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Facing the Gender Gap in the Workplace

Facing the Gender Gap in the Workplace

Despite the popular belief that women have nearly bridged the gender gap in the workplace, men still get the most high-paying jobs. Find out how we can bridge the gap.

  • Although the gender gap is slowly narrowing, women only earn 84 cents for every dollar their male colleagues earn.
  • As a business leader, you can help close the gender gap by creating fair and transparent hiring, compensation, evaluation and promotion policies.
  • Reducing the gender gap can improve employee engagement, retention, financial returns and innovation.
  • This article is aimed at business owners, executives and employees interested in closing the gender gap in the workplace.– Despite the increased publicity and debate about inequalities women face in the workplace, much work remains to be done to close the gender gap.

According to a McKinsey study of women in the workplace, US companies have made significant progress in improving women’s representation in recent years, especially since the start of the pandemic, but much remains to be done. Research shows that women are underrepresented at all levels and women of color are the least represented group of all, falling behind white men, black men and white women. The study revealed that the under-representation of women in senior positions is not due to lack of education or dropout rates. Mandy Price is the co-founder and CEO of Kanarys Inc., a platform that collects and analyzes cultural and demographic data to help organizations create more inclusive work cultures. In Kanarys, you witness the inequality and lack of action that today’s society still suffers from. Price said the current gender gap should serve as a wake-up call for our business leaders.

“It is disconcerting to see that while the business community is well aware of the benefits of a diverse workforce, such as innovation, employee retention and increased financial returns, progress is still lacking in bridging the gap.” gender, “Price said. Daily economic news.

The current gender gap in the world of work

Although there has been some progress in the representation of women in recent years, the McKinsey study shows the disparity between men and women in the workplace. It notes that women are less likely to be hired in entry-level jobs than men, even though they currently earn more undergraduate degrees and have the same dropout rate. As employees move up the corporate ladder, the disparity increases. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women achieve the same status.

Lack of entry-level female recruitment results in fewer qualified women being promoted from within. This creates a vicious circle, which according to the McKinsey report will continue until companies take specific measures towards gender equality. “While companies have long-standing and pronounced commitments to gender diversity, it is important to remember that only active and intentional action by employers to recruit women into the workforce, at all levels, will help narrow the gap. gender, “Price said.

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day represents how long women have to work in the year to earn the same amount of money that men earned the year before. Since women typically earn less than men, currently 84 cents on the dollar, they would have to work 42 more days to earn the same amount of money. This pay gap is often even wider for women of color.

Equal Pay Day was initiated in 1966 by the National Equal Pay Committee as a public awareness act to demonstrate the pay gap between men and women. Employees are encouraged to wear red on Equal Pay Day to support the movement. This color symbolizes how far women in red are with their salaries.

How to create gender equality in the workplace

Legal changes aside, companies can focus on cultural and organizational changes to reduce gender inequality. It’s not enough to hire more women, even if that’s a start. Companies need to make an effort both to close the gender gap and to make their workplaces truly inclusive, as diversity alone does not create inclusive workplaces.

1. Focus on diversity during the hiring process.

Creating gender equality in the workplace begins with the hiring process. Work towards a diverse and fair workplace by creating accurate and inclusive job descriptions, providing a gender-diverse pipeline and conducting fair interviews. It is important to ensure that the hiring process is free from internal bias. These measures must be adopted for all levels of seniority; however, they are particularly important for executive positions.

McKinsey statistics show that men currently hold around 60% of executive positions, while women hold only 40%. This representative disparity increases with each step on the corporate ladder. For example, in the C-suite, only 1 in 4 executives are women, while fewer than 1 in 25 are black women. Companies can address gender equality by hiring more senior workers.

2. Create fair compensation and promotion procedures.

Create an employee compensation program that is fair, equitable and transparent. Offer your employees the same pay for the same job, regardless of gender. This is one of the most obvious and easiest ways to work towards gender equality in the workplace. Offering competitive and fair salaries is also a great way to attract and retain top talent.

Furthermore, companies should focus on promoting skilled women from within. Create a standard set of evaluation and promotion procedures that enable working women to climb the corporate ladder. While this can reduce the existing gender gap, everyone benefits from transparent evaluation and promotion procedures, not just women and minorities.

3. Offer flexible and supportive benefits to employees.

The McKinsey study found that employee burnout is one of the biggest stressors currently affecting women in the workplace. After the pandemic, women are disproportionately affected by burnout, stress and burnout than their male counterparts. In addition, 1 in 3 women said they considered changing careers or leaving the workforce.

Businesses can reduce stress by offering comprehensive benefits and more opportunities for better work-life balance, such as better access to childcare and greater acceptance of flexible working arrangements (remote work, hybrid work, and hours). flexible). This can reduce burnout among women and allow skilled mothers to play a more active role in business.

4. Create a diversity and inclusion training program.

Train your employees about what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace. Ask your employees to participate in a diversity training program tailored to your company to address potential bias and prejudice within your organization. This can also encourage your employees to move from awareness to action in terms of partnership.

5. Hold managers accountable.

According to Price, companies need to become assertive about gender diversity and treat it as an integral part of their business strategies. He suggested linking supervisor bonuses to diversity and inclusion goals. “It is important for companies to monitor, measure and hold managers accountable for their diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Price. “If this important business metric is not monitored, we may never see any improvement.”

6. Build an inclusive corporate culture.

To bridge the gap, companies need to create a culture in which employees feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. They should focus on improving their cultures to increase inclusion and improve employee experience and engagement. In addition to creating gender equality, Price said promoting inclusion can stimulate innovation, retain valuable talent and reduce dropout rates.

Women can also benefit from working with other women. According to McKinsey, 1 in 5 women said they were often the only woman, or one of the only women, in the work room. This was twice as common for senior women and women in technical positions. Women who are “lonely” have significantly worse experience than women who work with other women, and about 80% of them receive micro-aggression, intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative and insulting insults and insults. “Women who commonly experience micro-aggression are more likely to leave their jobs, experience sexual harassment at work and have their qualifications challenged,” Price said.

A work environment that is not only diverse but inclusive is integral to bridging the gender gap. Price said that for companies to truly take advantage of the myriad backgrounds in the global economy, they need to make room for everyone in their companies and empower them to speak. Companies need to take bolder steps to create inclusive cultures so that women and all employees feel supported in their workplaces.

7. Pay attention to political changes.

There are federal and state laws aimed at bridging the gender gap and providing equal opportunities for men and women. For example, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits gender-based pay inequality. However, as we move closer to a world of gender equality in the workplace, keep an eye out for any legal changes that will arise.

How companies benefit from reducing the gender gap

CNBC and SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey on Workforce Happiness found that nearly 80% of respondents believe diversity and inclusion are important in the workplace; however, nearly a quarter of workers say their company is not doing enough to address these problems. Employees want to work in an environment where they feel valued and treated fairly. Focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion to bridge the gender gap can be the key to attracting and retaining the best talent.

A diverse and inclusive workforce encourages greater employee engagement, which in turn can increase financial returns and market share. Engaged employees tend to feel more energetic and connected to their organization and are often willing to do what they can to maximize productivity. High employee engagement is also linked to increased employee retention, which saves money on hiring costs.

Providing your employees with an inclusive and equal space to be creative is ideal for innovation. A diverse workforce brings a unique set of ideas and perspectives to the table, and an inclusive culture that allows those voices to be heard equally is great for creating new solutions. The key to this is to be diverse and inclusive.

“The time has come for everyone to recognize that having a diverse and inclusive workforce is good for business,” said Price. “Numbers don’t lie”.

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