It is unfortunate to see, how at times like these, when men and women are considered equals, partiality on the basis of gender is still intact in some areas, and job opportunities is just one of them. Women are not only restricted to certain jobs, particular working hours, but also to lower salary packages, which has stirred huge debates and discussions among various social and political associations around the world.
According to the European report, which was released by Belgian Presidency, in 2010 Annual Conference, the average hourly pay gap in the salaries of men and women is 18%, while 24% on an annual basis. This study was done on European Nations, but replicates the world scenario. At the end the difference in the range comes out to be 6 to 34%, which is quite noticeable.
Inspite of the same qualifications, same caliber and equal contribution from the female employees, this difference in salary is a huge bone of contention among female activists and workers. Some reasons why this differentiation is there in the corporate sector is due to some pre conceived notions, that female employees have responsibility of household as well, and hence they are not able to devote as much importance and time to office work as male employees do. Their family responsibilities take half of their professional times. Though, this belief can be easily challenged by a glimpse into any Multi National Company. Plus an additional responsibility of the safety of female employees worry a lot of sectors, those involve late night shifts.
Even after a lot of potential and desire to prove their mettle, the female employees get less work opportunities than their male counterparts, and the orthodox notions about their dual role as a homemaker and an office employee has a bad effect on their wages. They, especially get very less opportunities in the industries associated with outdoor trips and long tours, thereby limiting their prospects. So if a male Marketing Manager earns 5 Lakhs a year ( INR), a female working at the same profile would not get the similar pay, on the grounds that she would not be able to do double shifts or outdoor meetings in case of dire emergency.
This may not be a huge problem for the male dominating corporate sector, but the female employees are deeply concerned with the issue, as it affects their work dedication and their merit. And that’s why many associations, international and national, have been protesting against it, in order to deconstruct the myths regarding female employees. This could be achieved by spreading awareness among female employees about their rights of equality on a social, political and professional front. The European Commission comes out with its annual conferences, talks and propagandas to help women uplift their professional position. Similar methods should be adopted by Asian countries as well, and more and more work opportunities should be presented to females, without any prejudices regarding their physical, mental or social conditions. Merit should be the only point of consideration, when it comes to education, profession and remunerations.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC),UK, a national trade union centre, representing majority of trade unions in the world, has come up with a few documentaries and films, where women are encouraged to fight for equal pay. This is one interesting way of generating awareness regarding this issue, making the female workers aware of their positions, their worth and efforts to be taken.
Due to these few measures, we can now see some women employees working at top positions in Multi National Companies and top brands, but the real goal is still farther from achieved. With seriousness in this issue and with complete unity among female employees, this problem can be overcome with time.