How can we solve the gender pay gap?

How can we solve the gender pay gap?

This article was first published on AusMumpreneur.

Australian women earn about 83¢ cents for every $1 a man earns. This statistic is according to a report by recruitment firm, Glassdoor and is based on an analysis of more than 534,000 salary reports between men and women around the world.

A report by Hired found that companies offer women 3% less than men for the same roles, and in some companies, women are offered 30% less. In fact the information suggests that 69% of the time, men receive higher salary offers than women for the same job title at the same company.

Here’s how those stats look on paper:

Gender Pay Gap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Graph Courtesy of Hired)

As my 9 year old daughter would so wisely say. “That’s not okay…”

And she’s right. It’s not.

So why is it happening?

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook famously called out these statistics and more in a TED talk she made in 2010. But she did more than that. She called out one of the very root causes of the gender wage gap.

Simply put: “Women systematically underestimate their own abilities.”

 

In a Harvard Business review blog post Tara Sophia Mohr used an interesting statistic that said that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of qualifications, but women apply if they meet 100% of them.

So how do we fix it?

It’s complicated. Really complicated.

But let me just pull on one tiny thread of the debate for the moment.

Is the gender pay gap the result of the salaries being offered to them – or is the result of what women are asking for?

If a candidate isn’t asking for their market value at the negotiation table – whether they are male or female – that candidate is not going to get it.

So can the internet save us? If information is power and there is no tool more powerful than the internet

Graeme Austen, founder of CultivatedCulture believes that when it comes to the wage gap, the internet gives female professionals a distinct advantage over their counterparts from previous generations – transparency.

“The internet has allowed for unprecedented access to the market value of any position,” he says, especially when it comes to job searching. 10 years ago women would apply for jobs and, if they received an offer, would most likely be stuck taking what was given to them. Female job applicants didn’t have a lot of leverage when they walked into an interview room.

Now, with the rise of sites like Glassdoor, Paysa and PayScale, these same applicants can get a rough idea of what the expected salary is before they walk into the room. Then, if the job is offered to them at a lower salary, they have concrete evidence that can be used to counter:

Hiring Manager: Good news [name]! You got the job and we’re really excited to offer you $X.

Applicant: That is fantastic news! One question though, I’ve done a lot of research, and I know that the market value for a position like this is $Y. What can we do to make up the difference?

Austen suggests, “Women get knocked for not sticking up for themselves in the professional world. In this case that would translate into accepting a salary at face value rather than negotiating. The truth is, most people (men included) are terrified of negotiation – and who could blame them? There are a lot of doubts – fear of rejection, fear of hurting their reputation. However, only 15% of people who negotiate get nothing out of it, while 25% receive more than they expected!”

As Austen notes, “Negotiating isn’t some sort of dark art or innate ability. It’s making an informed case for why you deserve something, equal pay in this case, and it can be a simple as asking for your worth.”

In all this darkness, there is a small ray of light shining through

Hired’s report suggests that young women are already taking advantage of the internet’s transparency.

According to this report, women with more than four years of experience ask for five percent less than their male counterparts, yet women with less than two years of experience actually ask for two percent more than men looking to fill the same role.”

And – guess what? – they’re getting what they asked for…and more!

According to the same report, junior women are actually receiving final salaries that are 7% higher than their male counterparts. If this trend continues, we’ll be able to close the gender pay gap much quicker than some estimates suggest (which often put equal pay at more than 100 years into the future).

While the answer to the gender pay gap may not be as simple as women knowing their market value, some insight into their worth and practice in negotiating tactics can and will get women closer to where they need to be.

Ladies, we have a long road ahead of us – lets get started…

Kathy Wilson is the founder of Elite Reputations. The rules of the job hunt game have changed. We’ll show you how to use use the new rules to get your dream job.

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