It’ll take 257 years for women and men to achieve equal pay according to the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020! Can you believe it?
This year Equal Pay Day fell on 18th Nov, marking the day when women on average stopped getting paid relative to men.
According to the Fawcett Society, the gender pay gap was 10.6% last year and has increased to 11.9% this year! With women hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic, the gender pay gap continues to widen now more than ever before.
“Tackling the gender pay gap in the wake of a crisis that has had a disproportionate impact on the financial security of women is more important than ever.”- Rosie Campbell
So how do we tackle the pay gap in an empowered way? Find out what the gender pay gap is, which factors contribute to the gender pay gap and most importantly, how we can tackle it!
What is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap shows the difference in average earnings between women and men. Unequal pay has been illegal for 45 years but the gender pay gap still exists today (because of many reasons).
Which factors contribute to the gender pay gap?
Women are grouped into careers associated with the ‘femininity’ such as cleaning, catering, care etc. because of societal and/or cultural norms and pressures. These jobs are usually low paying and so contribute to the gender pay gap.
Not having the opportunity to work flexibly
Globally, women tend to lose out on job opportunities, pay raises and promotions because of pregnancy or having to take care of household responsibilities.
The Glass Ceiling & Sticky Floors
Glass ceiling are the hurdles we face which stop us from progressing in our careers and stepping into leadership positions. These obstacles are usually caused by unconscious bias.
Some employers have conscious/unconscious bias e.g. having the wrong perception that women are less efficient or competent than men. These employers hold back from providing women employees with the same opportunities as men, limiting them from advancing in their careers.
Though illegal, pay discrimination is still common today. It’s when women are paid less than male comparators for work of the same value. Women may also not be given the same access to training, limiting them in the long run.
Women of colour tend to be more affected by the gender pay gap. Because of the pandemic, women on average have lost more jobs than men and the gender pay gap has thereby only increased. The effects of this pay disparity build over time.
How can we tackle pay discrimination
We can tackle pay discrimination by realising that we have the power we need. We have a voice and we must not be afraid to use it. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, if you are being treated with bias.
“If you think you’re treated unfairly, don’t wait for the fear of rocking the boat; rock the boat.”- Abby Wambach
We must raise ourselves, embody self-confidence and be assertive to carve out our own path for success. That’s the way to go!