Ensuring pay parity among employees is a contributing factor to ending gender- based and racial discrimination. Although a vast number of corporate organizations boast equal pay among employees of both genders, the subtly existent ‘wage differential’ that we all know of, contradicts the very credo of ‘equality at the workplace’.
Recruitment is most often aligned to industry variables such as experience, education, technical expertise and one’s past employment. But even then, recruiters seem to toe an invisible line of bias when it comes to paying female employees or people of colour for the same amount of comparable work. As employers and HR managers, there are a few practices that one can enforce to avoid inequities and disparity.
Identifying the Pay Gap
Having access to large swathes of digital data can throw up a lot of information about your existing employees or future job aspirants. If you notice inequities in pay, get ready to address it regardless of age, gender or ethnicity of your employee. Using advanced HR data tools can help you get a better picture of employees’ work contribution and experience. In cases where employees require help, make sure to offer mentorship and assistance to supplement their productivity. Running mandatory pay audits over time and informing the senior management of discrepancies can help address the issue.
Women Emerging from Career Breaks
Many female employees who go on a career break to raise a family or relocate with a spouse are often at the receiving end of ‘punishment pay’, as many women would like to put it. A gap in working years gives companies enough arms to subject them to inequality in pay and refuse key positions. Actions such as this go unadvocated as many countries don’t have laws in place to hold companies liable for denying employees their basic rights. It is important to ensure that women transition back into the workforce through flexible work hours, attractive pay and paid leave.
Inclusion & Engagement
Globalization has brought in so much diversity and cultural integration like never before. Organizations with huge headcounts should prioritize on making their work environments more open, fair and inclusive to accommodate all cultures, race, ethnicity and faith. There are looming dangers of what unconscious bias can do at any given time. Engaging all employees equally through open conversation and trust always pays off.
Equal Representation at the Top
A healthy work environment boasts of equal representation at the boardroom too. Bringing in diverse talent from across the globe can not only guarantee boundless experience but also sends a strong message as far as corporate values are concerned. Gender representation in leadership roles also accounts for better financial returns, market-to-book value, client relationships and general social impact.
Companies should lay out better internal promotion policies to block any undercurrent of unconscious or unexplained bias. This said, both organizations and countries need to have several litigations in place to rule out unlawful pay disparity.
At Propay Partners, our core values of approachability, oneness, respect, integrity & commitment have helped us nurture a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all our employees. There’s neither a pay gap nor any discrimination. We value our employees for their commitment and investment in our company and offering them an inclusive work environment is our way of closing all kinds of inequity.
Manish is the Co Founder at Propay Partners and a frequent contributor for New Straits Times, SME Magazine, The Edge & others.