Although the Equal Pay Act of 1963 technically prohibits employers from paying women less money than men, research continues to show that women earn less money in the workplace (especially women of color), and that women aren’t in as many executive-level roles as men.
Here’s how you can address the gender pay gap at your organization.
Declare Your Commitment to Paying Women More
Make a public statement that your organization is devoted to offering equal pay and benefits to all employees, regardless of their gender, and that your organization is going to make a conscious effort to close gender pay gaps in its industry.
Then explain how your organization will follow through with its commitment by explaining what specific actions it will take. Will it conduct periodic pay audits, talent audits, conduct interviews differently, institute new succession planning policies, etc.?
Conduct Frequent Audits and Reviews
Periodically audit your personnel and take note of which managers and staff receive different pay and why? Are men on your staff paid more than women even though they have the same titles and responsibilities? Are men on your staff receiving higher or more frequent bonuses than the women on your staff?
Overall, make sure you know who is receiving more money for equitable work and try to adapt your policies and practices so that both men and women are conducting the same work for the same amount of pay.
Hire and Promote More Women
Make a conscious effort to hire more women to work for your organization, especially if you work in a male-dominated industry. If you notice that a job announcement is attracting mostly male applicants, consider rewriting the announcement, or figure out how to attract more female applicants. Also, don’t discount working mothers.
“One of the shared experiences amongst mothers in the workplace is the element of time off. Challenge companies to think differently about skills vs. experience,” says Maria Colacurcio, CEO of HR analytics platform Syndio in an e-mail to Recruiting Daily Advisor. “This approach embraces the idea that, even if a woman’s experience caring for young children may not directly translate to the job, the skills and ability to efficiently prioritize and execute faster do.”
“Think about the higher quality skills, such as, organization, management, negotiation and staying unflappable under stress,” she adds. “This is an easy lift for companies and something that could be quickly implemented as part of inclusive policies and practices.”
In addition, make sure to promote more women into executive and leadership roles across your organization. When more women see more women in leadership roles, they’ll naturally gravitate toward your organization and work to earn those leadership roles themselves in the future, too.
Extend Equitable Offers
When you hire individuals to work for your organization, make sure to pay women and men the same based on their job responsibilities or titles. For example, all managers on your sales team should be offered the same base pay for their work-related responsibilities and should be offered the same amount of opportunities to earn the same compensation in commissions.
Also, keep in mind that women are less likely to negotiate for higher pay. So, figure out how you can approach pay-related negotiations when extending a job offer so that they are equitable and so that all people doing the same work earn the same compensation and benefits.
If you’re committed to ending the gender pay gap at your own organization, follow the tips and best practices highlighted above.