The human race has come a long way but despite our advances, statistics show that there is still a discrepancy between the different genders in the workplace.
Did you know? Women in the United States earn just 77.5 cents for every dollar that a man makes? – Source
So, while women have definitely been making strides in the workplace, we have not yet reached an era where equality has, in fact, been reached. The glass ceiling still exists.
This is where HR departments have the means to make a significant difference. By taking a proactive stance and implementing the right strategies, they can close this gap and provide fair and equal opportunities.
Base Salaries on the Value of the Position
HR recruiters and managers need to base salaries on a person’s knowledge, experience, performance, and value within a company – not on their previous earnings. If salaries are calculated in accordance with previous earnings, then women will always be penalized on future salaries based on past pay inequities.
Consider Your Biases
Most employers understand the concept of unconscious bias, but they could still be ignorant of the fact that it could be happening within their organisation. The hard-cold truth, however, is that it exists everywhere. To eradicate biased decisions, one solution would be to circulate resumes that withhold gender-type information – this way, women cannot be discriminated against.
Look at Flexible Working Trends
Many companies are still clinging on to conventional 9-5 hours that make it difficult for female employees to progress their careers in the way they might like. This is because women are still left with the role of taking care of children and other family matters at home. If HR can encourage managers to implement flexible working hours which have been structured in accordance with performance instead of just routine, then women will have more of an opportunity to pursue and further their careers optimally.
Examine Maternity Policies
Organisations need to be creative in the way they handle maternity leave. These HR systems should allow managers to easily communicate with women while they are away and measures should also be put into place to ensure a successful return. For example, one company introduced a “baby app” that helps women who are on maternal or parental leave to keep up to date with what is happening at work.
Check the Data for Gender Prejudice
With the use of the correct software, HR is in the prime position to collect data and use it to put together a picture of what is really happening within an organisation. If it suggests that women aren’t getting the same access to career opportunities, training and development, and salaries as their male colleagues, then you can do further investigations into how you can close the gaps.