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Closing the gender wage gap is about more than just raising women's salaries. You'll get better results when you clear up the many misconceptions surrounding the gender pay gap conversation. That's how you can take some significant steps towards achieving equality in the workplace.
But as anyone who's ever tried to promote diversity in the tech industry can attest, it can be a daunting task to tackle gender issues and get everyone in the company on the same page. It may be easier to address the gender gap if you have an action plan to help you on your way.
The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the gap between what men and women are paid. Women are paid less than their male counterparts across nearly all occupations and industries. According to data from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), in 2017, female full-time, year-round workers earned only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men. That's a gender wage gap of 20%.
And according to IWPR research, if efforts to close the gap proceed at the same glacial pace as it they have during the past fifty years, it will take women 40 years— until the year 2059— to finally achieve pay parity.
Many factors contribute to produce the gender pay gap. These include: bias against working mothers, direct pay discrimination, occupational segregation, racial bias, age, access to education, employer practices, and disability. As a result, different groups of women live with very different gaps in pay.
No matter the cause, the gender pay gap is a real, long standing problem. Equal pay is not just a moral issue, it's an economic issue and public policy problem that is detrimental to women's economic security. According to a McKinsey study on women in the workplace, corporate America has made almost no progress improving women's representation during the past four years. The research shows that women are underrepresented at every level. Consider this:
Even though the tech sector is well aware of the benefits of a diverse workforce – like more innovation, attracting and retaining better employees, not to mention higher EBIT margins, cash flow, and sales volume – the business community does not seem to be making much progress in closing the gender gap.
That is why one of Modis President, Ger Doyle's priorities is fortifying Modis' already strong culture by increasing diversity and inclusion. According to Doyle, “We deal with a very diverse set of clients and candidates. We need to have a diverse set of executives to mirror the market. New thinking and innovation comes from a diverse group of people. People with different backgrounds challenge us as we transform."
When asked about his motivation Doyle mentioned his daughters. “I want to make sure the world they go into is a better world than my sisters moved into 30 years ago. There's a wide world of opportunity, and that world needs females."
The gender wage gap is a particularly sensitive issue for hiring managers in the IT industry because tech is the only field where women are underrepresented more than they were in 1990.
Solving the pay gap issue isn't impossible. In fact, large companies like Salesforce and Starbucks have successfully addressed their wage issues. That gives a glimmer of hope for other companies struggling with this issue.
Demonstrating diversity is a documented strategy to attract and retain top talent so, if you've been wondering, “How can the gender pay gap be solved?" or, “Can the gender pay gap be closed?" hopefully this short guide gave you some insights into ways you can begin to address the issue within your organization.