The gender pay gap is a persistent problem in South Africa, with women earning on average 23% less than men. This gap is even wider for women in certain industries, such as technology and engineering.
There are several factors that contribute to the gender pay gap, including unconscious bias, occupational segregation, and lack of access to opportunities. AI recruitment can help to address some of these factors and improve the gender pay gap in South Africa.
How bad Is the gender pay gap?
- According to a study by The International Labour Organisation, the global gender pay gap is 20%. This means that women earn, on average, 20% less than men for doing the same work.
- In the tech industry, the gender pay gap is even wider. Women in tech earn, on average, 30% less than men. In the film industry, the gap is 18%. And in the sports industry, it’s 27%.
- Globally, female CEOs earn 13% less than male CEOs, meaning that for every $100 a male CEO earns, a female CEO earns $87.
- Despite having almost equal screentime in the movie All The Money In The World, Michelle Williams was paid 8 times less than her co-star Mark Wahlberg, and 1500 times less for reshoots.
- South Africa has one of the largest gendered pay gaps in the world. Women in South Africa earn, on average, 23% to 35% less than men for doing the same work. The gap is even wider for women of colour, who earn an average of 40% less than white men.
Addressing unconscious bias
Unconscious bias is a type of bias that occurs when people make decisions based on their implicit beliefs and attitudes. This type of bias can be very difficult to detect, but it can have a significant impact on hiring decisions.
AI recruitment can help to address unconscious bias by removing human judgment from the hiring process. AI algorithms can be trained to identify and eliminate bias from hiring decisions, making it more likely that women will be hired and paid fairly.
“As human beings we can only take in so much information at a time,” says Kelly Louw, COO of Job Crystal. “As much as we try to mitigate it, human beings are always going to have inherit biases. Recruitment AI can scan through a CV or application in a fraction of the time and pick up far more information than a person would be able to, and without the added filter of human judgement. This means that each application is treated equally and fairly.”
Addressing occupational segregation
Occupational segregation is the tendency for women and men to be concentrated in different occupations. This segregation is often the result of gender stereotypes and discrimination.
AI recruitment can help to address occupational segregation by matching women with jobs that are a good fit for their skills and interests. AI algorithms can also be used to identify and eliminate discriminatory hiring practices.
“We are seeing a trend towards fairer hiring, where workers are hired for their skills and experience and not based on additional factors like gender, age, and race,” says Sasha Knott, CEO of Job Crystal. “AI has been a helpful tool in this regard. By viewing each candidate based on just their skills and experience, everyone is given an even footing and we are noticing female employees getting hired at the same salary that would have been offered to a male counterpart.”
Increasing access to opportunities
Lack of access to opportunities is another factor that contributes to the gender pay gap. Women are often less likely to have access to high-paying jobs, training, and networking opportunities.
AI recruitment can help to increase access to opportunities for women by making it easier for them to find and apply for jobs. AI algorithms can also be used to identify and recommend women for high-paying jobs.
Knott comments, “We are finding that as more people gain access to online job seeking platforms, they are given more choice and freedom about where they can apply. AI hiring takes this a step further. By looking for candidates across multiple platforms, AI hiring finds candidates for roles they may not even have heard about, providing even more opportunities.”
It is important to note that AI is not a perfect solution to the problem of hiring bias. However, it can be a valuable tool for reducing bias and creating a more inclusive hiring process. Overall, AI recruitment has the potential to be a powerful tool for closing the gender pay gap in South Africa. However, it is important to note that AI is not a silver bullet. It is still important to have policies and practices in place that promote gender equality in the workplace.