We’ve all heard about the gender pay gap. Some of us have personally experienced it as employees, while others of us have perhaps dealt with it as employers.
The concept is that as a general rule, females are paid less money than males for doing the same job. Back in 1980, women made approximately 67 cents for every dollar a man earned while doing the same work. Today the percentage is estimated at between 77 and 84 percent, depending on whom you believe, although younger women are said to earn over 90 percent of what men make.
For more details on the topic, take a look at this Pew Research Center report.
So, while the situation has improved, it hasn’t changed enough and won’t be satisfactory until there is no gap.
Why does the imbalance still exist in 2015? In addition to gender biases that have existed for centuries, some employers have indicated they may be willing to pay a man a higher salary than a woman because men are statistically less likely to take time off from work or quit altogether in order to care for a family.
Regardless of the reason, women are very much aware of the difference. Eighteen percent claim they’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, compared to 10 percent of men.
While there’s no excuse for the discrepancy between male and female wages for the same work, there is something that some women may choose to pursue in order to ensure they are not victims of the gender pay gap. It’s called entrepreneurship and many positive results will come from a successful venture into this realm.
First of all, it does not involve the government stepping in and regulating the situation, so right off the bat entrepreneurship has that going for it. Second, if a woman launches her own company, obviously she isn’t going to pay herself any less than what she pays a male she brings on as a partner. Third, as she adds employees, she is more likely to break the cycle and make sure that women and men are paid equally for the same work.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, two-thirds of new net jobs in the U.S. are being created by firms that are less than five years old. That sounds like exciting news, but the reality is that fewer people are starting new businesses today than at any point since 1978. As a result, the proportion of American workers employed by companies younger than five years old has dropped from over 20 percent to less than 11 percent.
The nation needs new businesses – especially ones launched by women who can bring a fresh and very welcome perspective to the business world. The result will be more good jobs and gender pay equality. That’s something we can all live with.
Allen Baler is a leading entrepreneur and Harvard grad. Allen Baler is a Partner in 4Patriots LLC, based in Nashville.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for the sound advice of a business professional with expertise in the subject matter discussed. Please seek appropriate counsel on what strategies make sense for your business.