Last week saw the commemoration of Equal Pay Day. In case you missed all the media coverage, April 10th was the day up to which U.S. women needed to work in 2018 to make the same amount of money men made in 2017. That’s because, on average, U.S. women earn 20% less than men. For women of color, their pay parity date is even deeper into the new year. Equal Pay Day also provides an annual opportunity for pundits ponder the whys and size of the gap. But whatever the hair-splitting and hand-wringing, the fact remains – a gap exists.
LeanIn.org capitalized on the pay gap’s media ubiquity and shared some eye-opening statistics. Here are just three that you’ll find on their website:
When you control for important factors such as education, experience, industry, occupation, role, and hours worked, the pay gap still exists. And the gap actually widens at higher education levels
As early as age 16, women are paid less than men—and the gap only grows from there
Yet, one in three Americans has no awareness of the gender pay gap––and men are almost twice as likely as women to think it does not exist
While the salary gap did close a bit this year, there’s still so far to go. And at the glacial rate of closure, some say we won’t see parity until 2059. Legislation passed in several cities and states that prohibits the asking about salary history during the hiring process is a step in the right direction – as it was intended to halt the practice of basing new pay on old – and in the cases of most women – unequal pay.
My vision for 24 Seven
As a woman-founded and led company, financial empowerment and pay equality are dominant threads of 24 Seven’s company culture. My vision for the company was to create a workplace where women could achieve their professional and financial goals on their terms. And as a recruiting firm, part of our role is to provide our candidates and clients with tools to benchmark compensation, empowering them with regionally-accurate salary ranges for creative sector jobs. That’s why we added a salary calculator on our website to collect and share unbiased, gender- and race-neutral salary data. Our latest research of talent attitudes and behaviors in the current hiring market indicate that not being paid enough is the number one source of stress in employees’ lives. And for underpaid women, the pressure is undoubtedly higher. Helping employees achieve their personal financial goals should be a goal of all employers, and equal pay for equal work must no longer be a matter of debate in the workplace.
What you can do to help
While remedying compensation disparity should be an imperative because it’s the right thing to do, employers may be more motivated to address it because it’s the competitive thing to do. In a full-employment economy where the battle for top talent is at cut-throat levels, companies who are transparent about their efforts in this area will inevitably emerge as the more attractive employers. To access our salary calculator click here, or to read tips on negotiating a better compensation package, visit here.