Employers Should Not Have to Pay for Pay Equity

…but they can certainly play a key role in closing the gender-based wage gap.

Recent trends [1] suggest the wage gap has not been closing as predicted. These reports also imply that the gulf in wage gaps continue to exist as a function of stronger societal influences that perpetuate gender-related work stereotypes long before male and female become employees.

Employers, as it happens, are just places where labour is transacted. Put another way, our social institutions and cultural norms perpetuate differences in work value across gender lines but employers are left to foot the bill.

The current Pay Equity ethos of punishment for non-compliance is unfair against these new revelations. It also reflects siloed policy thinking by exclusively holding employers to financial account for wage gap differences.

So, how can we close the gap sooner and right a societal wrong at the same time?

Here’s a suggestion:

Convert Pay Equity adjustments into a corporate tax credit.

Policy Precedent?
Carbon Tax Credit

  • It’s a core policy for reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels which adversely impact climate. So, it’s a policy for addressing an environmental wrong so to speak.

Pay Equity Tax credit

  • A core policy for addressing an entrenched social wrong.

 
Funding Precedent?

  • Tax $$ already used to achieve and maintain PE across non-profit and municipal sectors.

 
WIIFM? win/win/win
Incumbents of female-dominated job class

  • potential for wage adjustment

Government

  • use alternative cross-sector partnership model to enact Social Good policies at a faster pace

Employer

  • tax credit [$] and stronger business/society connection [non-$]


[1] https://www.thesudburystar.com/news/national/motherhood-social-norms-behind-gender-wage-gap-in-canada-finance-canada-docs

 

Written by Dave Nanderam, Ph.D., President of TapestryBuilder