Global payroll professionals can now take the initiative and learn about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) webinar on demand, “When Actions Speak Louder: How Global Payroll Can Add Its Voice to the D&I Conversation.”
Sponsored by Immedis, speakers Tara O’Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer, and Claire Ryan, Product Manager at Immedis, address gender inclusion and ageism in the workplace and how global payroll pros have a crucial role in equality for these areas.
“(Age and gender) are one of the largest areas of discrimination at the moment,” said O’Sullivan, opening the presentation. “From a payroll and financial perspective, it’s some of the most easily tracked data.”
Closing Gender Pay Gap
Ryan opened the discussion on measurable gender inequality in today’s society by showing how small discrepancies in pay on paper can snowball to affect a woman’s lifetime earnings.
“The statistics involving a gender pay gap often are represented in a fraction of a dollar and looking at that in minute detail can be difficult to reflect on the earnings of a woman over her lifetime,” Ryan said. “Studies have shown that the average amount of money earned by a woman throughout (an average 40-year)-career can actually be up to $850,000 less than that of a man.”
While legal safety nets are in play to prevent discrimination, key social areas such as education, politics, and economics stand in the way of women attaining equal pay in their lifetime.
“Under (U.S.) federal employment discrimination law, employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of their gender, and similar legislative acts are in other countries,” Ryan said. “For example, in the U.K., the Equal Pay Act has been in effect there for over 50 years, but still, despite all those legislative provisions in place—meaning unequal pay is illegal—the gender pay gap still exists in our society today.”
Ageism in the Workplace
O’Sullivan tackled the topic of ageism by first describing the prejudices workers of each generation experience by their peers, particularly concerning how they are perceived to behave in the workplace.
“Why we’re witnessing ageism is that there’s a perception that elder members of the workforce are seen as stubborn and not technology-competent,” O’Sullivan said.
The consequences of these negative perceptions come at a cost to both the employee and employer.
“If people see anybody being treated unfairly, especially on an age or gender side, it’s harmful to employment,” O’Sullivan said. “It impacts the culture, leads to low productivity, and there are definitely tensions. Nearly a billion dollars have been spent settling discrimination charges.”
How Payroll Can Help
Using payroll data, payroll professionals can be a major service in the D&I conversation and can even influence change in the workplace. Payroll pros can view data such as base salaries, bonuses, and commissions to weigh whether inequality is occurring.
“You can also look at absence history,” Ryan said. “Has that woman had maternity absence or a leave of absence for childcare in her history within the same timeframe as the man?”
Ryan emphasized that everyone benefits from equality in the workplace.
“The most agile organizations are those that can use data in their decision-making,” he said.
Register for this webinar on demand, available until February 28, 2022.
Do you like our content? Join the GPMI community to get free education and articles straight to your inbox!
Felicia DeInnocentiis is Editorial Assistant of Membership Publications for the Global Payroll Management Institute (GPMI) and the American Payroll Association (APA).