Gender Pay Equality
Gender pay equality is a legislatively backed movement geared at closing the gap between what men and women in similar positions are paid. According to recent data, women make roughly .80 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts across multiple industries. Additionally, women-focused occupations, such as nursing, tend to pay significantly less than male-centric professions, such as programming.
The gender pay gap can be broken down into two categories - the adjusted pay gap and the unadjusted pay gap. The adjusted pay gap considers many factors that can lead to lower salaries for female workers. Factors may include the number of hours worked, time spent out of the workforce, and the chosen occupation. Even with adjustments, many studies have found that women make between 4.8% and 7.1% less than their male cohorts, according to a survey by the CONSAD Research Group. Unadjusted data shows a gap ranging from 15% to 25%, depending on the industry.
Outside of adjustments for women's choices, including taking a break from the workforce to raise families or care for others, experts believe that the lack of gender pay equality across the board comes down to discrimination. Discrimination may include a lack of programs that enable women to break into male-dominated fields, discrimination within those fields because of the culture, or companies that offer women lower salaries when hired. Sociological experts suggest that the lack of gender pay equality is directly linked to the fact that women are less likely to ask for higher wages and are less likely to negotiate their salaries than their male counterparts.
Regardless of the reasons for the gender pay gap, women now make up half of the workforce, and laws require pay equity; it is time to consider gender pay equality as an essential part of the conversation in every workplace.
Claims of pay inequality based on gender, or any other protected class, must be "promptly" investigated, and proactive employers should train all hiring managers regarding the risk of disparate payments.