Oprah Winfrey. Meryl Streep. Charlize Theron. These are just a few of many prominent women trying to raise awareness of the gender-pay gap in society. And initiatives like HeForShe have created a platform for men, as well as women, to speak on issues including the pay gap on a global platform.
Although it is undeniable that strides have been made in closing the gap, a recent article in The Guardian suggests it will take 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end. This is significantly longer than the 170 years its researchers previously calculated.
So why have we, as a society, been unable to crack this problem when ‘equal pay for equal work’ legislation has been in place in Canada for almost 50 years? Could it be that we’re focusing on the wrong things?
Recent research by Great Place to Work suggests that while transparent tracking and wage adjustments are necessary to close the gap, organizations can’t stop there. What’s needed is a more integrated approach to creating a level playing field for all employees, regardless of job role or personal characteristics; in other words, a commitment to creating a great place to work FOR ALL.
Reaching Full Potential More Important than Work-Life Balance
Recognizing that women are still primary caregivers at home, many organizations now offer family friendly benefits such as flex time, family care days and maternity top ups. There is no doubt these programs help women with care-giving responsibilities bring their best to work. However, GPTW’s most recent research shows that for female job candidates, working for an organization that help them maximize their potential is more important than simply offering parental benefits or work-life balance.
When women feel they make a difference at their organizations, they are 27x more likely to say they have a great place to work and 6x more likely to want to stay with their companies for a long time.
Wage Adjustments Just a Start
While everyone agrees that the current wage gap of 10-20% in Canada needs to be addressed with wage adjustments, an organizational focus on re-adjusting wages doesn’t address the root cause of unjust differences in pay between men and women. To prevent the gender pay gap from widening, organizations need to put in place provisions that institutionalize fair and timely promotions leading to representative leadership.
“We’re erasing our gender pay gap – again.”
– Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce
Salesforce, recently named to the US Best Workplaces for Women list, is an example of an organization truly committed to fairness, inclusion and opportunity for women at all levels.
According to a recent blog posted by Salesforce, the need for another yet another adjustment underscores the nature of pay equity—it is a moving target that must be consistently monitored and addressed. Though they are committed to reviewing employee compensation on an ongoing basis, that is just part of their overall strategy to create equity for women.
What’s Good for the Gander is Good for the Goose
Organizations that are great for women are great for men too! Organizations named to our Best Workplaces™ for Women list have reduced inequality across personal and employment characteristics, and this includes men! Men working at the Best Workplaces™ for Women experienced a better culture than their counterparts at organizations with a larger gender gap. We know from our research that female colleagues place a high value on input, decision making and being treated as a full member of the team to have an impact on its goals. These traits appeal to talented job candidates of any gender or background.
Best Workplaces for Women Build Culture of Trust
Want to learn how the Best Workplaces™ for Women reduce inequity by creating a culture of trust? Check out our 2018 list of Best Workplaces™ for Women.
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ABOUT OUR LISTS
Great Place to Work® publishes a series of Best Workplaces™ lists based on feedback from more than 300,000 employees at Great Place to Work–Certified™ organizations across all industries in Canada. Employees complete an anonymous Trust Index© survey, answering questions about how frequently they experience behaviors that create a great workplace, including, the transparency of communication, degree of collaboration, quality of benefits programs, opportunity for professional development, and support for work-life balance. If 7/10 employees respond positively to the survey, the organization becomes Great Place to Work-Certified™ for one year. Results from the survey are highly reliable, having a 95% confidence level with +/- 5% margin of error.
ABOUT GREAT PLACE TO WORK®
GPTW (www.greatplacetowork.ca) is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, GPTW recognizes the world's Best Workplaces in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.
Follow GPTW online at www.greatplacetowork.ca and on Twitter at @GPTW_Canada