Gender equality in the workplace is a topic much discussed today: politically, socially, economically and demographically. Women everywhere wonder “what’s it going to take?” to be paid on par with men for doing the same work. Visier’s new Viser Insights™ Report: Gender Equity gives some new insight into the demographic and economic side of this situation. It’s great data and will give you some new avenues to pursue as you lead your organization to more equitable compensation outcomes.
The analysis started with a subset of Visier’s database of anonymized, stardardized workforce data, representing over a million active employees. The subset included:
- 165,000 U.S.-based employees
- 31 Blue Chip companies
- 11 of which are Fortune 1000
The organizations included are from a range of industries, such as Energy, Financial Services/Insurance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Technology with employees ranging from less than 999 to 50,000 employees.
The key findings broaden the context from a purely social context and include the following:
There is an increase in voluntary turnover and a pronounced dip in the percentage of women in the workforce between the ages of 25 and 40 (from 43% to 39%), the same age range in which women commonly have childre
The gender wage gap widens at age 32, starting with women earning 90% of the wages of men, and decreasing to women earning 82% of the wages of men by age 40
Women are underrepresented in manager positions from age 32 onwards – the same age at which the wage gap between men and women broadens
Manager wages are, on average, 2 times that of non-manager wages
Having the same representation of women in manager positions as men would reduce the gender wage gap to 10% across all age groups – an improvement most notable for the age 32 and older population
The graphs lay out this argument beautifully and are easily understood. For example,
What the analysis shows is that the gap in promotions/hiring to manager-level positions starts to widen at around age 32 between women and men. And this is exactly when women start leaving the workforce to focus on family and children. Makes total sense. This is what Visier has dubbed the Manager Divide. And, according to Viser’s data, the Manager Divide is a primary driver of wage inequality.
Removing the Manager Divide would reduce the gender wage gap by just over one third for workers over age 32
Removing both the Manager Divide and removing gender pay disparity in manager positions would cut the gender wage gap by one half for employees over age 32
The report continues by discussing the reality that even if organizations paid men and women equally for like positions, but had a lack of gender equity in filling manager positions, gender pay equity would not be reached in the aggregate. What follows is a convincing discussion about the childcare years that starts with this data point:
“Between the ages of 25 and 40 there is a notable and steady decline in the percent of women in the workforce. At the same time, the percent of women (out of the total workforce) in manager positions declines steeply.”
I encourage you download this report and get a broader understanding of the key factors impacting the wage gap. I think Visier is on to something important through the analysis of the data. The Manager Divide is real. It’s not just about women leaving the workforce to care for children. It’s most certainly also about gender equity in managerial promotion opportunities.