• Avani Sood

Equal pay for Equal Work

Unequal pay refers to situations where women are paid less than men for doing the same work

The gender pay gap stems from the difference in the number of men versus women who work

Worldwide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men (which also means they earn 1 rupee for every 21 earned by men ). As an outcome, there’s a lifetime of income inequality between men and women and more women are receding into deficit.

Despite the continued efforts of activists and policymakers, in many ways, gender equality is still a pipe dream. Research shows gender prejudice mostly against women and in favor of men in many realms, including the workplace.

According to the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2018, India ranked 108th out of 149 countries on the gender gap index. The global list was topped by Iceland for the 10th consecutive year, having closed more than 85.8% of its overall gender gap.

Across the world, women still get paid 23 percent less than men. Chidi King, Director of the Equality Department of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the main international trade union organization representing the interests of working people worldwide, and a member of UN Women and ILO’s Equal Pay Champions initiative, unpacks the issue.

What actions are needed to bridge the gender pay gap?

Closing the gender pay gap requires a package of measures, central to which is decent work.

One of the most effective and quickest ways to narrow gender pay gaps is through minimum living wages (or wage floors) and universal social protection. Minimum living wages benefit all low-paid workers. Since women are starkly overrepresented in low-paid work, it would usually benefit women more dramatically. Germany, for example, recently introduced a national minimum wage to tackle its stubborn gender wage gap of 22.4 percent. This needs to be backed up by universal social protection.

On average, women work for free for 63-days of the year, compared to men. But even in roles that are largely dominated by female workers – like education – there still remains a large gender pay gap. In fact, the gender pay gap for the education sector is 25.4%, which means the average woman is effectively working for free for 93-days

What can we do?

Incentivize paternity leave – Businesses can be made more female-friendly by incentivizing paternity leave for dads. If fathers have additional paternity leave, mothers can return to work sooner, work more hours and earn more money, while allowing fathers more bonding time with their newborns.

Subsidize childcare – The cost of childcare can be stressful for many families, with an average cost of part-time childcare being up to £6,000 a year. However, according to research, companies providing childcare services saw reductions in employee turnover, increased productivity, and improved quality in job applicants.

Introduce remote working – In today’s digital world, remote working is becoming more acceptable and accessible to millennial workers, although parents can also enjoy the benefits of working from home. According to the TUC, flexible working has real benefits for businesses, with employees proving to be more dedicated and productive.

In a survey by Ernst and Young, 64% of working women who enjoyed flexible working hours claimed to have a clear career path compared to 10% of women who worked fixed hours.

Be transparent about pay – Being open and transparent about how much you pay your staff, whether listed in the initial job description or the interview, is a good starting point. Businesses should research market rates for a role and offer a fair salary for the job they are hiring for. It is also a good idea to explain how your business determines salaries and pay increases upfront so that the candidate can make an informed decision about joining your company or not.

Ensure that promotions and rewards are fair – Disparity in pay can easily occur when employees are offered promotions, pay raises, or bonuses. Putting in place clear and concise criteria for promotions, pay raises and bonuses will help keep things fair.

Give female employees a raise – Giving female employees a raise can eliminate the gender pay gap in the most pain-free way. Equally, it provides the best strategy for businesses to continue operations with minimal disruptions and additional pressure

with minimal disruptions and additional pressure

Gender wage differences in conclusion still exist even though at low rates. However, with the implementation of many acts, men and women are likely to earn equal pay. Women are charged with the responsibility of taking care of their homes and their children in many American families. Even so, the trend is changing because there are many opportunities for women in the labor force market.

Writer - Hrishita Dev

Editor and Graphics - Vaishnavi Bhojane