It is irrefutable that gender pay inequality is real

It is irrefutable that gender pay inequality is real. People might argue about the extent, but that’s almost missing the point. The idea is every woman deserves a pay equal to that of a man when they do an equal job because they are worth. Gender pay inequality remains a challenging issue across the globe. Global Gender Gap Report indicates that is going to take another eight decades for the income gap to close around the world (Bekhouche et al., 2014). Among the over 100 countries surveyed, the United States is ranked 65th for gender pay inequality. Even though some countries such as Israel and Italy provide equal opportunities for women, they are among the lowly placed in gender pay inequality. Italian women earn 48 percent of men salary while women in Israel earn a mere 47 percent of their male counterpart’s salary (Bekhouche et al., 2014). These statistics are worrying because, despite the apparent improvement in women’s college enrollment, nothing justifies the existing pay inequality between genders. While we might cite improvements in other areas such as the status in the society, as a group they still receive less pay than men for the same work. The solution to gender pay inequality lies in allowing women to know their colleague’s remuneration packages, equalize starting and promotion related salary and promote caregiving support by adopting pay transparency, eliminating negotiations and allowing workplace flexibility.
Background information
The gender pay inequality has been relatively constant in the United States until the 1980s when it began narrowing. Such can be attributed to increased returns on education, positive selection and enhanced matching (Estrin, Stephan, & Vujic, 2014, p. 5). There has been the exploration of reversing trends in gender gap for male-female college attendance and graduation, cited among the reasons for the narrowing pay gap. However, these recent improvements have not eliminated the problem as it remains widespread. The world economic forum reports that the women in the US earn considerably less than their male counterparts at 23 percent, about 20 percent in the UK and 27 percent across the European Union region (Bekhouche, et al., 2014). On the other hand, Estrin, Stephan, and Vujic (2014) explain that the college-high school gender pay gap has stalled at about 40 percent in the last three decades, although the pay gap in relation to education, experiences, and ethnicity had significantly reduced from about 27 percent to 20 percent in a similar period. These glaring statistics indicate inequalities are far more pronounced regardless of where you work.
Many scholarly reports indicate that motherhood is among the causations that contribute to the consistent existence of gender pay inequality although the origins of gender pay gap are more complicated than this single cause (Aly, 2017). For instance, in 2016 the U.S civilian workforce included 53 percent male and 47 percent female of the 151 million full-time and part-time employees (Aly, 2017). Also, women are more likely to enter and leave the workforce more regularly than their male counterparts. Some would argue that it is because work has been structured around gender norms that easily reward men, others say that child rearing and initiating families is the cause. However, some have highlighted the style of negotiation and differences in personality traits.
Even though earnings and the inequality vary depending on the each woman’s unique situation, it affects women of all backgrounds, age, and race. The experience of an individual regarding age, and in some cases older women are more experienced in the workforce s another global factor. However, gender pay inequality grows with age as the gap between older workers appears more substantial than the pay disparity between younger female and male employees. Aly (2017) reports that women aged 20 to 24 years receive about 96 percent of the wage of men weekly. Nonetheless, as women grow older and develop their careers, their median income increases slower than the men’s median income. Those between the age of 25 to 54 receive approximately 78- 89 percent of men’s salary depending on their age. At about 64 years of age, women are paid only 74 percent of the average men’s income (Aly, 2017). This information elicits questions since it highlights the gender pay inequality as an existing societal problem across the workforce. Thus, if women are equally qualified for the same job with men, they should receive equal pay.
Solutions to gender pay inequality
The first solution to gender pay inequality would be to implement pay transparency. Pay transparency allows all the employees to know their colleague’s remuneration packages and alert them in the event they are earning less than their male counterparts. There is a need to treat everyone fairly in the workplace, and that makes the gender pay gap self-correcting. Although this would not mean an easy task for organizations particularly at inception, having to defend worker income would not be bad for any large organization (O’Reilly, Smith, Deakin, & Burchell, 2015). Having pay transparency may ultimately work as an incentive for workers to enhance their productivity. Moreover, organizations would be required to establish a meritocracy meaning the most productive individuals would be the ones to receive higher pay. Contrastingly, higher pay won’t be based on gender or those with grand negotiations skills, those threatening to leave work or those enjoying a close relationship with their managers. Transparent pay structures would make sure those with similar qualifications receives deserved, and equal pay irrespective of of the practical initiatives for organizations is to provide online information for employees to view their salaries as well as those of colleagues (Charlesworth ; Macdonald, 2014; McElhaney ; Smith, 2017). Ideally, as organizations adopt these initiatives, others who care about gender pay parity would eventually follow suit, but there would be a need for appropriate legislation for larger organizations to adopt such a solution.
The second solution for gender pay inequality would be to eliminate salary negotiations. Several studies indicate that women are poor salary negotiators (Amanatullah ; Morris, 2014). In comparisons of gender difference in negotiation results, women’s negotiating styles are socially strategic and defensive rather than based on beliefs or internal capabilities. The self-advocating women are reported to behave less assertively and agree to lower monetary outcomes in comparison to men (Amanatullah & Morris, 2014). According to Amanatullah and Morris (2014), this strategy is “an adaptive measure for women for short-term self-interest at the expense of long-term gender parity” (p. 257). In worst case scenarios, women avoid negotiating for pay and would typically accept what is offered in the first instance by a potential employer.
Negotiation disadvantage for women can accumulate in the long-term into a lifetime income disadvantage and thus the need to eliminate it. Babcock and Laschever (2017), report that in an event both male and female secure employment where the male negotiates for 20 percent more pay than their female counterpart with 3 percent annual increase, in ten years’ time the man would have a significantly higher salary. It is arguable that the men’s negotiation advantage can explain the gender pay inequality. It appears unusual to favour men merely because they are great negotiators, mainly where negotiation is not part of the job offered. Although challenging to eliminate negotiation for organizations hiring senior most experienced employees, it would be essential to apply it when hiring employees at entry level.
The final solution would be to implement workplace flexibility. Studies indicate that caregiving is still considered to be a woman’s responsibility and that can fundamentally affect their career. Other studies have shown that women with children are more likely to be reprimanded than those without (Plickert ; Sterling, 2017). Such biases result in women being seen as less competent as well as receive lower compensation. Moreover, organizations that celebrate widespread overtime investment have been considered to affect ambition of women and thus lower pay drastically. However, a significant way to create a more flexible workplace is to make sure there is proper support for parental leaves as well as affordable caregiving. As Ng and French (2015) note, Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada observed that “a major barrier to equality in the workplace for women who are mothers is the absence of affordable childcare of adequate quality” (p.6). Although there has been an improvement is in this area, there is still the need for more to be done, including the incorporation of fathers into parental leaves. Moreover, a flexible workplace would ensure part-time workers receive a proportionate pay similar to full-time workers in the same positions and that these workers are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Evaluation of peer-reviewed sources
The article, “Negotiating Gender Roles: Gender Differences in Assertive Negotiating are Mediated by Women’s Fear of Backlash and Attenuated When Negotiating on Behalf of Others” collected data from on women’s negotiation from 59 participants recruited on campus. The results from this study indicated that women concede nearly 20 percent of total value in negotiation. The researcher’s information is valid, credible and timely and does not exhibit any biased based on the professional tone presented throughout the study.
Another peer-reviewed journal article, “Equal Pay as a Moving Target: International perspectives on forty-years of addressing the gender pay gap” is a qualitative study that south to highlight the factors affecting gender pay gap. The result of this study suggests thorough and focused information synthesis from the introduction to the conclusion. However, there is a need for future studies to focus on a dynamic environment where the gender pay inequality can be controlled and determined. Overall, the information is credible as it is from Ashford library.
Finally, the peer-reviewed article, “Gender Still Matters: Effects of Workplace Discrimination on Employment Schedules of Young Professionals”, report that different work schedules tend to influence gender pay inequality. However, the author demonstrates some bias by asserting that mothers are mostly affected by work schedules than fathers without considering other situations where fathers are the principal caregivers. Nonetheless, I still take this article to be reliable because of its robust data analysis and reporting because the author might have been trying to figure out which gender is mostly affected by work schedules.
Ethical Outcomes
Pay transparency can increase trust and accountability among employees because they would consider organizations that spearhead equal pay to be sincere and have good intentions. The first issued resulting from this outcome would include significant business success because of an enhanced ethical behaviour and social responsibility. More employees would likely stay with the organizations, decrease employee turnover and improve productivity. Thus, reducing the cost of recruitment and allow an organization to maintain talented employees. Secondly, fairness in an organization means being objective and pursuance of a win-win situation for both the employer and employee and thus honesty will be applied in every sector in running the organizations activities.
However, one adverse outcome resulting from these solutions would be paying an employee less than what they deserve because they must consider increasing pay for the opposite gender in a similar job category which may not be economically viable. The first issue arising from this outcome is that, even though hiring talented employees and paying them their deserved pay is essential for business success, transparency can lead to employee discontent and hurt the organization’s productivity. Secondly, some cultures prohibit women from participating in some activities that are considered masculine. And where cultural values collide with the benefits of equal pay, some organizations may choose to preserve their culture instead.
The adoption of pay transparency, eliminating salary negotiations and implementing workplace flexibility would create a society for equal pay. In fact, despite reversing trends in gender gap for male-female college attendance and graduation as the reasons for the narrowing pay gap, such recent improvements have not eliminated the problem which remains widespread. It is a global societal problem because even though earnings and the disparity vary depending on the each woman’s unique situation, it affects women of all backgrounds ages and races. Some of the viable solutions would include implementing pay transparency to allow all employees to know their colleague’s remuneration packages. Eliminating salary negotiations as women tend to be poor salary negotiators in comparison to men and implementing workplace flexibility to embrace work schedules that support caregiving and avoid negatively impacting on women’s income. Of course, these cannot entirely solve the problems affecting women at work. Specific issues regarding childcare, cultural biases, and networking problems would still affect women. However, these solutions would be a significant step in the right direction to achieving equal pay for everyone in the society.