A report by International Labour Organization (ILO), ‘gender pay gaps represents one of today’s greatest social injustices.’ Gender pay gap is a global issue with men getting paid more than women, for equal amount of work. The gap is a widely used indicator of gender inequality in the world of work and is frequently used to monitor progress towards gender equality at the national or international level.
ANZ Bank’s #EqualFuture Campaign
With an aim to draw attention to the issue, Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ Bank) launched a social case study that brought about a hard-hitting reality in the most touching way. As part of the project, it asked children – both male and female, of several families to complete a few house chores. At the end of this, the sons were paid more than daughters. The reactions that these children (both – male and female) gave for this inequality is a major eye-opener.
Gender Pay Gap in India
According to the Gender Gap Index in 2020, India ranks 117th in wage equality for similar work. The wide gap not only highlights the difference in salaries of males and females for similar work but also sheds light to the underlying reasons behind such discrimination.
The women in India are subjected to social and structural oppression. They have to deal with a set of complex issues ranging from less access to education to the social stigma surrounding work after marriage/childbirth. According to the Monster Salary Index in 2019, around 46% of women believe that there is a perception that they will quit after maternity leave. There is also a general stereotype of women not performing well in leadership positions, possibly due to their commitments to their family or household, which leads to a fall in the number of women who get the opportunity to undertake such roles.
A survey by Monster.com reported that nearly 60% of working women in India face discrimination at work and over one-third women believe that they are not easily considered for top management roles. Out of the women who were surveyed, nearly 86% of women consider safety as a factor while choosing a job and nearly 50% of them find the night shift unsafe and unpreferable. These problematic factors lead to a fall in the number of women that join the workforce in every sector and consequentially widen the gender wage gap between men and women.
Bridging the Gender Pay Gap
It is very important to bridge the gender pay-gap for inclusive socio-economic growth and development of the country. In order to achieve this, both the government as well as the corporates must introduce reforms in form of education for women, equal opportunities, compulsory paternity leave, etc. While the government jobs have a certain level of equality in pay irrespective of the gender, the private sector needs to catch up on it.
Women represent 50 per cent of the global population. Without their upliftment, it is not possible to achieve effective growth-rate in the country. For this, more than any economic or policy reforms, there is a need to bring about a behavioural change in the society. The ANZ campaign is an attempt to address this.