The Gender Pay Gap or Gender Wage Gap, as it’s often referred to, is a measure of remuneration disparity between men and women in the work space. This calculation literally tells us how much a woman is paid for each dollar paid to a man, with its ratio expressed as a percent, or in dollar terms.
Although there are different approaches to the calculation, this one answer remains — women are still paid less relative to men. This year, the 15th of March, the State of the Gender Pay Gap Report as given by Payscale, an American compensation software and data company, revealed that women earn 82 cents for every $1 earned by men and that this statistic has remained unchanged from 2021. According to a report by Forbes Magazine, this 18% difference was said to be the raw gender pay gap and that when you consider other factors such as experience, educational background, industry among others, the controlled pay gap is reduced to a 2% difference. This may not seem like much; however, I can categorically tell you that 2% is still significant for a number of reasons.
In 2015, the controlled wage gap was 3%. This means that for about seven years now, there has been just 1% improvement, and we are supposed to continue at this pace?
Also, it is safe to agree that this 2% difference may get augmented when the woman making less takes on a new job and is made an offer based on her previous earnings history. So, whether it’s 18% or 2%, why should there even be a gap?
There are women out there who work tirelessly and produce results in their workspace, even more than some men do, but are still relegated to a wage that is “just there” as opposed to what their male counterparts earn.
Let’s take a cue from the chronicles of an American Journalist and co-host, Mika Brzezinski and her Salary Struggle. Mika, who is a Co-host of MSNBC’s weekday morning broadcast show “Morning Joe”, revealed how she almost quit the show when she discovered earned far less than her male colleagues. According to report on MailOnline, Mika earned a salary 14 times less than that of her co-host on the show, Mr. Joe Scarborough. She mentioned that Joe was the creator of the show so he obvious was worth more to the success of the show than anyone else, but she never thought herself to be 14 times less valuable. In her book, Knowing Your Value, she said “‘Despite my professional experience, the fifteen-hour workdays, and a successful new show that I had helped build, MSNBC was still refusing to pay me what I was worth”. At the time, considering the expense associated with her job, she was obviously losing out. To improve her situation, Ms. Brzezinski made about 5 attempts to negotiate her salary with her boss. She stopped whining about the expenses the job costed and started placing her values on the table. Did this work, yes!
While it is true that there are genuine factors that may be responsible for gender pay gap, ranging from career choices of women to amount of time they dedicate to their workspace, we cannot rule out the fact that there are lots of women who bring their A-games on at their various workspaces and still receives less pay than their male colleagues. And so, any women who has fallen victim of this has been introduced into the gender pay gap system.
Is there a way out? Absolutely. As a woman, one of the very valid ways of exiting this system is to know your values and harness your negotiation power. According to Forbes, a study of over 500 women showed that only 16% of respondents always negotiated their remunerations and compensations, when they accept a new role. It’s like they just expect the company to put their best offer on the table, which does not always happen. On the other hand, men are more likely to request for higher salaries and engage in negotiation where necessary. The truth is, opportunities are created by those who need them, so don’t just wait around.
As an employer, make efforts to review your company’s internal compensations regularly to ensure there’s no pay discrepancy between men and women. Also avoid using salary history information to determine a new employees pay; they may be worth more than they had been previously paid.
To conclude, we all simply have our roles to play. This gender pay gap can be closed, let’s make it happen together.