Women empowerment has become one of the pillars of feminism. While on the surface, it might seem like we live in a world of equality, a deeper look at the matter clearly indicates that the treatment and compensation for women, especially in professional environments, is not so equal after all. A study found that women working in certain positions earn over 40% less than men who do the same job. On top of that, only 3.9% of working women in the U.S. hold executive or senior roles.
The feminist movement is trying to raise awareness of this problem and slowly but surely, things are starting to move in the right direction. Some companies are already actively seeking solutions on how to close the gender pay gap. If you work in HR, then you understand the importance of doing so – equal pay for an equal scope of work is morally and legally right. As an HR manager, there are several easy adjustments that you can in do in order to minimize the pay gap efficiently.
Salary Should Depend on Qualifications
The gender of the employee should not be a judging factor when it comes to the salary. HR managers should look at the qualification and the work experience the person has and how the candidate can contribute to the company.
However, there is one main problem that directly fuels the inability to close the pay gap. It is a common practice for employers to ask candidates how much they were making on their previous job. In most cases, the candidate will be offered either equal or a slightly higher salary. This means that the salary gap is transferable from one workplace to the other. Still, some progress has been made on this matter – in Massachusetts, it is illegal to ask an employee about their salary in a previous position. This law will hopefully be followed by other states soon.
Let Go of The Preconceptions
A common problem in today’s business world is the fact that some positions are still considered as male or female positions. Unfortunately, this is one of the things that discourages women to apply for positions that are viewed as “masculine”. For example, if there are two vacancies in the same company – one for customer service advisor and one for material control administrator, usually, a woman will be selected for the first and a man for the later. But what if the woman has brilliant organizational skills, knows how to operate an e-procurement system and can negotiate in order to get better prices?
Preconceptions can be determining factors in the employment process by HR managers which is exactly why they should let go of them. It is not the easiest thing to do since segmenting positions by gender is rooted in our culture and it takes time for it to change completely. However, there is an easy trick for doing this – just cover the names of the candidates and look solely at their work experience and education. Decide whom you want to hire and look at the name only after you have chosen the right applicant.
Offer Flexible Working Possibilities
Women are usually the ones who take the responsibility of looking after the children. This prevents many ladies from building a successful career – getting the kids ready in the morning, taking them to school and helping them with the homework are just some of the things that come in the way of working a full-time day job.
If your company can adapt to it, you should consider introducing flexible working hours and possibilities to work from home. In that way, you are giving women an opportunity to build their career and help your company achieve their goals. This will motivate them to be more productive and it will ultimately have an influence on decreasing the gender pay gap. Bottom line, according to a study, flexible working conditions proved to be very beneficial for businesses. Companies who practise this have reported increased productivity and profit.
Equality in the workplace in terms of both pay and opportunities should soon become a reality. Closing the gender pay gap is possible only with joined efforts from the government and the companies. HR managers should be those who encourage positive changes and ensure they treat employees fairly, regardless of their gender.
Melissa Stanley is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies so far. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She is Client Service Manager of PCGT – PunchOut Catalogs.