organization can use to help reduce the gender wage gap, which is a complex problem in the modern labor force. The comparison begins with a discussion of the background information regarding this problem and its causes. The importance of reducing the gender wage gap in the workforce to the businesses, workers, and the overall economy is also examined. Following this analysis, the article presents negotiation and flexible work schedules as the two major ways that organizations can use to address the problem. Based on the comparison of these measures, flexible work schedules are recommended as the most appropriate strategy to help deal with the issue.
Reducing Gender Gap in Pay:
The achievement of stronger and sustainable growth through increasing the productivity of labor and human capital requires equal economic opportunities for men and women. In the past few years, this process has largely been affected by gender wage gap regardless of various improvements in women's outcomes. In attempts to provide equal economic opportunities for both men and women, the labor market is faced by the challenge of pay equity because of the increase in gender pay gap. According to the findings of a study, women earn an average of 7% less than men within the same occupation and with the same job qualifications or academic background. The huge gap in pay broadens the longer a woman works while men with the same level of education and within the same occupation have different pays. Therefore, it's becoming increasingly important to reduce the gender gap in pay, an initiative that has stimulus effect that would grow the economy by nearly four percentage points.
According to a study by the American Association of University Women, women who graduate from the same school and in the same major as her male classmate tend to earn an average of 7% less than the male counterpart upon taking a full-time job in the same occupation (Bassett, 2012). Therefore, over the course of a 35-year career, a woman with a college degree will earn approximately $1.2 million less than male counterparts with similar education level.
This implies that there is a subtle sexism in employment and salary decisions for both men and women. Actually, a male employee is regarded as the main source of income who should be treated with value while a female worker is considered as a liability (Casserly, 2012). The subtle sexism is evident across various industries and academic levels with regards to the paychecks of men and women. Currently, the median female wage in the United States is simply 81% of the median male wage and this gap increases as women become older. According to the subtle sexism men should earn more in order to support young families while women should be given lower-earning duties, which is blatant discrimination.
As the pay gap continues to increase, it's important to find a solution to this issue because of the numerous advantages associated with a solution to the problem. However, the process of finding a solution to the issue is not an easy task since there are many forces at work. This is further complicated by the fact that the gender pay gap begins before women receive their first salaries. One of the major negative impacts of gender pay gap is that it has made women to become more dependent on federal assistance to an extent that they account for 80% of welfare recipients.
Women involvement in education and the workforce has increased tremendously in the past decades. Since 1988, women have outnumbered men on college campuses and currently represent 50% of the labor force ("To Close the Gap," 2013). This increase of women in the labor force has been regarded as the greatest social transformation of the modern society (Thomas, 2010). Generally, more opportunities for women exist today than ever before while their presence in a broad range of working environments is common.
However, while the involvement of women in education and the workforce has increased significantly, they are still marginalized by unconscious biases like the gender pay gap. The other example of these biases is that women are promoted depending on their past achievements while men receive job promotions based on their potential. Notably, the gender wage gap is not attributed to gender discrimination since it occurs unconsciously.
The gender wage gap is an issue that can be attributed to various reasons including the tendency of women to enter low-paid careers or fields like education and social sciences while men normally major in computer science and engineering (Dugas, 2012). Nonetheless, approximately 40% of the gender wage gap remains unexplained, which means that there is no clear measurable reason for the difference in pay (Farrell & Glynn, 2013). Therefore, the existing probable explanations for the gender wage gap range from obvious sexism, women's reluctance to negotiate for high pay, and unconscious gender-based prejudice. The most common reasons for the gender wage gap include the tendency by men to work in less desirable locations, the likelihood of men to work on weekends, and the tendency by men to work for longer hours than women (Tobak, 2011).
Gender wage gap is a complex problem across the globe that requires multi-level solutions or appropriate social practices. There are various solutions that have been proposed to help deal with the issue from an individual and organizational level. The process of finding a solution to this complex problem is particularly important for an organization to enhance its productivity and avoid the unintentional gender-based discrimination. The two major ways through which an organization can help lessen the gender gap in pay include & #8230;
Negotiation is one of the major strategies to help lessen the huge gap and difference in pay because the fear of asking is a problem for many women that contribute to the gender wage gap. While women are great advocates for others, they are seemingly paralyzed with regards to advocating for themselves (Bennett, 2012). One of the key elements of implementing negotiation to lessen the gender wage gap is the need for women to recognize that many things in life are negotiable. Moreover, women don't have to accept the status quo as inflexible and settle for the pay they are offered. Therefore, an organization can help accomplish this by creating mechanisms that enable women to negotiate for their pay. This can be achieved through enabling female workers to share information about their pay and even obtain salary information. An organization can also promote negotiation by training women on how to ask for more pay ("Solutions to the Gender Pay Gap," 2012). Negotiation helps in reducing the gender wage gap because it's an aggressive instead of adversarial act.
Flexible Work Schedules:
Flexible work schedules are regarded as one of the main ways of solving the gender wage gap. This is primarily because this strategy helps women to remain in the workforce and avoid diminished pay rates. Generally, flexible work schedules provide employees with an opportunity to choose when and where to accomplish their work duties. As a result, the flexible work schedules contribute to higher productivity, lower turnover, increased participation, and better health, which in turn lead to reduced absenteeism.
The effectiveness of flexible work schedules in dealing with the gender wage gap is attributed to the fact that it addresses the tendency of men to work on weekends and earn more from it. Flexibility has a direct link to the bottom line with regards to decreased turnover, lower recruitment costs, and training replacement workers. Generally, flexible work programs are beneficial for women and also good for the overall business (Levin-Epstein, 2011).
Comparison of the Two Ways:
As previously mentioned, negotiation and flexible work schedules can be considered as the two major ways with which an organization can help lessen the increasing gender wage gap. The two ways not only require initiatives from the organization but they also require women to take appropriate measures in dealing with the complex problem. However, these measures differ with regards to cost and ease of implementation, which contributes to significant differences in their effectiveness.
In light of the cost, negotiation seems to more costly (though not expensive) than establishing flexible work schedules. The increased costs of negotiation over flexible work schedules are attributed to the need for an organization to establish proper mechanisms to promote the negotiation. Unlike flexible work schedules, an organization may incur extra costs when training women on how to ask or negotiate for more pay. Due to the expenses involved in developing mechanisms for negotiation, it seems that flexible work schedules are easier to implement than negotiation. The process of implementing negotiation may require some changes in the organizational structure while flexible work schedules only require discussions between the employee and workers.
Gender wage gap is one of the major challenges that the labor force has experienced for several decades despite of the increase of women in education and the overall workforce. While the differences in pay begin when women receive…