In this century where not only robots but humans are also making plans to inhabit Moon and Mars, women on Earth still have to face challenges of wage inequality at workplace. Even after 50 years of the Women’s Liberation Movement, it’s quite appalling to witness that the issues of equal pay and equal opportunities for women persist till date. Most economies, be in advanced or developing nations are grappling with income disparities. To understand and address this glaring concern, Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996. The NCPE officials selected Tuesday in April to be observed as the Equal Pay Day. NCPE was initiated as a public awareness event with an objective to study and illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.
In honour of observing Equal Pay Day 2016, ‘Hired’ begun to analyse the salary data acquired across certain facets such as gender, role, location and organization type. The report was based on analysis of more than 100,000 job offers across a sample size of 15000 candidates and 3000 companies. In view of restoring equitable future for men and women, ‘Hired’ seeks to investigate compensation policies of companies and provide them with an insight into identifying gender bias in the workforce. Secondly, they aim at empowering women to demand their market worth. Even women from the Silicon Valley which is known as one of the most revolutionary and progressive corners on the globe, earn less than their male counterparts. Hired came up with some interesting findings. Let’s discuss a few pertinent outcomes that resulted from this study:
- Women donning common roles are offered lesser wages than men: It was derived that companies offer as much as 3% lesser wages to women, with some organizations offering as low as 30% lesser remuneration. This data covered roles across technology, sales and marketing roles.
- The wage gap is lowest at beginner stage companies: Looking at salary data of software engineers from differently sized companies, it was found that the gender gap was more in larger corporations. The explanation to this could be attributed to either institutional transparency in salaries of every individual on the team in smaller organizations or to the possibility of having lesser flexibility around base salary as compared to larger establishments.
- The ‘Expectation Gap’ was noted to widen with years of experience. The research revealed that in their research setting the average woman set her expected salary at $14k less annually than that expected by the average man. Hired concluded that ensuring equal pay early in women’s career could check the possibility of compounding smallest salary discrepancies over time. However, simultaneously the study showed favourable signs as women with below 2 years of experience were found not only to ask but also fetch an average 2% more compensation than their male colleagues.
- Offers were found to accelerate with expectations: The research concluded that women who are better aware of their market worth are better positioned to command a higher salary on par with men scooting for same roles.
Another study by Procurement Leaders based on the response of 2000 cross-industry procurement professionals from different countries showed that female buyers are also paid lesser than male buyers. The research exuded a couple of significant revelations: First, labelled as the glass ceiling effect where women are unable to climb up the organizational ladder to make it to senior positions and the second one referred to on-the-job discrimination faced by female professionals. Even at the top corporate ladder, women are paid less than men. In a further study piloted by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York unveiled firsthand facts about the prevalent disparity in executive salaries between the sexes. The first churned up facts on female executive receiving less ‘incentive pay’ than males and this alarmingly accounts for almost 93% of the gender gap in total pay. Secondly, as compared to males, pay for women professionals have “lower pay-performance sensitivity.” Thirdly, “Female executive compensation is more exposed to declines in firm value and less exposed to increases in firm value than that of males.”
According to an article published in CNBC, when Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO was asked for his advice to women who are uncomfortable asking for a pay hike, he said “It’s not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.” Not only are women affected in the corporate world by such incongruence, but the wage discrimination is apparently visible in art and creative professions too. For instance in Hollywood, how Charlize Theron received the publicity and admiration on negotiating for a $10 million raise to elevate her salary to match that of her male co—star’s pay.
It’s not uncommon to pass the buck when several studies cough-up reasons of why women are paid less. Some incongruous and ridiculous arguments include a host of reasons such as: women have kids, they don’t negotiate for equal pay, their careers are interrupted for their focus on families, they lack confidence and don’t like to argue for better compensation, etc. Most of these are speculations and myths as some people like to perceive them. However, the core gap emanates from the employer’s perception, i.e. whether they value women professionals as an equal asset to their companies.
Though workplace challenges prevail, a relevant strategy and a positive outlook can certainly work in women’s favour to a great extent. If you are a working woman and face inequalities in compensation, apply negotiation skills to strike the best deal from your job opportunity. The basic premise of fostering positive modifications in promoting gender equality across spectrum rests on the wedlock of the organization’s willingness and women’s self-confidence in projecting their abilities and success stories. An open dialogue on recognizing the existing realities on gender salary gap is inevitable to bridge the standing differences. After all, parity is the soul of an egalitarian society.
Article by Rochita.