18 September 2020

The pay gap is a boring constant – Here are tips on how to solve this big problem

Equal pay for men and women would lead not only to higher quality of life, but also to more successful business and growth of national GDP. While it would be better for everyone, the differences still exist because of stereotypes and deep-rooted patterns of behavior. Change is necessary, but how can it really be achieved?

The gender pay gap between women and men is still too large. Globally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same job of equal value, and the difference is even greater when working mothers are taken into account. If the world continues at this pace, it will take about 257 years for men and women to equalize, according to UN statistics. This gender gap is the main reason for today’s celebration of the International Day of Equal Pay.

What should we do to speed up the equalization process? Where does the problem lie? There is, of course, no universal answer to these questions, but we can give a brief insight into the whole issue and a couple of guidelines for resolving it to reach parity sooner.

Statistics don’t benefit women

We are all aware of the fact that equality between women and men in the workplace is not present. However, when we study statistics a little better, we remain, to say the least, deeply disappointed. According to UN Women, only 67 countries in the world have laws prohibiting gender discrimination in employment, which is a big break for women in the beginning. If we look at the leaders, only 23 per cent of the seats in the parliaments of all countries of the world belong to women, and when you look at the leadership of the 500 richest companies in the world, only 4 per cent of those companies are led by CEOs.

If we lived in a world where the roles of women and men are equal in the labour market, global GDP would grow by as much as $ 28 trillion between 2015 and 2025, which is a very zero amount, to be precise $ 28 trillion. There is no need to argue too much that companies would benefit from providing equal opportunities for both women and men because this figure speaks for itself. The question then arises – if the quality of life of women can be better if better living conditions and working conditions can be better, and to bring profit, then where is the problem?

Stereotypes hinder wage equalization

Among the main “culprits” for inequality in the payment of women’s and men’s work are stereotypical perceptions of gender roles. Although we are aware of the negative effect of stereotypes, they still influence our behavior because, so to speak, they are implanted in the code of society. That is why we automatically behave “stereotypically” when we are cognitively overloaded. As explained by dr.sc. Željka Kamenov from the FFaculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, we all know that stereotypes are socially undesirable, but when our attention is directed elsewhere, these stereotypes automatically control our behavior.

In the world of stereotypes, prevailing them are in favor of men for “men’s affairs” and vice versa for “women’s affairs”, while men are in “advantage” when it comes to leadership and authority. Even when there is no difference in competencies or achievement, a man is more likely to be promoted than a woman. Unfortunately, there are other brakes that are slowing down the pay equalization process.

Women in Croatia earn less than men

There is also a difference in salaries in Croatia, although slightly lower than the European Union average. While the wage gap at the level of the European Union was born, 16.0% in Croatia was 11.6%. Although lower on average, the difference is larger in some industries, such as finance and health, and according to national analyses, women of the same qualifications work for a nominally lower salary than their colleagues, and women with small children in higher positions working in higher positions have lower salaries. private sector.

A good performance management system brings objectivity and fairness

Organizations with developed human management systems also take into account the fairness of wages. One of them is INA, the holder of the MAMFORCE GROW standard.

In INA, the amount of salary does not depend on gender, but on the contribution of employees and the market movement of salaries. “Every year, we identify workers who are in the talent pool according to their individual work performance and assessment of their potential. Whether someone will be identified as a talent does not depend on gender, but on individual performance and assessment of abilities, aspirations and engagement “, points out the director of Rewards and Benefits – Stela Stare, which was confirmed by the MAMFORCE audit.

Gender is also not a relevant variable when it comes to defining successors in management positions. Thus, among the total number of defined successors, there are 40% women and 60% men, which is a good ratio when you consider that globally in the oil industry this ratio is 25% women and 75% men.

For those who have not yet embarked on the process of identifying possible differences and equalizing salaries, INA advises that activities should focus on ensuring diversity and employee involvement, which ultimately leads to higher productivity and employee involvement and thus the company’s overall success. In addition, it is necessary to equalize salaries because the level of salaries is still what potential employees are guided by when choosing a job. “In order to ensure the company’s diversity in terms of gender, equality in income must certainly be ensured, there is no other choice,” concludes Vladimira Senčar Perkov, Director of Human Resources at INA.

8 tips for companies to close the pay gap between women and men

For any organization, it is a real challenge to design policies and procedures that will ensure balance and fairness. As there is no universal answer to the question of why there is a gap between the salaries of women and men, so there is no universal solution for equalizing salaries that would help all companies. However, there are various tips that can be applied depending on the level of development of the organization and the culture. These are just some of the tips that can help human resources services, but also those in management positions.

  • Make the application process transparent
  • Make salaries transparent and clearly communicate why someone is paid more (if they work and contribute more)
  • Let the quantity and quality of work done be your main criterion for determining the amount of salary
  • Use a transparent, well-explained performance appraisal system
  • Establish rules of conduct to present what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior
  • Create an inclusive organization that allows for a variety of perspectives
  • Encourage women to stand up for themselves and change within the company, best through mentoring programs and involvement in women’s networks.
  • Do not judge employees by the criteria of time spent at work, but by engagement and performance

Without proactivity there is no progress!

Although companies have an important role to play in equalizing wages and must provide transparent ways of determining performance and contributions, women themselves can drive change. Diana K. Dešković from MAMFORCE believes that a significant number of women are still willing to work for less money than what they really contribute, and that they are satisfied with a smaller amount than their colleagues when negotiating salaries. “I would recommend women to be proactive themselves, inquire about the salary range and determine how much time, experience and knowledge they bring to the organization is worth. Although the difference of a few percent may seem symbolic, that 11.6% difference over the working life can be equivalent to the value of a middle-class car or a smaller apartment, depending on the amount of salary, “says Diana.

While we are frightened by the prediction that it will take 257 years for global wage equalization, we ourselves may be the little wheels of change that will speed up the process. With joint efforts, we believe that the International Day for Equal Pay will turn from awareness of the problem into a celebration of final parity. If we all leave our small contribution, who knows, we might even experience that celebration without waiting more than 200 years.

Should you wish to learn more about the MAMFORCE certification process, get in touch. We are looking forward to helping you develop your own employer brand.

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