Most of us are familiar with the infamous gender wage gap and know that women earn an average $0.82 for every $1 a man makes, and that this gap widens when we consider race. This means a woman would have to work 44 extra days a year to make the same as a male peer. This gives her no vacations and just 60 days off annually.
A workload like this is unrealistic and certainly unsustainable. That leaves it up to employers and management to close the wage gap and support women in their career and financial endeavors.
Investing in equality and growth opportunities for your employees doesn’t just benefit them. It builds trust in your business and leadership and can help you attract the brightest talents to your team.
Here’s how you can support the women at your workplace and improve your business culture as a whole.
Pay Attention to Your Payroll
The best way to catch and fix inequalities is to look for them in the first place. Set a standard for how raises are awarded and perform regular audits of your payroll to ensure all of your employees are earning a fair wage.
It’s a good idea to take this a step further and have a third-party company perform your audits. This way you know your audit is objective and you save on internal resources.
Stay Transparent About Salaries
Salary rates have long been taboo for most workplaces, but times are changing. More employers and employees are open to talking about pay. This lets employees know they’re being treated fairly and helps you hold your own business accountable for potential discrimination.
Salary transparency may also increase employee performance and motivation at work. Your bottom line isn’t all that can improve, as honest conversations about pay build trust with your team and contribute to an equitable workplace culture.
Full salary transparency isn’t a great fit for every office, so consider the pros and cons. You may find that releasing a salary range by role and seniority makes sense and still gives current and prospective employees a guide to compare their current pay.
Improve Representation in Leadership
Women account for just 4.7 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, despite measuring to be 84 percent more effective with key leadership skills. The higher up the corporate ladder you go, the fewer women are promoted and representation suffers.
Promoting representation in your leadership teams doesn’t mean you don’t hire the right person for the job. That implies there aren’t other capable and motivated women in your organization or city — which is unlikely.
The key to building representation is truly carrying about diversity and supporting women and people of color at work. Proving that you’re motivated to equality with practices like auditing pay and promoting diverse candidates into leadership helps make your workplace a more welcoming environment to current and potential employees.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
Encouraging professional development and giving your team access to these resources benefits all of your employees and their career. It shows that you care and in turn, you have more loyal and strategic employees.
Providing educational opportunities specifically for women is a great way to empower your female employees and show you care about their experience at work. You may also consider creating a mentorship program or funding professional memberships for your employees to continue their education.
The work you put in to support all of your employees is sure to pay off with a healthier culture, committed team, and trust. No system or individual is perfect, so take time to make sure your employees are all treated fairly with pay and promotion audits. Ultimately, investing in your employees’ future and education provides just as much of a benefit to your business as it does to their careers.
Infographic courtesy of Possible Finance.
Briana Marvell is a content creator from Austin with interests in housing and finance. When not at her desk she enjoys hiking with her dog, Miko, and diving into a good book.