History shows that men and women have not always been seen (and treated) as equal. We also know that still today, around the world many women do not have the same rights as men.
Today can be seen as many things: a day to reflect and be thankful for the women in our lives; a time to note how we treat the women in our lives. It can also be a day where we reflect how far we have come on women’s rights and how far we have yet to go.
One of the areas that we have improved on over time has been gender pay equality.
Gender pay equality is about ensuring that both women and men are paid fairly for the work they perform. The 2016 Gender Equity Insights report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency found that men receive greater remuneration than women in almost every scenario, but particularly in more senior occupation levels. One key finding of the report shows that if women and men move through managerial positions at the same time, working full-time, men can expect to earn $2.3 million over a ten year period while women will earn $1.7 million base salary over the same time period.
The 2016 Gender Equity Insights Report measured the gender pay gap at 23.1% for full time equivalent. Gender pay inequality can occur due to a variety of different reasons. These include:
The undervaluation of skills in areas or roles predominantly held by women;
A lack of access to work-based training;
Different levels of eligibility for bonuses and performance pay; and
Restricted employment prospects of workers with family responsibilities.
International Women’s Day 2017
But why does it matter? What difference does it make?
The culture of an organisation will be empowering if everyone is treated equitably;
There will be fairness and respect in the organisation;
It makes business sense – staff will be more motivated – meaning higher productivity, meaning higher profit;
It will improve the organisation’s retention rate; and
It’s the law – I’m not kidding – it’s the ‘Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012’.
What can I do to make a difference?
Recognise that not all successes are the same: a success could be meeting a KPI or establishing a great relationship with a client)
Mentor women: mentoring provides a great opportunity to learn more about the women you work with while sharing inside pointers on how they could grow as individuals. Mentoring is also a great way to support women in the business while giving them opportunities for networking and training.
Treat everyone equitably: everyone’s circumstances are different, but treating everyone equally will mean everyone will feel respected and understood.
So today when we celebrate the women in our lives, take some time to think about how you are helping to improve gender pay equality in your organisation and in your life.
Happy International Women’s Day!