The Silence Breakers Beget The Pay Raisers
Equal Pay for Women
Equal pay is my wish for women everywhere. (In fact, it is my wish for all workers.) It is an aspiration inspired by Time Magazine naming The Silence Breakers as its Person of the Year.
In so doing, Time honored the #MeToo movement of women who have found the courage to speak out against their sexual harassers and abusers in the workplace. In response, corporate reaction to reports of sexual harassment has been swift and in many cases unforgiving. Alleged abusers have been shown the door.
But the gender pay gap remains.
The Pay Raisers
In many ways, gender pay inequality is just as insidious as sexual harassment. Women, collectively, pay the price in real dollars and cents. Women continue to be paid significantly less for equal work. According to U.S. census data, on average women earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man earns.
That 20-cent gap really adds up. Women on average lose $10,470 a year and $418,800 over a 40-year-long career. Perhaps #MeToo The Silence Breakers will inspire The Pay Raisers as in #ShowMeTheMoney.
The Color of Money
Of course, that 80-cent gap is just the average. The gender pay gap is much larger among African-American and Hispanic female workers. Hispanic women make 54 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earns. They stand to lose a whopping one million dollars over a 40-year career. Black women make 63 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earns. They typically lose in excess of $840,000 over a 40-year career.
In other words, the loss isn’t chump change. It is the difference between financial security and financial ruin. That kind of money could pay for several advanced college degrees. It is the kind of money that could enable a woman and her family to rise.
Bridging the Pay Gap
So what can a company do to bridge the pay gap? What can you do? Make a business case for bridging the gap. The Cost of Devaluing Women Executives in the workplace can amount to tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars.
Next, press for an initial analysis of compensation to determine the baseline. The gap typically gets larger the higher up you go in the organizational chart. Find out just how big the gap is and where it exists by following the steps below.
Determine Your Pay Gap Baseline
- Conduct an organizational pay gap analysis comparing the average salary of men to that of women across an organization.
- Conduct a pay gap analysis by level (i.e. individual contributor, manager, director, vice president, or CXO).
- Conduct an analysis of individual roles comparing the pay of men to the pay of women who are doing the same work.
Determine What to Do about the Gap.
- At the individual job equal-pay-for-equal-work level, create a pay equity process with monitoring, statistical analysis, and remediation protocols.
- At the organizational level, institute policies to recruit, retain, and promote women and to root out unconscious bias.
Address the Pay Gap or Employees Will Quit
Research shows that fairness is pretty hardwired into humans. A lack of fairness is bad for morale In fact, employees will quit if they perceive inequity. Payscale reports that about 3 out of every 4 men and women are motivated to leave if their employer is not taking steps to address gender inequality.
Payscale provides additional context in its 2022 Gender Pay Gap Report.
Besides, advocating for fairness is the right thing to do. If you notice inequity at your place of work, speak up. Advocate for equal pay. You’re not just doing it for your women colleagues, you’re standing up for your mother, sister, daughter, and women everywhere.
(For details on how to be an ally to women in the workplace, check out How to Support Women Colleagues like Bradley Cooper. Also, if you’re wondering how you can afford to pay women more, check out our post on the Gender Dividend.)
Gender Parity Remains an Outlier
While progress has been made, the prospect of real gender parity remains an outlier. In fact, the prediction that women will make up 12 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs by the end of 2018 is such an outlier that it is considered a Black Swan event.
A black swan is when the unthinkable happens — when something that has never happened before actually happens. It is pretty much along the lines of when Hell freezes over. More than 60 Fortune 500 companies end the year with female CEOs.
For more on Equal Pay, we have a couple of resources for you. Check out Understanding “Equal Pay” and How to Achieve It by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Also, visit the National Women’s Law Center for information on the wage gap and what to do about it. To read more blog posts on diversity, check out our Diversity Blog Post Collection.