Today is International Women's Day, a celebration of the struggle for women's rights that has been with us in one form or another since 1909. Nowadays, the U.N. designates themes for International Women's Day, such as "Women Uniting for Peace" (2000) and "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All" (2010). Today's theme is "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality." The UN's agenda specifies goals including ensuring access to free, quality primary and secondary education, and ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. It's a tall order, and one that will take concerted effort by the international community to achieve. But, there is something you can do right now to help reach the goal of equality by 2030: help end the gender pay gap in your workplace and home.
Last July, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to force companies to reveal how much male and female employees are paid, as well as how many men and women occupy roles at various levels of the organization. Currently, the initiative will only apply to businesses with 250 workers or more, but regardless, this is a huge step forward in the fight for equal pay. Here are just a few of the likely benefits that will be a result of this new data collection.
The largest gender pay gap, according to PayScale's latest report, is between married women with children and married men with children. This is true whether you look at uncontrolled data, or controlled data that accounts for job type, education, management responsibilities, and location, and so on. It's that controlled data that tells the real story. Generally, when we talk about why women earn less than men, we attribute the discrepancy, at least in part, to the idea that women are more likely to prioritize family over work. But, respondents to PayScale's survey, which forms the basis for the report, told us a very different story.