Today is Equal Pay Day. A day that was created to bring attention to the wage gap between men and women doing the same jobs. In the United States the wage gap is 21%. When you think about it, a wage gap doesn’t make sense. If individuals are doing the same job function they should be paid equally, period. Instead of arguing about the “why,” let’s focus on the “fix.”
Some experts believe that the way to fix the wage gap is through government legislation. Iceland is a prime example of this theory. Iceland recently became the first country to introduce a bill that requires employers to prove that they pay male and female employees the same wages. The goal is to eliminate the wage gap in five years. Iceland already has laws in place to make sure that women are represented on corporate boards.
Due to it’s “woman-friendly” legislation and perception, I predict an influx of talented business women in Iceland in the coming years. It will be interesting to see how this group of women affects the country’s GDP. When studies can show a correlation between eliminating wage gap and a positive uptick in the economy, other countries will follow suit. A ripple effect of women’s equality would be an amazing thing to see and live through as a woman in business.
I believe that women entrepreneurs and women in top-tier management are the key to ending wage gap. When you run your own company, you write your own paycheck… and the paychecks of your employees. If women are at the head of a company and in board positions, they have the power to effect change and create a culture pay equality.
If you are not a female founder or C-level executive, you can still personally fight to end wage gap. Investing in women entrepreneur-centric accelerators, incubators, and venture capital groups are the best ways to make a positive difference for equal pay. If we all work together, we will see the world change for women.