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While HR might be a female skewed industry, a gender pay gap still exists between male and female employees with males being paid on average $10,000 more.
This was according to findings from a new survey by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) where 53% of HR professionals and members of the HRINZ felt pay gaps exists between male and female employees doing the same work, worth 10% on average or $10,000.
Polling almost 3,000 HR professionals, it found that 43% of respondents felt that males with the profession are paid more than females doing the same job.
Additionally, 83% of respondents thought that there are fewer females in the higher end jobs despite 84% reporting that the profession was over represented with females.
Digging deeper, the survey looked into who sets the salaries for employees in tier 2 and 3 jobs.
Three in 10 respondents stated that salaries were set in a working collaboration between HR and the CEO, 29% stated that it was a CEO responsibility, 25% used industry reporting guides or metrics and 21% claimed this was a function of the HR department.
“These findings indicate that while there maybe less women in senior positions such as chief executive and general manager roles they have a significant influence of the salaries of new employees which could be affecting the earning opportunities for women in the workforce,” the survey wrote.
Chris Till, chief executive of the Human Resources Institute, said: “Removing prejudice and unconscious bias that HR is somehow ‘women’s’ work and should be treated as such is a start, but ensuring that a job held by any person, regardless of their gender, culture, religion, gender identity and other dimensions should be paid on an equal pay for equal work basis is essential in any fair society.”
In the backdrop of the ongoing Rio Olympics 2016, Raina Brands, assistant professor of organisational behaviour, at London Business School added the gender pay gap spills from the workplace to the sports field as well.
She says: “A lot of the old arguments that were used to justify the gender pay gap in the workplace are still accepted in the sports arena. Things like, ‘Women just don’t play at the same elite level as men – there’s more skill to the men’s game.’”
“Men draw bigger crowds, therefore they’re worth more to us, so they get paid more – but then, men’s sports are given more coverage, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we don’t cover women’s sports, they don’t become as popular and we can justify paying the competitors less.”
“Men are valued for traits like competence and leadership, while women are valued for youth and beauty, she pointed out. Women who fall short of attractiveness standards are very heavily penalised.
“The Williams sisters are criticised for being too masculine, too muscular – which is absurd, because they’re crafting their bodies to be champion tennis players. The men’s rippling muscles aren’t mentioned. Women are subjected to beauty penalties in all walks of life but in sport these are talked about as if they were legitimate criticisms.”