Article: 5 proactive steps companies can take to tackle the gender pay gap

Compensation & Benefits

5 proactive steps companies can take to tackle the gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is a problem that has been existing for centuries and despite rules for equal pay and women taking up more jobs than ever, it still pervades at workplaces.
5 proactive steps companies can take to tackle the gender pay gap

Gender income inequality has been an issue that has affected women and made them feel discriminated since long. It’s high time that companies get proactive and create a robust plan for eradicating internal pay gaps.

According to LeanIn.org, in the United States, women on an average earn 20 percent less than men. This hurts a woman an average of $530,000 during the course of her career and surprisingly, the gap widens in higher-paying industries and roles.

Here are a few ways that organizations can employ to uncover and resolve pay disparities to ensure equality and fair treatment to all employees: 

  1. Assess the pay parity with audits

    The first step in solving the gender pay gap issue is to analyze how big the problem is. Conducting an internal audit to check how comparable positions are paid is important. Consider factors like experience, role, skills, responsibility etc. to see if women are paid equally. It is also important to conduct an external audit with an audit company, or subscribing to a data service to compare your compensation against industry and region benchmarks. This way, you can understand how other companies are rewarding for their employees in similar roles. Once you know the problem, rectify the issue by proactively offering salary increases to employees to save your employment brand and from getting into legal troubles. 

  2. Ensure fair Hiring Practices

    Eliminating the gender pay gap entails that employers should pay women and men equally since the beginning of their stint in the company. This requires ensuring fair hiring practices such as unaggressive negotiation and making an offer that’s not only based on a woman’s previous wages but also the pay range for the role you are hiring. Calculate the wage based on skills and expertise, and do not be affected by past biases or inequities to ensure that the problem of unequal pay is nipped in the bud.

    Eliminating gender pay gap is a long-term strategy that requires a constant evaluation of the situation to ensure it doesn’t exist at any level. Consistently reviewing salaries against race and gender is the best way to have ethics and fair play part of your core values. 
  3. Make your pay gap transparent

    To defend your pay practices, the best option is to be transparent about the pay practices and back it up with data to remove the question of gender-influenced pay. With multiple salary data sources available on the internet, employees can find the worth of their job in a jiffy. In fact, a research by Payscale revealed that the knowledge of the organization’s pay philosophy and process mattered to employees 5.4 times more than their actual pay. So, the employers should be honest about their income disparity to effectively fix it.

  4. Change mindsets in the future

    Just focusing on the pay will only solve the problem for a short term, but changing the unconscious mindsets will resolve the problem for future. Exploring the reasons why biases exist and offering unconscious bias training for decision makers is important. This ensures that these managers consider both genders equally for future promotions and advancement opportunities. This will help you create a culture that is nondiscriminatory and all-encompassing

  5. Have fair parental leave policies

    Research suggests that gender pay gap tends to spike during the late 20s to mid30s, during the time when women have children. As a woman has to bear responsibilities at home, even while working full time, employers tend to pay women less assuming that they will be less committed. Hence, it’s important to revamp policies and institute ones that benefit both genders to achieve greater pay quality. Offering crèche facilities, paid parental leave, flexible work options and subsidized on-site childcare etc. will also help to lower women turnover in the company. 

Eliminating gender pay gap is a long-term strategy that requires a constant evaluation of the situation to ensure it doesn’t exist at any level. Consistently reviewing salaries against race and gender is the best way to have ethics and fair play part of your core values.  

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Employee Relations, Diversity, #Hiring

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