April 2nd is Equal Pay Day in the U.S. and is the day in 2019 through which U.S. white women had to work to earn what the average U.S. white man earned in 2018. Asian women’s equal pay day was March 5, 2019, black women’s Equal Pay Day isn’t until Aug. 22, Native women’s equal pay day is September 23, and Latinas' Equal Pay Day is almost a full year later – Nov. 20, 2019.
But still many commentators debate the validity of the Gender Pay Gap. John Phelan, Economist at Center of the American Experiment, provocatively claimed “The ‘gender wage gap’ is as real as unicorns and has been killed more times than Michael Myers” and that it can be "explained entirely by the fact that, while having the same choice sets in the workplace, women and men make different choices.”
This overlooks the reason why women are making different choices than men. So whilst we are on the subject of unicorns, this article from CNBC dispels some established myths.
Maybe those who argue that the Gender Pay Gap isn’t real are confused between the notions of pay equity and pay equality. Pay Equity as we know is equal pay for work of equal value. Ironically this year Equal Pay Day this year falls less than a week after House Democrats passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on their latest in a long series of attempts to make sure women and men are paid equally.
But pay gaps are more a result of a lack of Pay Equality, where all employees have the opportunity to earn the same pay. Actions to address pay equality are not necessarily related to pay but broader diversity initiatives that address systemic bias and tackle unseen barriers that occur at different stages of the employee lifecycle. Curo’s partner My Family Care aptly captures’s this in their leaky pipe model illustrating typical leaks in the career pipeline. For some potential employees they never even get to enter the pipeline.
Enabling everyone to equal opportunities to work and progress in order to confront structural inequality has to be the goal. But this will require employers to rethink the whole notion of how, where and when work is done.
To find out more about how Curo can help you with your Pay Equity challenges please visit www.curcomp.com.
Posted by Ruth Thomas
Industry Principal, Curo.LinkedIn