotiation skills is key to growing your wage.
But companies should also cultivate negotiation and make it a norm for women too. Several studies have shown that HR reps often see unfavourably the women who negotiate.
This social pushback can have a negative impact on a woman’s attempt to negotiate, so as a business leader, you should make sure that women in your organisation are encouraged to negotiate.
Practice civic engagement
The gender pay gap is less prominent in some countries compared to others due to civic engagement. Local, regional, and national laws can make a big difference in eradicating gender payment gap. Iceland, for instance, is trying to close the pay gap by publicly shaming the companies that practice it.
If you want to fight for gender equality, do some research on where your state or country stands against others and urge lawmakers to address the issue from a legal standpoint.
Become a social media activist
Social media is a powerful weapon in your fight against gender payment gap. Awareness must be your first step of action. Don’t just assume that everyone knows about the gender pay gap. Many people are entirely unaware of it, and your voice alone won’t count too much towards achieving the result.
If you don’t want to stand alone in this battle, inform people about gender payment gap and its profound social implications.
Regardless of your gender or social status, if you care about women rights and equality, share your resources on social media and come up with a strategy to become an activist.
Claim salary transparency
It is hard to fight the gender pay gap without knowing the numbers. Some companies tend to keep their employees’ salaries private, so it is hard to tell whether the payment gap exists.
Through salary transparency, women working for a particular corporation would know how big the payment gap is and could build a better negotiation strategy. Salary transparency is a benefit that goes way beyond the gender payment gap issue.
By knowing the salary ranges for different jobs, all employees could claim fair and equal salaries.
Seek out promotions
Studies have shown the gender payment gap is narrower for women in their twenties. This fact could depend on the more career-oriented attitude of young women who are not yet married or having kids. That’s why experts suggest seeking out promotions early in your career.
Once you have landed yourself a higher position on the ladder, it’s easier to negotiate fair pay when turning back to work after a career break.
Promote women entrepreneurship
A simple way to reduce gender payment gap is by knocking off barriers and encouraging women entrepreneurship.
By reducing other gender gaps such as female productivity, business profitability, and start-up rates, institutions and governments can also raise awareness regarding the pay gap.
Learn from successful women
If there is a career woman you admire, learn from her. Seek information and learn all you can about the ways they overcome adversity. It doesn’t have to be someone famous. You can talk to a career mentor or build a relationship with a female colleague you admire.
Once you learned her strategies, try to implement them in your own life and narrow down the gender payment gap that is annoying you. Despite efforts being made to reduce gender payment gap, the issue still affects most countries worldwide.
Awareness, a change in social attitude, salary transparency, and a reform of local and international laws are still waiting to be implemented, but you can make a difference and start to fight for equality.
Subsidise childcare support
According to a study, raising a child from birth to age 17 can cost an average of $200,000. Try sinking your teeth on that one!
For families with low wages, this can pose as a major financial problem. As such, state childcare support should begin as early as paid parental leave is over, and that women should be able to keep their jobs.
If childcare cost is met, as many as 600,000 stay-at-home mothers said they’d prefer to have full-time jobs. One way to help curb the high cost of childcare is to have free part-time nurseries. This method has already been implemented in some countries in Europe, particularly in Denmark and France. And guess what? It works!
We can’t afford to wait. Now is the time to be proactive!
Gender payment gap has been around for far too long, but the good news is that we continue to see an increase in the number of companies stepping up and committing to overcome pay inequality.
Overcoming gender payment gap requires receptivity and whole lot of hard work, but the reward for these will be a fair and equal playing field that allows everyone – men and women – to work using their full potential. So let’s do our part and convince industry leaders to do what’s right and join the fight for equality.
About the Author
Carol Duke is a freelance writer and editor at IHateWritingEssays writing companies ratings. In her few spare moments when she’s not working or taking care of her kids, Carol enjoys literature, comedy, and evening strolls.