by Swati Tiwari
International equal pay day was celebrated for the first time in history by the United Nations on18th September’20. Statistically, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 77 cents for the same work.“Equal work= equal pay” is a slogan to end the gender discrimination at work place, which exists in all fields of work except for 5 occupations – retail (excluding Farm products), caregivers, maids, teaching, office patrols. Under-representation of women in decision-making roles, senior roles and discrimination while hiring and maternity care leaves and no consideration to her work-life balance makes “work” for women a challenge than empowerment.
It’s a constant struggle to carry that baggage of guilt to choose family over work or vice versa and the repercussions are glaring as women tend to take a break from work after their firstborn as the policies at work do not help navigate her personal professional life with balance.
Subconsciously, women take the stale deal often playing the roles of secondary bread winners while hustling kids, career, aspirations and family.
A woman resuming new employment post her “firstborn” maternal break is paid at least 4% lower than her previous slab and women with children get paid around 4% less than their single counterparts.
The global Gender PAY GAP stands at 23% currently and varies with the region. With the Asian, African gender pay gap at 31-35%!* In Australia the gender pay gap is currently at 14%. At this rate it will take a neat 257 years to get women at a level playing field with men when it comes to economic equality. So with an aim to initiate a conversation, conscious change in the mindset of businesses, employers, management’s and most importantly working women and women who put in hours of unpaid work hassling the fine line between opportunities, transition and making a mark at the work place.
The fine print for this will have to be laid out at the inception of a job opportunity where women oriented jobs are paid less, tackling discrimination with pay equity, having transparency in hiring policies and men advocating this change.
Hence, cheers to “international equal pay day” . Hope this initiative and dialogue by UN can make a marked difference in the lives of women, who when offered a level playing economic field can boost the global GDP and how!!