Gender bias and unequal pay continue to be significant issues in the workplace. Despite the strides that have been made toward gender equality in recent years, women still earn less than men in several industries and face significant barriers to advancement and sales leadershippositions.
According to data from the US Census Bureau, women earn just 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gap is even wider for women of colour, with Black women earning just 63 cents and Latina women earning just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. A report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows that women in Asia and the Pacific region earn 18% less than men on average. In India, women earn 19% less than men, according to a report by the International Labour Organization, while in Japan, women earn only 71% of what men earn, according to a report by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare.
This gender pay gap is not only unfair, but it also has serious economic consequences for women and their families. Women who earn less than men are more likely to have fewer opportunities for professional advancement and struggle to save for retirement.
“I was denied an annual increment at my job and when I protested, I was fired without a notice period to serve! My manager reasoned that for the same salary that I was earning and with the annual hike added, he could hire four interns. I was a senior sales professionalby day and was thrown down to the streets by the same night,” said a female sales executive from Nagaland.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Fortunately, there are steps that women can take to ensure equal pay and opportunities in the workplace. By being smart with their reimbursement, women can help level the playing field and create a more equitable workplace culture.
- Advocate for yourself
One of the most important steps that women can take is to advocate for themselves and negotiate their salary and benefits. Many women are hesitant to negotiate, but studies have proven otherwise. Women who negotiate their salary can earn significantly more income and incentives throughout their careers than those who don’t.
- Do your research
To negotiate effectively, it’s important to do your research and understand what you’re worth in the marketplace. You can use websites like Glassdoor and Payscale to research salaries for your job title and location, and use that information to negotiate a fair and equitable salary.
- State your accomplishments and USPs
It’s also important to be clear about your accomplishments and contributions to the company when negotiating. Make a list of your achievements and be prepared to talk about them in detail during your negotiation.
“In the corporate world, I learned to talk about how much you have worked. This is more important than working itself! It is almost like posting on Instagram — if you don’t post any birthday pictures, was it even your birthday? Similarly, if you work hard but don’t mention it to anyone, did you even work at all?” said a project manager from South India.
- Demand benefits and incentives
In addition to negotiating your salary, it’s important to pay attention to other forms of compensation, such as benefits and equity. Make sure that you’re receiving the same benefits and equity as your male colleagues, and advocate for changes if you’re not.
- Unconscious bias
Finally, it’s important to be aware of unconscious biases that may be affecting your compensation and opportunities for advancement. Unconscious bias are implicit attitudes or stereotypes that can influence decision-making without the concerned decision-maker or person being aware of them.
Work to identify and overcome these biases, and seek out mentors and allies who can help support you in your career. The perpetrator will often make mistakes and showcase their bias without intending to, so it makes complete sense to point it out and avoid it in the future.
How can women be smart about their reimbursements?
By being smart with your reimbursement and advocating for yourself, you can help ensure equal pay and opportunities for women in the workplace. With more women in sales leadership roles and a more inclusive workplace culture, we can create a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone.
To ensure smooth and equal compensation for their efforts, women need to consider many factors. You can try this simple technique to stay informed in any situation:
- Pay equity: Pay equity refers to ensuring that employees receive equal pay for equal work. This means that men and women who perform the same job should receive the same compensation.
- Performance-based pay: Performance-based pay should be tied to objective metrics, such as sales goals or customer satisfaction ratings, to ensure that all employees are evaluated fairly based on their performance.
- Benefits: Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, should be designed to be equitable for all employees, regardless of gender. Such benefits are crucial for women as they have to be caregivers for dependents in the family. Men are equally impacted but it is important to keep every sales professional’sconcerns in mind while making such decisions.
- Transparency: It’s important to be transparent about how compensation is determined so that employees understand how their pay and benefits are calculated. They can work accordingly to meet the requirements and expectations set by sales organizations to gain good recognition.
- Regular evaluation: Regular evaluation of compensation structures can help identify any disparities or areas for improvement. This will also communicate what works and what doesn’t so the team can change their strategy if it is not aligning with the company’s goals.
Even when evaluating your compensation structure, it’s important to consider the impact of unconscious biases on pay and benefits. For example, studies have shown that women are often offered lower starting salaries than men, even when they have the same qualifications and experience.
“I was offered a hybrid work model when I requested a paid holiday to care for my sick mother. However, I was expected to turn in the same amount of work despite working three hours less every day! I found it unfair and very hard to coordinate with the team and meet deadlines. This issue primarily happened because my manager thought women are caregivers of the family. He didn’t find any change in my schedule as I care for my family every day,” said a junior creative editor at an agency in Bangalore, India.
To avoid these biases, it’s important to use objective criteria and a conscious mindset when evaluating performance and determining compensation. This can include using standardized performance metrics, using AI or digital tools to assess recruitment tests, setting clear criteria for promotions and pay raises, and regularly reviewing compensation to ensure that it is fair and equitable for all employees.
By evaluating your compensation structure and taking steps to ensure that it is fair and equitable for all employees, regardless of gender, you can help create a more inclusive workplace culture. This will help sales organizations attract and retain talented employees from diverse backgrounds, especially women. You can also reach out to us about building your personal brand and paving the way for being treated equally in your organisation.