With talk about inclusion, diversity, equality and fairness being in the spotlight world-over, a new survey might help organisations take a small step to actually integrate and implement these concepts at their very core. Turns out, salary – correcting gender pay gap – makes it to the top of the list of women’s workplace issue, well above career progression and flexible working hours.
InHerSight, an online platform that collects women’s rating of corporate work environments, conducted a survey to zero in on the top priority for women at workplace. Undoubtedly, several workplace issues for women exist, but the study helps one see what is viewed as the most pressing. Unsurprisingly, correcting gender pay gap made it to the top of the list – with a 31.5% of the respondents choosing it to be the most important workplace issue for women. Here is a list of how all the workplace issues were ranked:
- Correcting Gender Pay gap (31.5%)
- Establishing more Flexible Hours (28%)
- Promoting more women to senior leadership (14%)
- Increase in Parental Leave benefits (11%)
- Training and responsiveness related to sexual harassment issues (4.5%)
Furthermore, the survey found that women working in technology and government jobs were most likely to be satisfied with their salary – relative to their male colleagues, as opposed to women in the manufacturing, transportation and construction; who had the lowest rates of salary satisfaction. Ursula Mead, CEO, InHerSight, said, “Equal-pay issues directly affect all women... issues such as flexible hours or maternity benefits are seen as been central to a segment of women."
The survey adds to the many others, which statistically prove that women face an inherent disadvantage in the workplace. This disadvantage is often not restricted just to the wages, and often spills over to other forms as well. The fact that organisations and employers have not been able to uphold the virtue of fairness and equality, and have toed the line of gender-discrimination, is disheartening. Furthermore, the concepts and principles of inclusiveness, equality, and diversity face serious existential crises in the face of rising protectionist and discriminatory sentiment globally, which makes surveys and studies like these more relevant and timely.
A few isolated recent developments provide encouragement that the future is likely to be better. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the employer, to ensure that office and workplace policies are fair and just, and do not pose disadvantageous for someone belonging to a particular gender, community, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Of course, it is much for complex to actually do it, and even more so, to ensure that such safeguards exist in spirit, and not only on paper. However, organisations are nonetheless trying to break the gender stereotype, and making some remarkable progress in the area. In terms of ensuring that work policies are gender-neutral, small and simple, yet essential, steps can be taken to ensure that neither men nor women have an advantage over the other, only by the virtue of their gender.
How the employees in an organisation are treated, regardless of their gender or ethnicity, says a lot about the values of the employer. Undoubtedly, a long struggle lies ahead to ensure that an employee is not discriminated against for being who he/she is, or where they come from, but today, the picture is rather grim. Eventually it will take a conscious will, sustained effort and inclusive thought, on the part of both employee and employer, to ensure that the playing field is level for everyone.