Imagine you’re a woman doing the exact same job as a man. You have the same qualifications, same experience, but you’re making less money. How do you feel?
In 2021, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men in an uncontrolled gender pay gap, said a study done by PayScale, which compares the average salaries of men and women.
“It is an improvement,” said Chief People Officer of PayScale, Shelly Holt. “But, I will say it’s only a one cent improvement since last year.”
The study also looked at controlled gender pay gap, which compares the average salary of men and women with the same job and qualifications. Women earn 98 cents for every dollar earned by men.
So, why are women earning less?
When looking at controlled pay gaps, Holt gave four main reasons.
1: Performance review and pay increase decisions
“A lot goes into these decisions, but unconscious bias can creep up. For example, women may need more time away from work.”
2: Motherhood an unemployment penalties
“Motherhood and unemployment penalties often result in lower job offers for women in the same job as men.”
3: Employee referrals
“White women are 12% less likely to be referred to opportunities, and women of color are 35% less likely.”
4: Hiring discrimination and job offers
“This can happen when women receive lower paid job offers than men for the same job, even when their qualifications are equal.”
Jobs that have the biggest pay gaps in controlled pay gaps are farming, fishery and forestry, and also in installation and repair. In uncontrolled pay gaps the biggest pay gaps are in law professions, and education.
Holt’s advice to women know your worth, and go into job negotiations with confidence. Also, if you’re already in a job, she said communication and transparency between you and your employer to support you is critical.
Closing the pay gap has been a slow process, however, in the future Holt wants to see that pay gap close even more.
“There’s a lot of movements around equity, right now, and I’m hoping that as a result of these movements we finally see these things changing in our society.”