Sun, Apr 21, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Female managers do not close pay gap, study says

Thomson Reuters Foundation, LONDON

Women are just as likely to earn less than men when they work under a female supervisor or in a company with a high proportion of women at the top, academics said on Thursday.

Simply hiring more women into senior posts did not appear to be a solution to persistent wage inequalities, they said in a study published in European Sociological Review.

The findings suggest that female mangers might struggle to challenge organizational structures that favor men, said the paper’s lead author, Margriet van Hek, a post-doctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

“They often are a minority and they kind of have to show they have really earned their place by not showing female solidarity,” Van Hek told reporters.

“They have to show they are the right man for the job, so as to say, by behaving extra masculine,” she said.

The study compared data covering nearly 8,000 men and women at 231 organizations across nine countries from the European Sustainable Workforce Survey, a scientific research project.

The employees worked in manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, transport, financial services and telecommunications.

Researchers found a “considerable and significant gender gap,” with women earning 7 percent less than men on average — whether they worked for a man or a woman and regardless of the share of female managers in the organization.

That is a smaller pay gap than other studies have found.

Data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, showed that women on average earned 16 percent less per hour than men across the bloc in 2017.

Hek said that she had been surprised by the results, as the team had expected that women might benefit from female management.

Instead, businesses must take action to ensure all workers are treated equally, irrespective of gender, said Serena Fong of Catalyst, a global nonprofit promoting women’s rights at work.

“The gender wage gap will only be eliminated when organizations put policies in place that create more gender-inclusive workplaces,” Fong said, citing pay transparency, salary setting and recruitment procedures as focus areas.

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