Article: Leaders should walk the talk in equal pay for equal work, says [24]7.ai HR Head Nina Nair

Compensation & Benefits

Leaders should walk the talk in equal pay for equal work, says [24]7.ai HR Head Nina Nair

It's time that corporates lead the way in ensuring equal pay for equal work in letter and spirit. Nina Nair, HR Head at [24]7.ai, tells People Matters how organisations can overcome roadblocks in achieving gender pay parity.
Leaders should walk the talk in equal pay for equal work, says [24]7.ai HR Head Nina Nair

Gender pay gap has been a common phenomenon globally. For years, we have seen a vast difference between the pay of a man and a woman, even when they hold the same position.

While many countries are working towards reducing the gap, there are still challenges faced in taking the right steps.  

Nina Nair, HR Head at [24]7.ai, a global leader in intent-driven customer engagement solutions, says major factors that impact women’s pay include the need to combine paid and unpaid work, responsibility for caring for dependents, violence against women that limit their participation and performance, and discrimination linked to their reproductive role.

She says it's time that corporate organisations lead the way in ensuring equal pay for equal work in letter and spirit.

In an interaction with People Matters, Nair explains why offering equal pay for equal work is good for businesses and how organisations can overcome roadblocks in achieving gender pay parity.

Why is it so important to offer equal pay for equal work?

Equal pay means that all workers have the right to receive equal compensation for work of equal value. This removes discrimination of any kind, is fair, and motivates all employees irrespective of gender or orientation to give their best at work.

At [24]7.ai, compensation is based on the kind of work, complexity of work, and skill needed to do that work irrespective of who does it. Performance is based on clear guidelines of achievement of business goals and more importantly, the right behaviour and the upholding of company values.

Gains for an organisation that focuses on equity and inclusion are plentiful; employee productivity and retention increases, work is done efficiently and effectively, people are happy at work, and the organisation can attract top talent.

How can organisations overcome roadblocks in achieving gender pay parity?

Each organisation should embody in their vision statement or manifest the constitutional right of people to be treated equally. This message should be constantly shared across the organisation so that it becomes a way of life.

When hiring, promoting or selecting people for opportunities within the organisation, the credo of "on merit” should be followed strictly. A council should be established that periodically looks at the gender ratio, compensation levels and opportunities provided to all and sign off that the process is unbiased and fair.

Training and sensitisation of leaders at different levels to rate performance based on parameters stated and not gender is an imperative.

We have tried to do all of this at [24]7.ai and we continue to think of ways and means to make the organisation truly inclusive and equitable in all ways.

Why is leadership at the crux of closing the gender pay gap?

The leadership is the mainstay for improving the gender pay gap, they can do this by walking the talk in treating people equally, giving them tasks and responsibilities based on their capabilities and skills alone, keeping aside the special needs of women like child care, dependent care, home management and birth when considering them for promotions, new opportunities or projects.

Women leaders must also ensure that they themselves are treated fairly with regard to compensation before they can help others.

How can leaders ensure equal pay on their team?

Let the data drive decisions: Whether you're making a decision regarding a performance review, promotion or salary change, base it on objective information. This may include financial data, performance data and peer-to-peer feedback, among other data points.

Build inclusiveness from the ground up: Whether it's encouraging participation in internal or external mentorship groups or promoting a merit-based company culture that emphasises openness and trust, it's crucial that employees at every level receive the same professional development opportunities from day one.

Transparent salary slabs: On the basis of the salaries being provided to current employees, create transparent salary slabs for every job role.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, Talent Management, #DEIB

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