There have always been canny employers who understand women are an undervalued talent, and subsequently value for money. Alan Greenspan, an American economist, in the 1980s employed mostly female senior staff, and stated:
“I always valued men and women equally, and I found that because others did not, good women economists were cheaper than men. Hiring women does two things: It gives us better-quality work for less money, and it raises the market value of women.’’
As Tuesday 8th April saw the 19th Equal Pay Day. This public awareness event was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE). Tuesday is symbolic of how far into the week a women must work in order to earn the same as her male colleague earned the previous week. It is disappointing that this is still the case today. The intransigent gender pay gap is still an issue and the fact that, in general, women’s pay is lower, does mean they’re a better deal for employers.
It is an unfortunate truism that women will often work for less money than men. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is a huge injustice that women are still earning on average almost £5,000 a year less than men. This pay gap can add up to hundreds of thousands over the course of a woman’s career”.
The debate around gender diversity is not new but what is new, is the shift in impetus from discussion about the fairness and equality, to the fact that employing women can led to improved performance for organisations.
Numerous studies show that companies can increase profitability from improving the balance of women in their workforce, particularly at the senior levels. Papers such as “Innovation By Design: The Case for Investing in Women” summarise that companies would see advantages to employing women across the board and adopting diverse team dynamics. Advantages such as enhancing organisational performance and the companies reputation; increased innovation and new opportunities to capitalise on exceptional talent.
Taking all this into account, it is true, hiring women can boost the bottom line — they’re cheaper, but more importantly, they will make you money!