Shainaz Firfiray, an Associate Professor of Organisation & HRM at Warwick Business School, has made the following statement...

"The new rules that require employers to publish median gender pay gap figures may be a first step towards addressing gender-related biases and could help in avoiding any systematic pay differences based on gender.

"However, there is widespread recognition uncovering gender-based discrimination continues to pose a huge challenge to organisations.

"While interrupted work histories and differing work patterns may partly explain the gender pay gap, gender discrimination, unconscious biases against women and undervaluation of women’s work are the main reasons women are paid less than males for comparable work.

"The undervaluation of women’s work and social norms that reinforce perceptions about female economic dependence are some of the common biases faced by women while negotiating their salaries.

"Generally, employers assume that women will be less committed to their jobs and less suitable for career advancement than their male counterparts with similar qualifications and professional experience. In many labour markets, women face heavy career penalties for intermittent work experience and flexible career trajectories.

"The human capital perspective suggests the gender pay gap exists because women are less likely than men to be continuously employed and are often drawn towards lower-paid professions in which they incur fewer penalties for this discontinuity.

"Other research suggests childbirth slows down working women’s acquisition of skills and experience and prevents them from moving into positions with higher status often leading them to switch to less demanding and lower status jobs with limited opportunities for career progression.

"To the extent that pay inequality arises from increasing returns to skills like work experience, women receive lower pay because they have on average lesser skills and work experience than men."
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