Why and How Telecommuting Is Helping to Reduce the Gender Pay Gap

It is an alarming statistic that, if current trends persist, gender wage parity will not be achieved until the year 2152. This means that it will take several generations before our great-great-great-grandchildren are adults before this issue is resolved. This issue is gaining increased attention in the media, in our social circles, and even in the sketch comedy community, which is a positive step in the right direction.

Despite the considerable attention given to the issue of gender wage disparity, there is still one aspect which has yet to be thoroughly examined. It is essential to identify a viable course of action in order to address this issue. Unfortunately, the gender pay gap remains at an alarming average of 20%, as neither governments nor corporate leaders have been able to implement any concrete strategies to reduce it.

It may not be immediately apparent what the solution to the wage gap between genders is, however that doesn’t mean that one does not exist. Some economists have theorised that job opportunities with flexible scheduling and remote access may be helping to reduce the wage difference in certain areas. Working from home can be seen to provide a more equitable environment, allowing for the potential for fairer wages for both genders.

The Solution to Gender Pay Gaps Is Remote Work

Over the course of the last ten years, numerous research studies have demonstrated that organisations which offer more flexibility in the workplace tend to exhibit a reduced gender wage gap.

The Information Technology (IT) industry is a prime illustration of this issue. Compared to the average gender pay gap of 76 cents per dollar earned by men in other industries, the IT sector has one of the smallest disparities in pay between genders, with women earning 96-98 cents for each dollar their male counterparts earn.

Equal pay is a major issue for many businesses, particularly those operating in sectors such as healthcare and media, where work arrangements tend to be more flexible. On the other hand, some of the greatest disparities in wages between men and women can be observed in industries that require significant interpersonal contact, such as agriculture, mining, and the food service industry.

The Eradication of Sexist Attitudes

The proliferation of digital communication has had a democratising effect, allowing individuals who may not be comfortable engaging in face-to-face conversations to do so on equal terms with their peers. This shift has enabled a reduction in behaviour bias among remote workers, and by extension, between the sexes. Consequently, it has gone some way in levelling the playing field.

Engaging Additional Sectors

The clear correlation between remote work and pay equality for women is highly beneficial, however, it is not necessarily a universally accepted idea. This is particularly true in the business world, where productivity is still judged predominantly on presence rather than achievements.

Whilst it may be commonplace to work long hours in this sector, this can lead to a phenomenon identified by social scientists as ‘flexibility stigma’, where employees are reprimanded (or fear they will be reprimanded) for utilising their legal rights to work remotely.

It is evident that there is an urgent requirement for a change in attitude. Specialists concur that it is up to senior management to initiate this shift by incorporating remote working as an essential element of their business ethos, rather than simply offering it as a benefit for employees. It is therefore incumbent upon managers to alter the perspective of their organisation towards remote working.

As managers, it is important to recognise the benefits of allowing more remote working, as this is an important step towards closing the gender pay gap. Not only will you be contributing to a noble cause, but you will also be increasing the chances of recruiting and retaining the highest calibre of female talent in this field. Ultimately, allowing more remote working could prove to be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

If you are looking to hire for a job vacancy, please complete our contact form with the relevant details and we will be in touch with suitable candidates from the diverse pool of applicants that are part of Works. This way, you can start doing your part to bridge the gender pay gap through remote work without any delay.

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