Use Knowledge to Identify the Salary Gap Between the Genders

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At this rate, it will take 100 years to get gender equality at work. That’s what author Emily Peck says when writing about a recent *study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company called, “Women in the Workplace.” That sounds discouraging to say the least.

In order to break this cycle and help women achieve their full potentials, organizations must commit to making significant and longterm investments in revolutionizing company policies and culture. This revolution starts with knowledge.

Today we’ve invited Yarden Tadmor, CEO and founder of the smart job-matching app Switch, to write about the gender pay gap. He believes that to make progress, organizations must identify the gap with data and knowledge. You can read his ideas below the following infographic.

Gender Gap Infographic

Using Knowledge to Identify the Salary Gap Between the Genders, by Yarden Tadmor

Everyone knows that there’s a pay gap involving gender and salary. But knowing that a gender gap exists is different than understanding that gap and why it exists. With any disparity, particularly one in the workplace, knowledge is often the best means to identifying the causes of the issue. Let’s explore some statistics about the gender gap, cultivated by job-matching app Switch.

Women only make 76% of what men make.

It’s not news to learn that women make less money than men do. And it’s not even news that women only make around three quarters of what men make. While the infamous gender pay gap is arguably smaller than it has been in the past, as more women are advocating for themselves in the workplace, it’s not enough and won’t be enough until there’s equal pay.

Women make less than men
Looking at the ratio of male to female salary is not nearly as jarring as seeing the actual dollar amounts. Whereas women average $75,000, men are averaging close to six figures bringing in $98,000. The salary gap between men and women exists at nearly every income tier, but not in every industry.

Women make more than men in online media.

There are some areas where women seem to outpace men, but these areas where women are making better wages might not come as a surprise. Data suggests that women typically make around 12% more than their male colleagues in online media, which goes along with the stereotype that online media is a female dominated industry. While it’s promising to learn this, it seems to fall in line with the long-held biases that have been created around work that is associated with gender polarities.

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While women are expected to excel in communications, they are not promoted or as well respected in more scientific or mathematical fields or in traditional leadership roles that are still very strongly attached to men. It comes down to the grudging sense that a woman must be too aggressive or more masculine in some way, to excel in these arenas. Many biases propose that femininity and leadership don’t go hand in hand, and that’s a problem.

Women and men make the same in HR.

Women and Men Make Same in HR

The fact that women make more in online media is not astounding, but the fact that men and women have less than a 1% difference in salary in Human Resources is a bit surprising. People tend to think that HR is a female dominated industry, which is somewhat true because there are more women than men in HR, but—and this is a big but—they don’t dominate in terms of salary.

In male dominated industries like software engineering and finance, men make more than women, so we’d expect to see the same to be true in HR. Not so. We can conjecture that this salary equality is due to the fact that HR is all about fairness for employees.

Women tend to double their salaries in 4 years, while it takes men 11-12 years to do that.

What’s surprising on the surface is that men are taking longer than women to double their salaries than women. While women tend to double their salary in just four years, it typically takes men 11 or 12 years to do this. These findings seem to imply that women are scaling the financial earnings ladder more quickly, but then ultimately losing the race in the long run. At some point after those first four years of rapid financial prosperity, women aren’t gaining income at a pace that matches their male peers.

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Also, the fact that women double their salaries more quickly probably has more to do with the fact that their salaries start lower than their male counterparts, than it does to do with the number of pay raises.

Women want 19% more of a raise than men.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this has to do with the fact that women have less, so they want more. But I think they’re not asking for enough. The disparity between the request for pay raises should be equal to the disparity between current salaries. Women should seek 60-70% pay raises, and even though this may not fix the gender gap, it likely will cause a stir. There is no harm in asking!

Understanding the specifics of the gender gap, and exactly where the greatest inequalities are can help concerned individuals tackle the issues where they are. Seeing the issues for what they are, makes them more vulnerable to deconstruction. Let’s fill in this gender gap, using knowledge and data as our weapons!

*Read the full “Women in the Workplace” study here.

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