This afternoon, Glassdoor hosted a roundtable event on pay equality with our CEO Robert Hohman and Hillary Clinton to explore gender pay gap causes and solutions. The group of leaders and experts – which also included Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, executive director, The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University – participated in a frank discussion about the reality of the gender pay gap and explored contributing causes and a range of solutions.
Here are five key points that Hillary Clinton made at the event:
- Failure to ensure equal pay for women impacts families and the wider economy
Clinton said: “We’re here to talk about this pay gap that costs women and their families – and our economy – so much money every single year. And I emphasize the three aspects of this because what I have found as I’ve gone around the country is that it’s important to make the point that the failure to ensure equal pay for women also impacts families and the broader economy.” A study by Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain found that there is a significant difference between what men and women earn: Based on more than 22,468 salaries shared by full-time UK employees on Glassdoor, men earn about 23 percent higher base pay than women on average. In other words, on average, women earn about 77p for every pound men earn.
Clinton also made the point that “there are no discounts for being a woman, so why should we be paid less?”
- We need to do more support working parents. We should be supporting paid family leave.
Secretary Clinton highlighted that California in particular is making very positive progress in terms of introducing new rights for parents. In the UK, mothers actually have quite generous maternity leave and shared parental leave is mandated by law.
However, Dr Chamberlain’s report on the Gender Pay Gap also pointed out that occupational sorting is the biggest cause of the gap. Why do men and women tend to work in different jobs and industries in the economy? Past research suggests it’s due largely to social pressures that divert men and women into different college majors and career tracks early in life, and gender norms such as women bearing disproportionate responsibility for child and elderly care that pressure women into lower paying but more flexible jobs.
- The problem is that there is not enough transparency and we don’t know exactly what they pay gaps are in the private sector.
For its part, The UK Government has pledged to:
- force larger employers to publish information about their bonuses for men and women as part of their gender pay gap reporting
- extend plans for gender pay gap reporting beyond private and voluntary sector employers to include the public sector
- work with business to have 33 per cent of women on boards by 2020 and eliminate all-male boards in the FTSE 350
A Glassdoor survey showed that 66% of employees in the UK would not work for a company where a pay gap exists, and employers need to take note of this strong feeling amongst employees when they consider how they calculate and report their wage gaps.
- It is helpful that data can now be collected and analysed.
As well as organisations like Glassdoor promoting the virtues of transparency in the workplace, encouraging employees to share their pay and analysing salary data, Clinton highlighted that there is a far greater recognition of pay by people you see in the public eye. The attention that is being brought to the debate over the gender pay gap is helping to make progress towards closing the gap.
Clinton said: “I think we are broadening the conversation, and we have so much more data and there are a lot of well-known voices that are now saying that we’ve made some progress, but nowhere near as much as we need.”
“It’s not a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity. “
- Women want that affirmation that they are not crazy.
Clinton said: “People need to hear this conversation, because most of the time they don’t know what’s wrong. For a lot of young women, this is a revelation. And it is something that they feel is so wrong. For women who have been struggling in the workplace for this with many years, it’s like ‘when are we going to get over this’.”
Clinton added that she hoped to create more of a sense of solidarity with other workers so women don’t believe that “it’s only them”.