Career & Jobs

The Gender Pay Gap Has Deeper Roots Than You Think. Here’s How to Tackle It.

The gender pay gap has been a widely discussed topic for a long time now, and nations worldwide have been trying to reduce disparities in pay based on gender for a long time now. While the gap has narrowed since the 1980s, women are still not making salaries equal to those of men. That makes us wonder: How did the gender pay gap arise in the first place? This article discusses the reasons behind the gender pay gap and why it persists even now. Further, we discuss the various measures companies, especially HR folks and recruiters, can take to avoid the gender pay gap and attain true equity in their workplaces.

The gender pay gap refers to the pay difference between men and women working in the same role, with women usually earning 97-98 percent of what their male counterparts make. Women must often make a choice to leave their jobs or take sabbaticals to fulfill caregiving responsibilities at home, which ultimately affects their work experience and further widens the gap.

What Causes the Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap is the result of deep-rooted social conditioning, according to which men are the primary breadwinners and women are the primary caregivers in a family. As a result, men are paid more because they “have a family to feed,” whereas women are not perceived to have that same duty. Here are some other common factors that help create and perpetuate the gender pay gap:

Less encouragement and fewer job opportunities: Some jobs, particularly ones in STEM, are seen as male-dominated fields, and women are not encouraged to pursue these fields. Even when they do, they are not paid the same as men. In general, women are expected to pursue jobs with lower standards of pay, including teaching roles, nursing roles, and so on.

Work histories and gaps in employment: Women are more likely than men to take a break from the workforce for child-rearing, leading to breaks in their careers. As a result, they amass less work experience than their male counterparts do in the same timeframe.

Differences in work hours: Women are expected to tend to their children’s needs. As a result, their availability at work may be compromised. The same doesn’t happen to men, meaning they can spend more hours at work.

Existing trends: While many countries have passed laws to make gender-based pay discrimination illegal, companies still tend to pay women less than men mainly because women tend to earn lower salaries, and these previous salaries are used to calculate new salary offers.

What Can Recruiters and HR Pros Do to Close the Pay Gap?

Here are some ways you can tackle the gender pay gap at your workplace:

  1. Set standard salary ranges for each job. Instead of basing salary offers on a new hire’s previous salary, pay your employees for their skill and experience.
  2. Take extra care while writing your job descriptions. Avoid gendered language and focus only on the necessary skills and other requirements for the role.
  3. Take measures to tackle unconscious bias. Use tools like Textio or GapJumpers to ensure the focus is entirely on the candidate’s skill set during the recruiting process.
  4. Set up real-time diversity goals in your company, and make it a point to meet them. Additionally, be prepared to retain your hires with great onboarding practices and an inclusive benefits package.
  5. Provide alternatives to folks who are forced to resign because of family responsibilities. Offer flexible work hours or an on-site childcare facility so that mothers can work without worrying. Provide paid paternity leave to ensure men have the same option to take time off to care for children.
  6. If you can, be very open about each employee’s salary. Whole Foods and many other companies openly share the pay received by each employee to help avoid discrimination of any kind.

Once all these measures are implemented, the next step is to get started with hiring. That’s where recruitment software like Freshteam can help.

Freshteam by Freshworks is smart HR software that can help with all your hiring requirements, from candidate sourcing, interview scheduling, and offer management to employee orientation and onboarding. Freshteam also provides an extensive employee database (that integrates with G Suite Directory) and document management so that all your employee data remains under one roof. Try Freshteam free for 21 days.

This article by Freshteam is built on the original article that first appeared on the Freshteam blog.

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