By David Biden, Semesterz
The presidential election year always brings the economy debate into the limelight. With this year already filled with controversy and unexpected highlights, it seems that the gender pay gap is one of the most talked about topics in both public and private conversations. Following a new report from the Economic Policy, future projections unfortunately do not look favorable, especially for women and minorities graduating in 2016.
You probably have already heard the statistic that women make 78 cents compared to a man’s working dollar. Yes, it’s upsetting to hear, but this figure falls even lower when you consider non-Caucasian women. Other findings from the report show that the unemployment rate for college graduates in 2016 from Black ethnicity, is as high as 9.4%. Just to put it into perspective, this is higher than the white unemployment rate (9%) during the recession. Moreover, disabled and transgender people are considered to have the highest risk of being treated unequally, especially when it comes to their wages.
[post_ads]Unfortunately, wages for young have fallen 6.8% since 2000, whilst graduate male counterparts have seen an increase in their salaries of 8.1%. The EPI report explains that this gap is being pushed up higher by corporate male managers that are getting paid more and more each year.
So what can employers do about this widening gap?
Even though there is an overwhelming 93% of Americans that believe in equal pay, the status quo in the gap has not changed in the last ten years. Due to this stagnation, it implies that employers are most likely not on purpose paying their women employees less than their male equivalents, and must consciously develop their payment schemes to match women and men salaries.
The EPI report offers numerous recommendations to employers seeking to make their salaries equal. For example, employers can increase minimum wage, allow groups to pitch in together and request the same salaries and giving immigrant workers an easier way to reach citizenship so that they can ask for better pay. The issue is that these types of suggestions need to be brought in at government level, rather than individual companies having a say on what happens.
In addition to the recommendations set out by the EPI report, businesses can also help their employees by standardizing sick pay and offering fair leave time, especially in places where there are tight schedules, high workload and little off days. This is especially common in any retail or manufacturing work places, where many of the employees are female, especially those of color.
Though it is widely known that it is illegal to reject an applicant for a job due to their gender or race, however unfortunately this practice is still happening in many businesses. Something as simple as a person’s surname can put off employers, which is a very sad reality for many places. To combat this, workplaces can use ID numbers in the HR process so that names are kept anonymous until the interview stage, giving equal chances to everyone.
Keeping these type of attitudes in the workplace can distinguish a growing company from a stagnant, unfair business. Most people would prefer to work in a company they know is taking care of all of their employees, regardless of the race, gender, color or religion. This could be the difference in retaining your workforce and building an empire, to losing your skilled and educated employees whilst seeing your business drown in the murky waters of discrimination.