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Why Your Employer Should Care About Gender Pay Equity

Topics: Data & Research
pay equity
Image Credit: diane555/Getty Images

One of the more heartening findings in PayScale’s recent report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, is that both women and men say they’re more likely to leave their job when their employer doesn’t prioritize pay equity. Bottom line: when companies don’t care about closing the gender pay gap, employees leave. For this reason, it’s obviously in your boss’s — and your employer’s — best interests to pay attention.

When Employers Don’t Address Gender Issues, Workers Plan to Leave

For PayScale’s latest report, workers were asked to rate their employer’s activity in addressing gender inequity in the workplace, with 1 equaling “no action is taken” and 5 equaling “my employer is proactively addressing the issue.”

Workers who choose 1 (“no action is taken”) were most likely to say that they planned to take a new job in the next six months. In fact, men were more likely than women to say that they were looking for a new job, 73.5 percent of men vs. 70.6 percent of women.


When employers proactively addressed issues of inequity, both men and women reported themselves less likely to look for new jobs in the near future. Again, men were more likely than women to say they were looking for work, at 46.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent of women.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Addressing Gender Inequity Improves Employee Satisfaction

Both men and women were more likely to report themselves as satisfied at work when their employer proactively addressed gender inequity. Sixty-eight percent of women and 65 percent of men who said their employers were proactively addressing gender inequity strongly agreed to the statement, “I am extremely satisfied working for my employer.” Only 25 percent of men and 26 percent of women said the same when they felt their employer was taking no action at all.

The best news for employers is that making a good faith effort to address inequity appears to make a positive impression on workers, even when things aren’t perfect just yet. Men and women who said their workplace had no gender inequity issues were also likely to report themselves as being extremely satisfied (54 percent of men; 56 percent of women) — but less so than those who worked for companies that had gender inequity and tried to address it.

So, the big takeaway for your employer is that trying to improve gender inequity in terms of pay and promotions will yield big dividends in terms of your loyalty and engagement. They don’t need to be perfect; they just need to commit to making progress.

Tell Us What You Think

Does your employer address gender inequity at your company — and does their approach affect your engagement at work? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.



Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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