The Gender Pay Gap is a well-publicised phenomenon. The term refers to pay disparities between people of all genders in the workplace. In many industries, this disparity favours men, with pay offers for women tending to be less generous, even if the work is nominally the same.

This is a contentious and multifaceted issue, and it’s unclear how it will ultimately be solved. However, there is reason to believe that technology might play a role in identifying and eliminating systemic unfairness, and ultimately closing the gap.

AI and Data Analytics

Modern employers have access to a range of sophisticated tools, many of which are driven by AI. It might be used in the recruitment and onboarding process, to identify patterns of behaviour and outcomes that might discriminate against women (or men) in a way that human beings can’t detect.

Pay Transparency

In offering people of all genders different rates of recompense for the same work, businesses may be breaking the law. Being entirely transparent about how and why different people are paid at different rates will help businesses reduce their exposure to legal risk. It will also help to demonstrate that the company is serious about its stated aims when it comes to gender pay disparities.

The right payroll software can help companies to collect the data they need to be fully transparent. A people-first platform might make this reporting much easier, and help to lower administrative burdens, too.

Challenges and Opportunities

Wielding technology effectively isn’t always easy. Closing the gender pay gap requires collecting data on what people are paid. This raises a concern about data privacy. Many institutions claim transparency about their pay but aren’t transparent. Hidden channels may offer payments and other non-monetary incentives. These create an illusion of parity where there is none.

For example, men might be invited to special events like awards ceremonies where women are not. This disparity would not be reflected in an assessment of the numbers alone.

However, technology can tackle the root causes of pay disparities. For example, reintroduce women on maternity leave via an incremental hybrid work transition. Training opportunities and remote work options can be made available to women who struggle to access them otherwise.

Future Outlook

It’s difficult to say whether attempts to close the gender pay gap through technology will ultimately prosper. The increasing influence of DEI ideas in the modern workplace, as well as the spread of the internet, might help to cast down barriers to entry for female recruits. It may ultimately help them to make a more consistent contribution, even in c-suite spaces where men have heretofore dominated.