Gender Wage Gap Still Exists

Posted April 1, 2016 by Mary McGinley

Even though the federal law has been in place for more than five decades, today the inequality in pay between genders still exists.

According to a recent article, women hold fewer key leadership positions as well. However, boards with women on them do better. According to Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, who conduct leadership training and development programs, women outperform men in 12 – 15 core leadership competencies. This is backed up by a study from Grant Thornton, who found that corporate organizations that have women on their boards do tend to outperform boards that are made up solely of men. McKinsey Global Institute recently released a report that found that $12 trillion could potentially be added to the global gross domestic product by 2025 if this wage disparity were to be eliminated.

Part of the reason why women have not reached that point yet in today’s employment market is because of what Claire Bissot, Director of CBIZ Inc.’s HR services calls the, ‘Like Me’ bias.

When we think of promotions and our star players, we look at players ‘like me,’ ” Bissot explained. “Even as a female, I catch myself doing it. Sometimes women can be overlooked simply because we may not be able to talk their golf game or about March Madness, or have the same interests. In general terms, ‘like me’ makes you want to personally invest in someone more. I think that’s a big contributor, and it’s a hidden contributor that people don’t realize.”

Other human resource professionals know that such bias comes from both women and men, and even women who make hiring decisions. Hiring managers of either gender will often overlook equally qualified women and go with a male candidate to fill an open position instead. Hiring managers of both genders are also more likely to reward men than women in terms of promotion and wage increases.

Perhaps it has a little to do with how confident a candidate is, or societal and cultural norms.

“…..women never asked for more due to the fear of asking, underestimating their qualifications and fear of termination,” said Carol Sankar, a business and leadership consultant and author of The Confidence Factor for Women in Business (I.L. Press, 2015). Sankar’s book was written as the result of a four-year study conducted in 2010 that attempted to determine the root cause of the ongoing gap in pay between genders.

Women, according to the Pew Research Center, also tend to go for lower paying jobs that offer more flexibility. That is because they are more likely to leave the work force to have children and need that increased flexibility to take care of their families. In this way, the 79 percent pay gap studies may be somewhat skewed. Pew estimates that the wage gap is now more likely that women now earn closer to 84 cents to the dollar that a man earns in today’s job market.

Among younger workers, such as Millennials, the gender gap is getting to be even less. Pew Research Center cited a recent report which has young women earning closer to 93 cents to every dollar that a man of the same age group will earn.

Some corporations, eager to lessen the pay gap even further have announced efforts to make the wage gap between men and women something in the past. Internet giant, Amazon announced in March that it has almost completely solved its pay equity issues. They assert in a recent study they conducted that the 39 percent of their workforce made up of women receives compensation that was 99.9 percent of men’s in equivalent jobs in 2015.

Still, 35 percent of companies that responded to a survey conducted by a survey conducted by Mercer and released on March 24, indicated that they were not on track to reach gender pay equality, while 33 percent of those responding indicated that their companies were in line with reaching the ideal.

Human resource managers have an important role to play in helping eliminate the pay gap. Integrating the skills that a woman brings to the table is essential to the recruiting process and monitoring performance and promotions within an organization.

At Einstein HR, we are committed to helping you find the right person for the position. We have a keen eye on looking at what a candidate can bring to your organization as well as helping you screen and interview qualified candidates. Even if you aren’t sure how to word a job description that will attract the right person, we can help there, too. We can also help you train and get that person ready to do the job quickly.

Let us help you get the right person for your open position. Contact us today at 770-962-1700 to schedule a consultation.