How Your Business Can Ensure it’s Providing Equal Pay for Women
Despite the fact that they represented 57.4% of the American workforce in 2019, women, woefully, earned only 82% of what their male counterparts were paid. Why is this the case? Although a number of factors are to blame, including work experience and education, there is a significant proportion of underpaid women who are equally qualified, yet remain underpaid. Clearly, such a wage gap represents a great injustice against women.
The government has recognized the issue and has even enacted some legislation throughout the years; their efforts, however, have fallen short of effectively alleviating, or even adequately addressing this problem.
You as an employer have the potential to step up and do your part to ensure that the women who work for you don’t suffer the indignity of working for lower wages than men doing the same work. The following are some situations to consider and measures you can take to ensure the women in your employ are fairly compensated:
- Undergo an internal compensation audit to identify any pay inconsistencies between the genders annually. If any are found, take immediate action to raise the wages of those affected.
- Put your compensation policies in writing so employees can be informed about such things as your commitment to equal pay, salary ranges for positions within the company, your criteria for raises, expectations for performance reviews and the frequency of internal compensation audits. Such a document demonstrates your desire for transparency and your dedication to ensure that any potential wage gaps are identified and addressed.
- Commit to being upfront and proactive about fair compensation. Convene a council composed of members from every level of employment for the purpose of discussing pay issues within the company openly. They can alert management if and when wage disparities are suspected or detected within the ranks.
- Analyze the various positions that comprise your company to make certain that jobs requiring similar skills are compensated equally, regardless of title. This practice will help ensure that talent and capability are rewarded, in whatever position it manifests.
- Since women often work minimum (or tipped) jobs, raise the minimum wage you offer and eliminate positions in which employees rely on tips to augment their compensation.
- Avoid inquiring as to compensation history when hiring women. Their previous salary may well have been lower than it should have been. To base their new wages on an unfair historical pay would constitute a continuation of that unfair compensation model.
- Hire and elevate women to higher leadership roles, giving them the opportunity to prove their worth in the workplace. Such empowerment of their gender in the workplace will help ensure a company culture of diversity, inclusion and fairness - one in which wage gaps are not allowed to form in the first place.
- Demonstrate an understanding that compensation is more than a paycheck. Benefits like paid family and medical leave are tremendously valuable to women upon whose shoulders the physical care of others often falls. Additionally, comprehensive health coverage, bonuses and retirement benefits help women build economic stability and personal wealth.
All these measures share a common theme: transparent respect for the equal worth of female employees. It’s only fair that they are recognized as 100% as valuable as a male employee - and paid accordingly.
How do you ensure that the women in your employ are fairly and equally compensated for the work they do?
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