Pragmatic Solutions to Achieve Pay Equity
The common misconception of the gender pay gap is that blatant discrimination is to blame. Since the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963 the gender gap has gone from 59% to 77%, an improvement of less than 20 percentage points in 50 years. Even worse, the gap has stalled since 2004 at 77%. I’m not sure how predictions of it ending in 2058 can exist if it has stalled for a decade. Unless something changes 77 cents on the dollar is where we are and where we will stay.
Not only are women the victims of the gender pay gap but also knowingly or unknowingly its perpetrators. 40% of women who work are employed in management, professional, and related occupations. 70% of human resource personnel are women. Women-owned companies are one of only two sectors that have provided net increase in hiring since the recession. With so many women involved in hiring and pay decisions, how does the gender pay gap persist? It’s probably not blatant discrimination.
Women business owners, managers, and human resource professionals need to make the decision to review hiring practices from a different perspective and change the situation. Each of these players has the power to impact her small queendom whether a company, department, or process. Granted for most companies, employees are the biggest cost of doing business. Finding even a small percentage savings in labor costs can have big impact on the company. I’m suggesting actively looking for the opposite but my suggestions will allow for a manageable hire by hire impact instead of a huge one time hit to labor costs.
Oh, and I’m as guilty as everyone else who has ever hired a person but I know I will no longer be. What I (and most employers) have viewed as a case-by-case situations are injustices that get compounded if I continue to hire by the currently acceptable hiring processes. Here’s what I will do differently:
It costs nothing to implement these changes yet the positive impact can be immense from equal pay to improved employee loyalty to the improved bottom line of your company to the improved economy of the country.
We do not need to wait for congress to act or for the president to sign an executive order. Every woman who is involved in hiring can be a hero to all women by committing to changing the process every time there is a new job opening. Will you dare to be such a hero? Will you commit to making change? Please leave a comment if you will.