The gender pay gap has garnered a lot of discussion in the past few years due to the shocking statistics behind it and the recent monumental women’s movements such as #MeToo.
Women are still heavily disadvantaged in the workplace despite strides to close the gap. And it gets worse with time. The disproportion between experience and pay increases for most women as they move further in their careers.
That’s why the National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition of women’s and civil rights organizations, created Equal Pay Day in 1996 to bring awareness to the issue in the U.S.
But what should companies, like yours, be taking away from the Equal Pay Day conversation?
First, it’s important to understand what the day symbolizes and how it affects women differently in your company.
Equal Pay Day lands on a different date each year to represent how many more days, on average, American women would have to work to earn what their male counterparts made the previous year. This year it landed on March 31, which means women would have to work at least an additional 91 days in 2019 to earn what their male coworkers made in 2019.
An Overview of the Wage Gap
Did you know that almost 97 percent of professions have a gender pay gap?
Even women who work full-time in lower-paying occupations earn roughly 85 percent of what their male coworkers make.
And the disparity is harsher for women of color. Native American, Asian, Black, and Hispanic women will have their Equal Pay Day even later in the year — some not until November. Out of all minority groups, Asian women have the hardest time breaking into leadership positions.
What Closing the Pay Gap Could Mean for the Economy
Studies have found that closing the pay gap could decrease global poverty, increasing women’s earning by $2 trillion overall. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported in 2017 that paying men and women the same could also cut the poverty rate of working women in half.
But it’s estimated that the pay gap won’t be closed for another 50 years.
So, How Can Your Company Help Combat Wage Inequality?
- Give your employees better benefits
Work-life balance tends to affect women in the workplace more than men. That’s why the right kind of benefits are important to women at work because it helps them work without interruptions.
Here are a few perks you can offer your employees to help them with their work-life balance:
– Unlimited paid-time-off (including holidays and sick days)
– Flexible work-from-home
– Paid maternity and paternity leave
– Onsite daycare services
– Career development opportunities
- Start a mentorship program for women in your company
Women’s mentorship programs pair younger females to experienced women leaders in your company. Women who are further in their fields typically have valuable advice to offer about common workplace problems that women face. These mentorship programs are intended to help women entering the workforce navigate challenging struggles in their careers, including the gender pay gap, work-life balance, sexism, and harassment.
- Recognize women in your company frequently
Women often go unrecognized in the workplace and it’s one of the easiest places to make a difference. Using the Kazoo platform, your company can empower and recognize women often for their achievements and track their success with our performance management feature. Women can track their goals and ask for feedback in real-time, which can later help them negotiate a raise or ask for a promotion.
- Check yourselves
The best thing your company can do to close the pay gap is to recognize if you’re contributing to the problem. Start by drafting an audit on the current layout of your company. Include a list of your employees’ job titles, experience, compensation, and gender. Do you notice a difference between salaries that shouldn’t be there? If yes, you should work with your HR department to address the matter.
While these are just a few examples of how your company can approach the Equal Pay Day discussion, there are many other ways to start an internal dialogue on the topic. The most important thing you can do to help is to give women in your company a voice to contribute to those conversations.