Every April, America celebrates Equal Pay Day. This is the day when, symbolically, women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings for the previous year. As of 2019, a Glassdoor report found that women are still earning just 79 cents for every dollar that men make, but the pay gap is not the only discriminatory practice women face. They also suffer from receiving fewer promotions, less support, and implicit bias. While there is no doubt that this is obviously exacerbating to women, the question is, what does it mean to business? Aside from just keeping women happy, why is women’s equality important in the workplace? Here are three solid motivations for businesses to close the pay gap and help women shatter the glass ceiling.
Tired of dealing with a never-ending series of closed doors, women are walking away from the traditional workforce entirely and starting their own businesses – at a rate of 1,800 a day. Dubbed “necessity entrepreneurship” by the National Women’s Business Council, women are building a new working class ecosystem that is a radical departure from that created predominantly by men.
Growing women’s markets
Since the turn of the century, the women’s activewear market has grown by leaps and bounds into a $119,078 million a year enterprise. That figure is also estimated to nearly double by 2025. In spite of that, however, one of the biggest names in athletic apparel inexplicably struggled to gain a foothold in this burgeoning market. That is until early 2018 when an informal internal survey revealed the insufferable conditions female executives at Nike were being exposed to. Just because women may earn less than their male counterparts doesn’t mean they don’t wield tremendous spending power. If you want to gain a foothold in female markets, you might want to listen to what they have to say.
Better for men
Traditionally, men have been responsible for bringing in income while women stayed home to raise children. This puts tremendous pressure on men to be the sole provider for their family. In addition, if trading roles and sending a woman into the workplace results in a significant decrease in income, women have to work harder or put in more hours to keep the same standard of living. If women and men are paid the same, it creates more opportunities for couples to trade off and do what is best for themselves and their families.