Discussions and forums highlighting disappointing stats on the gender pay gap and the urgent need to address it have increased in number in the recent years. The disparity has only been widening with each passing year and women still earn less than men.
It’s no secret that women are paid less than men, even when occupations are held constant, and even when those occupations are high-pay and high-skill. India has climbed to rank 87 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) gender gap index. But it still ranks lower than its neighbor Bangladesh. When measured in terms of income and employment, the gender gap globally as well has widened in the past four years; at 59%, it is now at a similar level to that seen in the depths of the financial crisis in 2008. Men earn 67% more than women in India accordingly to Accenture research, which also found that globally a woman earns an average $100 for every $140 a man earns.
To counter the relative discrepancies, employers can play a vital role in closing this gap, and the answer lies in the approach organizations should follow to address the growing variance and the absence of solutions to counter the situation.
Eliminating Biases in Recruiting & Performance Management
Biases in recruiting are tough to address and overcome, they normally sprout at a subconscious level and begin the moment a recruiter sees a candidate’s name. In addition, women do experience a strong gender bias when being evaluated for promotions on both their level of performance, as well as their potential impact. Research shows that women do not excel sufficiently in their career due to preconceived notions attached to their ambitions. For example, women are sometimes considered to be less ambitious due to their family responsibilities. With roadblocks as complex as these, decision-makers in the organization need to be sensitized about focusing more on qualification and merit – removing any chances of discrimination pertaining to position or pay.
Equality for satisfaction & retention
Employee satisfaction is much higher when they know that their pay and chances of promotion are equal to co-workers. It is given that women employees would favor a company where they are offered equal status in terms of salary and growth opportunities.
Diversity & Inclusiveness
International research shows that a more diverse workforce benefits the bottom-line. According to Mc Kinsey’s Diversity Matters Study 2015, companies with a good gender balance were 15% more likely to have higher-than-average financial returns.
These numbers underline the wide scope of work that needs to be undertaken at a time when the case for greater diversity becomes more compelling. Equally important is inclusiveness because if diversity is about counting the numbers, inclusiveness is about making the numbers count. In a connected global world, companies with diversity and inclusiveness are expected to achieve better performance and also create opportunities for a stronger leadership.
Ensuring flexibility at workplace
Employees, men, and women, are accustomed to different flexibility levels in an organization. It is often perceived that more senior roles are not suitable for working on some form of flexible work schedule, but employers must test this perception. Increasing the availability of quality flexible arrangements has been seen to help women progress to senior levels.
Using Analytics to Identify Inequities
Analytics can play an important role in identifying inequalities that should be addressed in the workplace. HR professionals can identify how many men and women work in executive positions within the company, comparing salaries for men versus women, and other areas that may reveal discriminatory practices. By an in-depth analysis and increased awareness, an organization can figure out exactly how to best address issues that contribute to pay gaps.
At The Smart Cube, we have a strong diversity and equal opportunity policy, and we follow the equal pay policy strictly, irrespective of the gender. Empowering half of the potential workforce has significant growth benefits that go beyond promoting just gender equality. While policy altercations can be country-specific, gender and growth are intimately linked. Simply put, strengthening a population contributing majorly to an organization’s growth will reap significant economic benefits beyond promoting gender equality.