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Definition of Gender Pay gap:

Gender pay gap is the pay difference between men and women in the same role. Women often work in lower-wage jobs, whereas male workers go for higher-wage jobs. They are usually paid 97 to 98 percent of what their male counterparts make. Women often leave  their jobs or take a sabbatical to fulfill caregiving responsibilities at home, which ultimately affects their work experience, leading to further widening the gap. 

 

Causes of Gender Pay Gap:

Gender pay gap is a result of deep-rooted conditioning that sees men as the primary breadwinner and women are seen as the caregiver of a family. As a result, men are paid more because they have a family to feed, whereas women are not seen as someone who would take up that duty. Here are some common scenarios that lead to a Gender Pay Gap.

  • Less encouragement and job opportunities. Some jobs, particularly the ones in STEM are seen as male-dominated fields and women are not encouraged to pursue these fields. Even if they do, they are not paid equal to men. Women are expected to pursue jobs with lower standards of pay such as teachers, nurses and so on. 

  • Experience and gap in employment. Women tend to take a break from work for child rearing, leading to breaks in their career. As a result, they receive a job that matches their experience. 

  • Difference in work hours. Women are naturally expected to tend to every need of the children. As a result, their availability at work is compromised. The same doesn’t happen to men, as a result of which they can spend longer hours at work.

  • While many countries have equal pay acts that have made gender based pay discrimination illegal, companies still tend to pay women lesser than men mainly because their prior salary was less, or because of a career break.

 

What can HR do to close the Pay Gap?

Here are some ways by which HRs can tackle Gender Pay Gap at their workplace:

  • Set standard salary ranges for a job role: Instead of asking for their previous salary, pay your employees for their skill and experience. 
  • Take measures to tackle unconscious bias. Use tools like Textio or Gapjumpers that ensure that the focus is entirely on the candidate’s skill set.
  • Provide alternatives to folks who are forced to resign because of family responsibilities. Provide flexible working hours, or a childcare facility at work so that mothers can work without worrying about their offspring. Try to invert the whole gender bias by providing paid paternity leaves.
  • If you can, be very open about the pay received by every employee. Whole foods and many European companies are openly declaring the pay received by each employee, to avoid discrimination of any kind. 
     

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