The business world’s awareness regarding the wage gap between men and women has grown increasingly over the last few years, and the insurance industry is certainly no exception to this. However, despite the increase in attention to this problem, progress towards a solution has been slow. While some agencies may still shy away from acknowledging or discussing the issue, that does not make it any less real or meaningful.
The severity will vary from agency to agency, but here are some tips to understanding where disparity issues may lie in your agency.
- Remain Open-Minded –
While the gender wage gap is undoubtedly more personal for women than men, it can be a hot button issue regardless of your sex. If the issue generates a lot of strong emotions, you must be able to take a step back and neutralize those feelings. While a certain amount of passion is good fuel to persist through the problem and find a solution, too much can cause you to overlook important details or turn leadership off from the discussion altogether.
Instead, take time to understand how you are reacting and why. Avoid jumping to conclusions or making assumptions as this will only generate unnecessary stress. Acknowledge the information that you are finding and use your energy to start formulating solutions.
- Research –
As noted above, jumping to conclusions based on limited information is a dangerous thing to do and can lead to more problems. When you discover or receive questions regarding a wage disparity issue in your agency, take time to do some research. Data is critical when it comes to understanding the full scope of a problem and generating workable solutions.
As you do your research, look at various roles and corresponding job descriptions, salary ranges, and pertinent work history that could influence the salary. Each of these factors is important in understanding the calculation of salaries for agency employees. Once you’ve gathered those pieces of data you can break it down by gender to better identify where there may be a wage gap.
- Address the Problem –
When the question arises regarding wage disparity in your agency, it is essential to take action. Doing the appropriate research, as mentioned above, is a critical part of the process to ensure you have a complete understanding of how serious the problem may be within your agency. However, once you’ve had time to assess the scope of the issue and can confirm that there is some level of unfair payment practices in the agency, you must be willing to take steps to correct the problem.
Solutions may include: adjusting salaries of underpaid individuals and modifying hiring practices to make sure that salaries offered to future employees are consistent with the range of the role will be filling.
Wage disparity will continue to be an important topic of discussion in the insurance industry. Taking time to understand your agency’s role in making the industry best in class for all genders will help move progress faster.
For more on this topic, check out the full episode of The Independent Agent below.