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Women need to be more confident about promoting their skills and negotiating for what they’re worth if they’re to overcome the gender pay gap, a senior recruitment consultant says.
In a recent international survey by recruitment agency Robert Half 65% of New Zealand women respondents said they think men are paid more than women for doing the same job.
But in the latest Robert Half podcast senior manager Megan Alexander said she does not see employers discriminating against women this way.
However, she said she frequently sees female candidates underselling themselves.
“What I do see is that women take themselves out of higher-paying jobs because of the other choices they make in their personal lives,” she said.
As a result, fewer women than men tend to apply for higher-paying jobs.
She also said that women often don’t sell their skills as effectively as men do.
“I do think that women need to learn to sell themselves better … they sell themselves short in a lot of instances, they don’t talk about what they can bring to the role enough.”
This also occurs in pay reviews for existing employees, Ms Alexander said.
Many women are not confident about asking in reviews what they need to do to win a pay rise and advance their career.
“Because they don’t go in and ask and don’t self-promote – they tend to hang back – that’s when they don’t get recognition.”
But employers also have their part to play in communicating candidly with female employees about what their aspirations are, what their career paths could be, and what they need to do to achieve them, she said.
“I think employers don’t spend enough time doing that.”
Ms Alexander said that even though she does not see pay discrimination happening, “perception is reality”, and employers need to ensure that their processes are fair and seen to be fair.
“An employer never wants to have their brand reputation put into jeopardy. It’s really, really important that it’s demonstrated that women have the same fair and equal opportunities as men and vice versa.”