An Overview of Gender Inequality in the Workplace


Gender inequality in the workplace is a critical occupational issue in today’s workplaces. Though there are various measures adopted to mitigate the issue, the disparity continues to be a significant hurdle in streamlining the office operations. Notably, this imbalance prevails in different forms based on the wider range of activities inside an organization. The gender pay gap is one of the most significant types of inequalities, given its high occurrence rate in various companies. In the majority of professions, women are often paid less than men due to discriminatory approaches and regulations in the firm’s standard operating procedures. In some cases, the gap is nearly double in organizations or institutions that rely on socially-predetermined norms such as motherhood and gender roles. Given the problem’s deep-rooted history, there is a need to develop improved countermeasures to address this inequity. Although the United States has the most stable, it is still lagging on the issue of gender pay parity. The US will be used as a point of reference in addressing the gender pay inequality issue. Other countries will be used as a backdrop in illustrating the applicability of the proposed countermeasures. The research hypothesizes the use of incentives and legislative measures by the state to tackle this disparity within organizations. The study seeks to illustrate how these two approaches can be used to address the problem.


Gender inequality is a socially propagated issue. In such a scenario, it has trickled down from a societal context to the workplace domain as the development of industrial policies is often reflected in social norms and values (Dashper 2018). Historically, gender disparity is characterized by profound margins between the remunerations for men and women. In the early 1960s, the wage gap in the US was defined by relatively high numbers and estimated to be more than 65% (Dashper 2018). Although these figures have reduced to 35% in a majority of sectors over the years, there is a need for improved policy initiatives to mitigate the problem of pay parity between men and women (Dashper 2018). The propagation of the salary gap is attributable to various factors, including occupational segregation where male workers are more preferred than females due to socially prevalent reasons such as motherhood. Addressing this professional issue would have a profound impact as it would increase the country’s economic growth due to more women going to work than before. Evidently, there is a need to mitigate the income gap between the sexes to not only empower women but augment economic development of the country.

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The issue of the salary disparity can be resolved by addressing the inherent causative factors. The countermeasures ought to focus on the critical areas that increase the prevalence of this phenomenon. The following is an analysis of two major approaches that can be relied upon as possible ways to resolve the occupational prejudice.

State Policies on Gender Parity in Remuneration

Though more campaigns on improved practices to eliminate the pay gap could be critical, the government’s involvement in these issues could be more impactful. The state’s role in occupational-related activities has often resulted in the development of viable countermeasures due to its immense influence on a majority of activities in the sectors (KKhler, Pagel & Rau 2015). The state can take a lead role in the development of approaches that eliminate discriminatory acts against women. Besides, the approach has been utilized in Japan, the third largest economy, and has been effectual. This methodology can be executed on specific sectors. The aim of such a strategy would ensure that organizations do not rely on legal loopholes to avoid the issue of implementation altogether. As a result, a similar method is expected to gradually reduce the pay gap.

Utilization of Incentives

The government can focus on the creation of an ideal platform for organizations to align their industrial pay policies with incentives. Even though state regulations can bring about the necessary changes, a more viable approach would be to focus on encouraging organizations to develop policies that reduce the salary disparity (Healy & Ahamed 2019). This can be accomplished by offering tax incentives to firms that implement gender-sensitive policies on remuneration. The tax rebate would be based on the ratification rate of such a provision as stipulated by the state. The approach could prove useful as the companies will be motivated by the tax subsidization that would impact their production cycle. Consequently, tax incentives by the government is a viable way to resolve the issue of pay parity between genders.


The adoption of the ideas mentioned above can be fulfilled only after certain conditions are met to realize the goal of gender parity. The option of state-steered policies would require several considerations. A multi-stakeholder engagement is imperative to establish the scope of the proposed initiatives and develop comprehensive regulations. The endorsement by the political class would be another requirement as their support would hasten the adoption of the necessary legislative changes. Conversely, the tax incentive approach would be characterized by a multifaceted approach. The government could initiate different rebates for organizations that conform to the remuneration equality based on their compliance rate. The development of these approaches would require wider consultation with the relevant players to develop a checklist based on the dynamics in the individual sectors. Therefore, the approach would be characterized by a gradual progression as firms adopt the regulations set for them. The implementations of the proposed initiatives, however, would require wider consultation with various organizations and stakeholders.


Unique elements characterize the proposed initiatives as each factor has a different implication on pay parity. The following is a comparison of utilizing the proposed countermeasures.


The state regulation approach is more effective than offering incentives. Even though the tax rebate would result in a lasting solution, the implementation progress could be low as the organization is the sole influencing factor on attaining the projected goal. The incentive approach would be detrimental as the realization of gender pay parity is dependent on how organizations implement the required changes. However, the policy framework is sufficient as its implementation would be the same in different sectors, and compliance will be mandatory. Consequently, the use of state policies in addressing the issue of gender pay inequality is the most effective.

Public Acceptance

Based on the implementation dynamics in the two ways to address pay parity, the use of state legislation is expected to garner public loyalty. Mass support on policy initiatives to address the economic, social or political issues is crucial to realize the goals more quickly. Even though the tax incentive would motivate organizations to align their operations and benefit from it, measuring the progress would be difficult. Therefore, the public could be pessimistic about the firms’ capability and trustworthiness in addressing the issue. However, the use of regulations will enable the relevant players in the industry to evaluate the implementation trends. The government will thereby assume control on the progress of bringing about necessary changes in the respective sectors on gender pay parity. For this reason, the use of state regulations would have a higher public approval compared to offering incentives to organizations.


Gender equality within a workplace remains a pertinent occupational issue due to the high discrimination against women. Women are more prone to gender pay gaps compared to men due to socially-influenced norms on gender roles, such as motherhood. The prevalence of this issue has a negative implication on women as it affects their capacity to directly contribute to economic progress. The research has focused on two possible approaches to address the issue, including the use of state policies on equality in employee remuneration and the use of tax incentives to influence compliance. A comparison between the two methodologies illustrates that the use of state policies is the most effective and will also enjoy public support. Therefore, focusing on its implementation is highly commendable.


Based on the analysis of the two proposed initiatives in combatting gender pay gap, the approach of using state policies is recommended. The basis of this perspective is based on the possibility of large-scale compliance by organizations due to the government’s insistence, and the high public support that such a measure is expected to bring due to its inclusive nature.


  1. Dashper, K (2018). Challenging the gendered rhetoric of success? The limitations of women-only mentoring for tackling gender inequality in the workplace. Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 0, no. 0. Available from: [12 Jan 2019]
  2. Healy, G and Ahamed, M (2019). Gender Pay Gap, Voluntary Interventions and Recession: The Case of the British Financial Services Sector. British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 0, no. 0. Available from: [12 Jan 2019]
  3. KKhler, K, Pagel, B and Rau, H (2015). How Worker Participation Affects Reciprocity Under Minimum Remuneration Policies: Experimental Evidence. SSRN Electronic Journal, no. 267. Available from: [12 Jan 2019]

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An Overview of Gender Inequality in the Workplace. (2022, Jan 05). Retrieved from