What is the gender pay?
According to UN Women, “the gender pay gap is defined as the percentage obtained by dividing two quantities: the difference between men’s and women’s salaries, divided by men’s salaries”.
As you can see, this phenomenon has its own calculation formula. However, put simply, the gender pay gap is the difference in pay between men and women for equal work done… and it systematically tends to benefit men.
As we pointed out, this phenomenon refers to the pay gap and has been intensified by the pandemic. However, it is related to other characteristics of job insecurity that also affect women to a greater extent than men and already existed before the outbreak of coronavirus.
We refer to the fact that women tend to have more temporary or involuntary part-time contracts, work in less socially recognized jobs, and, for different reasons, have worse job promotion prospects than their male colleagues. In other words, women tend to be paid less than men in both absolute and relative terms.
This whole issue can be analyzed from an economic, political, sociological point of view… but doesn’t it also have to do with self-esteem, motivation, personal fulfillment, recognition, and other psychological factors that a woman may encounter in her work environment?
Whether you know it or not, deliberately paying women less money than men for the same work is a practice that may be going on in your company. Sure, it may benefit some workers, but it’s a bad practice. Why?
Basically, because it’s bad for your employees, and what’s bad for your employees is bad for your company. Is it that simple? Yes: in theory, there wouldn’t be much more to it. However, we’re not going to settle for the obvious, we’re going to develop the idea a little further.
Why the gender pay gap harms your business
1. The gender pay gap is not ethically acceptable
Indeed, paying a woman less money than we would if she were a man is discriminatory and it is not legal either, although it is easily disguised by many companies.
Life is not perfect and neither are human beings. However, that does not justify us surrendering to savage capitalism as if it were inevitable. Nor does it justify us looking the other way when we notice gender malpractice in our company.
A clear example of this unethical conformism would be to allow and even encourage wage differences between men and women for equal work performed that have nothing to do with aspects that can generate differences (for example, seniority).
Even when no one sees them and very few know for certain that they occur within your company, you should not allow these types of practices to become part of your company culture.
2. The gender pay gap disrupts the team
This means that when we work equally or have the same responsibility but we know or suspect that we are not all paid the same, we do not feel close to each other, we tend to distance ourselves emotionally and develop suspicions, grudges, and rivalries, which arise from this unfair comparison and intoxicate relationships and hinder cooperation.
The gender pay gap must therefore also be prevented to protect the company’s productivity, as it disrupts team cohesion and seriously damages the working environment.
3. The gender pay gap fuels talent drain
If a female employee has little choice, she will bear with the pay gap. However, if she has a choice, she will leave and go to other companies where her work is fairly recognized and she does not feel cheated or let down by her bosses regarding the salary she receives.
Companies must therefore avoid the existence of the gender pay gap. If they are discovered or suspected to be taking place, the female employee will not feel committed to the company and the company’s managers will not be able to retain her talent.
Get advice on how and why to close the gender pay gap
These are just three arguments that should discourage the managers of any company from allowing or encouraging policies that end up generating a pay gap in their companies. It is a matter of identifying the problem, defining it in quantitative terms, seeing its human and economic consequences for the company, and making decisions aimed at correcting it.
To tolerate a gender pay gap in the company where we work is harmful inertia at a psychological and organizational level. The good news is that inertia can also be transformed.
At ifeel, we have developed an emotional well-being program for companies designed to help your team solve problems such as this one. This program identifies the existence of the gender pay gap as one of the causes of a negative work environment and a lack of psychological well-being at work.
Smart companies prevent problems and also correct those they have inherited. It is the right thing to do, but it is also the most useful thing to do. Get in touch and we’ll tackle it today.