hands-people-woman-girlAccording to a recent article about the gender pay gap published on Pro Bono Australia’s website, women earn only 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. This means that on average, women earn about $26,000 less per year than men working in comparable positions. While women hold less than 17% of CEO roles, this discrepancy in pay holds true at every level, and whether the organisation is in the for-profit or not-for-profit sector.

Our Actions Must Back Up Our Speech

These statistics are even more depressing when one considers the fact that the not-for-profit sector tends to attract more women than men. How can gender pay still be an issue when there have been so many public campaigns over the years to raise awareness about the benefits that organisations reap when there is both equal pay for equal work, and greater gender balance in leadership roles.?

While dialogue is good for raising awareness about the issues, the fact remains that little has changed when it comes to the actual practices in nonprofits and other organisations. The following are a few actions that your NFP can take, now, to push for greater equality in pay, as well as greater gender balance in leadership.

Audit Your Workforce

A common misconception about nonprofits is that much of their work is performed by unpaid volunteers. Most nonprofits actually have paid staff and directors that do receive salaries or wages.

Don’t just assume that your nonprofit isn’t contributing to the gender pay gap. Conduct a full-scale audit that looks at positions, pay, gender and discrepancies to determine if your organisation is providing equal pay, for equal work, regardless of gender.

Take action such as adjusting the compensation that is provided to those who perform similar work in the same or related job classification. Source ways to create checks and balances to prevent gender bias from creeping into your scales for wages and salaries.

Pay attention to ways to create equal pay across your organisation as a whole, and not just based on the expectations and workload of a specific department. Is your compensation comparable to that found in the for-profit sector to ensure that you are recruiting the most talented candidates of both genders?

Increase Transparency in Decisions Involving Recruitment, Training, and Promotions

Even if you fail to uncover gender bias in the way that your nonprofit pays employees and others connected with your organisation, it’s important to look for gender bias in other areas. One important area to focus on is the processes that are used to evaluate candidates for hiring, training, and the criteria that is used when determining raises and promotions. Consider whether hidden bias might be creeping into the decisions that are made and increase transparency in the decision-making process to eliminate bias. How fair are your job descriptions? Are any skewed towards one gender or another?

What policies has your organisation developed that allow women, and men, the time away that they need to care for their families? Flex time, flexible schedules, opportunities to work remotely, and even time away from work are all ways that you can make it easier for women, and men, to be able to meet their commitments at work and home. If your organisation offers these accommodations, has your NFP taken steps to ensure that your team members are not pushed into paths that might prevent future growth and development? Are opportunities for growth unfairly slanted towards those of one gender, or, to those who don’t have families?

By thoroughly reviewing your internal processes, and taking steps to eliminate obvious, and hidden, gender bias, you can increase fairness and equality in your nonprofit, and make it a workplace that encourages the morale and engagement of everyone on your team, regardless of their gender.