Is HR doing enough to address gender inequality?
The primary purpose of the paper is to address the issue related to gender gap which occurs in the form of imbalance pay scale between male and female. The inequality theory defines the cause of inequality through depicted that conscious or unconscious stereotype about women and over-presented in the job life are the reason for less pay. As per the theory of diversity, the lack of awareness strategy of HR does not support the women empowerment. In regards to such issue, the recommended practical solution would be the develop awareness campaign, encourage participation in decision making and review the company policies so that identify the area which not contribute towards the promotion of equality.
The main aim of this report is to discuss the gender gap in the workplace of Australian companies (Hilton, 2017). However, the gender gap reflects the imbalance in pay structure. The report of workplace gender equality (WGEA) reported that the more employers are taking a relevant action for the growing problem related to pay gaps and gender imbalances that exist in the economy.
The pay gaps create the biases among the business environment and it influences the people attitude towards the work while gender imbalances are the example to explain the pay gap. It is identified that gender inequality exists in all field whether it is the hotel, retail, airlines and scientist sector. The pay of women is always less than the men even if she posses certain skills and qualities which another individual does have.
Moreover, the unequal pay is also undertaken in case of culture diversity also where people come from different religion, customs etc (Shields et al., 2011). These problem needs to be addressed rapidly by the HR managers of the different sector. In addition to this, the paper indicates the problem of the case and discuss with relevant theories. Furthermore, the practical solution will be offered to reduce its negative impact. The Secondary data methodology i.e. Journal Article is used to gather the relevant facts by the researcher.
The problem is the gender gap and imbalance pay structure in today’s scenario. This problem is growing commonly in each and every sector. The problem related to gender inequality defines a variety form of cultures, practices, and attitudes that promote the favoritism or biases at the workplace. The inequality among the gender is also determined in a way to distribute the power among the individuals. For instance, there is a situation where the manager has to decide that from men or women who are to give promotion as both possess similar skills, knowledge, and experiences about the job. In that, HR manager most probably selects the men for the promotion and it is a reality of today’s workplace in the economy (Connell, 2010). The reason behind could be that people perceive that women can’t manage both the personal and professional lives at a time. That’s why manager perceives that women have many responsibilities regarding manage the house and balances the professional life so in that case it becomes quite difficult for them to concentrates or gives full attention to particular work. Due to this perception, the top management of company decides to give more opportunities to male’s staff as compared to females once. The article also presents the perception of gender inequality with the help of Peoplebank example. Peoplebank focuses more on the training activities to reduce the gender gap. The aim of training is to choose the subtle of job and words so that potential applicant response can be shaped. But due to using masculine words or language like competitive and dynamic, the women feel that this job is meant for the male’s one and make them feel that this culture is not suited well for the feministic. This practice clearly stated that unconscious bias tends to become the reason for gender inequality. Furthermore, Bobbitt-Zeher (2011), estimated that the biases or favors are more in the large business entity in comparison to the small organization as a small business has a simple sized hierarchy and less number of strength. This reduces the chances of biases. Therefore, it can be stated that inequality starts from the perception of women and unconscious biases.
In the views of Ridgeway (2014), there are numerous reasons that give rise to the inequality at the workplace. The main one is the less promotion and low compensation to female for the same work. This practice discourages the women’s in terms to explore the new opportunities. It directly affects the economic growth because women contribute more to the economy in the form of household business and many activities. So, less opportunity pulls down the women efficiency and it does not support the economy to grow more. In support of this, Isaksen (2010) depicted that the more women enter into the business field, the more pay goes down. This is because of high demands of job depresses the wages in an occupation. It is true that when there is high demand for jobs then company knows that many females is there which could perform the same task at low pay scale. This case also applies to the male once. That’s why manager prefers to pay more to male for same work compared to women’s.
In the research of Labelle et al. (2010), it is identified that conscious and unconscious stereotypes drive give rise to pay disparities. It is true when it comes to identical resumes with the names like John and Jennifer for the same profile. In that case, the stereotype regarding women and men allows to deciding that what pay scale has to be given. The monetary value of both the gender has a variation. Thus, this situation clearly and properly indicates the effects of inequality and discrimination in the form of low pays and less opportunity.
This section analyzes the stated problem from the different model, theories point of view. Basically, analyze the problem with relevant theories. Likewise, diversity management is the best-suited concept in regards to analysing the problem of inequality. This concept promotes the managing the diverse people based on differ culture background, gender and class etc. to manage and deal with each individual group is the main aim of diversity management. In regards to this theory, Shore et al. (2011) described the equal opportunity for women in the workplace amendment bill 2012 which states that men allow working more flexibly with the promotion of gender equality and equal pay at the workplace. At the same time, the diversity management also includes the act such as equal opportunity for women in the workplace agency. In this act, the federal body asks to the companies for connection with the government programs with the purpose of increasing the participation of women in the workplace. Through such acts, the workplace gender equality agency can reduce the problem. This agency helps the organization to boost the morale of women and allows the females to get the equal right at the workplace.
In support of this act, the diversity management model defines different aspects which need to consider for addressing the diversity. Based on this model, Crook et al. (2011) stated that there is need to set the organization objective in such a way that defines the opportunity for all the individuals. At the same time, the strategic initiatives, managerial and operational initiatives tend to the important for managing the diversity. On the basis of this model, it is analyzed that currently, HR manager develops the strategies by underlining the profits without bothering of inequality. There is nowhere the awareness about the female right has been mentioned in the company strategy (Moser, 2012). At the same time, no special policy meant for the females. Even, there is no special training and growth programme conduct for female. Similarly, the human capital theory also reveals that the gender gap arises due to imbalance skills, experiences. It means that the pay scale of male and female prepares based on their skills, knowledge, and experience. As per this theory, the female is receiving underpay because of fewer skills and knowledge. But this theory fails at the time when both the gender possess same skills and experiences as the company decides to pay more to make one. The cause could be the conscious and unconscious stereotypes that drive the people perception.
Furthermore, the inequality theory indicates that the people perception and low female empowerment are the reason of increasing inequality in society. People established ideas and viewpoint consist of developing the perception (Scutari et al., 2010). The theory proves important for this context because it gives detail understanding about the causes that give rise to the inequality and gender gap. This theory is quite relevant to address the problem of the gender gap. Hence, these different acts, theory stated the different viewpoint on the gender gap and ways to manage such gap.
The practical solution is recommended to HR of every sector in regards to dealing with the inequality on the basis of the pay scale. The modernization theory is suited well for the manager to addressing the gender gap problem. As per this theory, the business needs to distribute the resources equal to both the gender through eliminating the traditional practices. At the same time, the responsibility with authority should be allocating equal so that both can carry out the work properly (Antonczyk et al., 2010). Thus, this model allows the company to cross the transformational stage to accept modern practices.
Furthermore, HR manager can adopt the performances based compensation strategy as it secures the interest of both genders. It means that company should decide the pay structure as per the risk, nature of the job and the individual final outcome. On this basis, the employees also satisfy as they receive the pay as per their performances. Other than that, there are various ways that contribute towards the reducing the inequality and gender pay gap at the workplace in Australia.
Develop the awareness campaign: HR manager needs to focus on the awareness campaign by developing certain activities which promote the women empowerment. This is because women uplift is the high requirement for changing the stereotype of women in society.
Participatory of Decision-Making: This strategy helps to increase the participation of women in the work (Shinnar et al., 2012). For this, there is need to conduct the meeting in which women’s need to be invited for sharing their ideas and allows to them to become a part of decision making.
Review of legislative frameworks that foster inequality: This strategy assists the HR manager to determine the discriminatory laws which support the inequality in the workplace. Thus, in this manner, the manager can foster the equality in the work environment.
Conduct of Training: HR manager should organize the formal training for the female so that they can able to make a balance between their professional and personal lives. This is because women are generally facing the problem in coordinate between personal and professional work. The WLB (work-life balance) can be established through leave arrangement, provide more flexibility and sufficient resources to carry out the work (Blau & Kahn, 2017).
Therefore, these above recommended practical solution will help the HR manager to eliminate the growing the gender gap and inequality at the workplace.
From the above discussion, it is concluded that gender gap is the crucial concern for the society due to extensively growing in the workplace. However, different theories such as diversity theory stated that the inappropriate strategy of the company towards empowering of women does not change the mind set of people. This couldn’t eliminate the inequality at the workplace. Moreover, the inequality theory depicts that the conscious or unconscious stereotype and lack of awareness are the reason for pay gap in the enterprise. In regards to such problem, there is certain practical solution is recommended. These are the developing awareness campaign in order to empower the women. Similarly, the training session can also help the women to make balance in professional and personal lives which encourage the female to pay full attention to work. The revising of company policy also helps to identify the area which promotes the inequality and it can be addressed immediately. Hence, the application of solution allows the HR manager to quickly reduce the gender gap.
Antonczyk, D., Fitzenberger, B., & Sommerfeld, K. (2010). Rising wage inequality, the decline of collective bargaining, and the gender wage gap. Labour Economics, 17(5), 835-847.
Blau, F. D., & Kahn, L. M. (2017). The gender wage gap: Extent, trends, and explanations. Journal of Economic Literature, 55(3), 789-865.
Bobbitt-Zeher, D. (2011). Gender discrimination at work: Connecting gender stereotypes, institutional policies, and gender composition of workplace. Gender & Society, 25(6), 764-786.
Connell, C. (2010). Doing, undoing, or redoing gender? Learning from the workplace experiences of transpeople. Gender & Society, 24(1), 31-55.
Crook, T. R., Todd, S. Y., Combs, J. G., Woehr, D. J., & Ketchen Jr, D. J. (2011). Does human capital matter? A meta-analysis of the relationship between human capital and firm performance. Journal of applied psychology, 96(3), 443.
Hilton, J (2017). Is HR doing enough to address gender inequality? Retrieved from: https://www.hcamag.com/hr-business-review/leadership-development/is-hr-doing-enough-to-address-gender-inequality-244874.aspx.
Isaksen, L. W. (Ed.). (2010). Global care work: Gender and migration in Nordic societies. Nordic Academic Press.
Labelle, R., Gargouri, R. M., & Francoeur, C. (2010). Ethics, diversity management, and financial reporting quality. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2), 335-353.
Moser, C. (2012). Gender planning and development: Theory, practice and training. USA: Routledge.
Ridgeway, C. L. (2014). Why status matters for inequality. American Sociological Review, 79(1), 1-16.
Scutari, G., Palomar, D. P., Facchinei, F., & Pang, J. S. (2010). Convex optimization, game theory, and variational inequality theory. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 27(3), 35-49.
Shields, S. A., Zawadzki, M. J., & Johnson, R. N. (2011). The impact of the Workshop Activity for Gender Equity Simulation in the Academy (WAGES–Academic) in demonstrating cumulative effects of gender bias. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 4(2), 120.
Shinnar, R. S., Giacomin, O., & Janssen, F. (2012). Entrepreneurial perceptions and intentions: The role of gender and culture. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 36(3), 465-493.
Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Holcombe Ehrhart, K., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262-1289.