Analyzing the Gender Pay Gap in the Healthcare Sector



The debate on gender pay gap is believed to have prolonged since the time it took shape. Its prevalence in the healthcare sector and other industries has attracted the attention the society has towards equality, and what organizations talk about managerial strategies. McElhaney and Smith (2017) made an attempt of first exploring the pay gap and the impact it has on gender equality within an organizational settings. The authors showed significant contributions towards understanding the scope of pay gap and equal as one way of measuring the gender wage gap. McElhaney and Smith (2017) noted that organizations need to consider the comparative analysis of the salaries earned by men and women. This is what is referred to as the pay gap analysis. This analysis has subsequently produced a larger wage gap as companies disproportionately pay the leadership and managerial positions. The authors further indicated the essence of decomposing the gender pay gap into the measurable as well as the immeasurable components. Some of the measurable factors include the geography, the number of subordinates, age and the tenure. On the other hand, Olsen et al. (2018) conducted the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) in which they established that there was a fall in terms of the pay gap from 24% to around 19% between the years 1995-1997 to 2004-2007.


On the side of the full-time working women, the gap is believed to have stood at around 15% in 2004-2007 which is a bit lower compared to the 18% realized in the 1995-1997. Notably, Olsen et al. (2018) covered the findings on the basis of three principle sources as far as the pay gap touches on men and women. The first attention was drawn towards how the gap would affect the labour market history regardless of the industry size and type. From the survey, it could be established that women encountered frequent career breaks while taking care of their children compared to men who would have none over the same period of time. The second factor resonates with the industrial and occupational segregation, which would affect the earnings. Essentially, the job design within the working environment would significantly lower the earnings of women as compared to men. Despite receiving a lower pay, women’s pay is significantly protected.

The final area of concern is gender discrimination through pay gap and the detrimental effect it has on the traditional gender ideologies within the work settings. Olsen et al. (2018) further noted that persistence and size of the impact of gender on wages point at the negative effects associated with traditionally gendered ideologies which are believed to have been held by employees and employers. Therefore, pay gaps posits a wrong attitude that creates a rift between the two genders within workplaces. Across the studies highlighted in this section, it could be noticed that discussions regarding gender pay gap and equality are sensitive and require such attention like the one shown under the pay gap analysis. However, there are still gap areas in research regarding how the pay gaps would affect the scope of equality as well as the scale of managerial strategy within the work settings.

Problem Statement

The gender pay gap is a significant scope that cannot be delinked from the workplace discrimination based on gender. Most of the studies have highlighted factors and reasons that justify the gender pay gap and why it may never be eliminated. However, fewer studies have established how employees perceive factors that inform on the gender pay gap. Most of them have even ignored how the pay gap influences or fuels the traditional gender ideologies within workplaces. The most sensitive area includes the specific industrial factors that determine the gender pay gap and how this would affect equality and the managerial strategy both in the short and long run. This denotes the fact that most of the studies would rarely narrow down to the specifics as far as the gender pay gap is put into consideration.

Research aim and Objectives

The main aim of this research is to conduct an evaluation of the gender pay gap in the health care industry impact on equality and managerial strategy. The supporting objectives include

To explore the concept of gender pay gap

To determine the prevalence of gender pay gap in the healthcare sector

To examine the impact of gender pay gap on equality and traditional gender ideologies

To evaluate the influence of gender pay gap on managerial strategy in the healthcare industry

Literature Review

What is gender pay gap?

Even before discussing about the gender pay gap, studies would express the need to understand the concept first. According to Miller and Vagins (2018), the gender pay gap denotes the differences in the earnings for men and men, which can be reported in terms of the earnings ratio or the actual pay gap. Essentially, reports on the pay differences. Pay and the participation of the national workforce rely on the data served by the Current Population Survey. Miller and Vagins (2018) further argued that pay gaps touches and affects women from different backgrounds, different levels of educational achievement and ages at the same time. Wickramasekara (2016) equally believes that the gender wage gap is an imminent product of different but interconnected factors. First, women seem to be overrepresented in significant sectors which are said to pay less. Across the OECD countries, it could be established that women are represented in the service sector in a more disproportionate manner. Some of the service sector jobs profoundly cut across social work, retail and the health sector. Men appear more in the highly paying jobs especially in manufacturing and construction industry. However, this sectoral segregation can be linked to a range of causes which cannot be limited to imbalances in the household responsibilities, gender stereotypes and the consistent ideologies that ruin the attitude.

Prevalence of gender pay gap in the healthcare sector

Treadwell (2019) indicates that the healthcare sector, just like other sectors, have been encountering the gender pay gap. The researcher indicated that while talking about the gender pay gap, it is the same as talking about the wages and salaries directed to women regardless of the type of industry. Boniol et al. (2019) conducted a study across 104 countries, including United Kingdom, regarding women in the health and social sector and the entire issue of pay gap. According to Boniol et al. (2019) noted that women constitute 70% of all the workers in the healthcare sector across the 104 countries. The representation of women in the highly paying health occupations is believed to be improving steadily with time. Despite this observation, the sector is experiencing a gender pay gap of around 28% in terms of the workforce. However, when the occupation as well as working hours are included, then the gap goes as lower as 11%. In as much as the sector is seen to be performing better in terms of women participation in the work, the gender transformative policies are still missing. The need to have such policies can be reflected in the need to address the inequities and the scales of gender based discrimination, as well as remove any barriers to professional development.

The impact of gender pay gap on traditional gender ideologies

It is also interesting how the pay gap informs on the dynamics directed at the traditional gender ideologies. Lomazzi et al. (2019) started by defining gender ideology as one of the underlying concepts linked to the individual level of support towards division of paid work as well as family responsibilities based on attitude of separated spheres. Therefore, traditional gender ideology regards a clear separation in terms of tasks by gender, in which women are expected to be more dedicated towards childcare and housework while men would be committed to work beyond the domestic sphere. In the face of gender pay gap, Lomazzi et al. (2019) fostered the socio-demographic factors which influence the gender role attitude. Women would show egalitarian attitude compared to men within the same environment. Women who are employed would commonly be expected to show support for the egalitarian roles. However, extant studies show that the gender pay gap commonly revamps that attitude of superiority with men taking the lead in the highly valued roles within organizations. Even in some of the settings, women would tend to avoid some of the roles claiming their inability. This assertion is more common in the construction and manufacturing industries.

The impact of gender pay gap on equality

The impact of gender pay gap can be viewed or argued in numerous dimensions. According to Wolszczak-Derlacz (2013), gender pay gap directly taps into gender inequality, which may be harmful. Gender equality is a subject aligned to the development objective as far as smart economics is put into consideration. However, a critical focus on the gender wage gap carries a different notion on equality as far as the work environment is put into consideration. Predictions have it that income inequality is likely to produce social conflicts which may retard organizational performance. Higher difference in terms of wages received by men and women is likely to discourage women from pursuing the labour market. When the gap is reduced, women would carry a different perception regarding equality and they would be more willing to take part in the workforce than it is case for children. Further studies conducted by Lomazzi et al. (2019) noted that the principle of gender equality has been regarded as the fundamental factor aligned to the European Commission Policies. This led to the support of gender mainstreaming perspective which was the backbone of promoting the equal opportunities across men and women. Gender equality is compelled to support women to rise in positions within their respective workplaces.

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The influence of gender pay gap on managerial strategy

More studies have been directed to explore on whether the gender pay gap informs on the managerial strategy or strategies or not. According to the findings established by Magda and Cukrowska‐Torzewska (2018), it could be noticed that career decisions made by women, occupational segregation and shorter working hours contribute to around 30-60% of the apparent wage difference. However, most of the studies remain inconclusive regarding the role of women as managers in shaping the gender wage gap. Significant share of female workers seem or are likely to be attached to high gender pay gaps. Gender pay gaps and managerial roles can be joined or argued in terms of the forms of interactions, management layers and the types of firms under consideration. Findings established by Bosch (2015) pointed out that even organizational boards should not only focus on the gender pay gap but insist on value creation. Notably, getting more women engaged in the managerial roles would unlock new perspectives, foster organizational creativity and innovation at the same time. With the gender pay gap in question, management and the boards need to change tact and balance the scale of motivation on a diverse range which includes the gender balance among other dimensions.

Research methods

The study on gender pay gaps is largely attracted to opinions; theories and views scholars have shared for such a long time. The most interesting side is the impact it carries with it when it comes to the managerial strategy and equality within the healthcare settings. This means that the nature of this study taps into attitudes and ideologies before reaching out to the qualitative meanings and pre-conclusions as regards the impact of gender pay gaps. Based on this, the qualitative research method is perfectly placed to address the needs of this research while focusing on the research aim, which shows the demand of linking the pay gap to equality and the managerial impact (Kumar 2019). The qualitative method can also work along the cause and effect research design, which is equally informed by the interpretivist philosophy.

Data collection and Data Requirements

Data collection is such a sensitive process that determines the course of the research. In this case, the research would depend on two significant platforms. The first platform involves the primary data research, which relies on the first hand information. Based on this, the research will conduct an interview in one of the healthcare organizations in the United Kingdom. The argumentative baseline of this interview would be determined by the attitudes and opinions seen with the employees believed to have been affected by the gender pay gap. The second platform includes the secondary data research, which supports the secondary sources as the fundamental avenues of data (Bresler and Stake 2017). In this context, a systematic literature review would serve as the key tool for collection of data. Data requirements would be informed by research preparations, which would include the consent forms and participant information sheets, which would try to pre-empt significant details of the research.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a process that determines the nature of conclusions that would be attained in the end. In this context, the research will depend on the content analysis as the key tool that would filter significant pieces of information before linking it to the research topic. Content analysis would apply to both the first and second hand information collected from the field.

Ethical Consideration

The research would observe the ethical directions that would guide the research process. This would be accompanied by a recheck on the key principles that ensure any participant is not subjected to the harm’s way. Significant principles would include the principle of informed consent in which participants would be informed details of the research before they would express their willingness to take part in the research. Secondly, the research will also pay attention to the privacy and confidentiality of any data shared by the participant while keeping the anonymity of their identity.

Timelines and schedule

Timelines and schedule


Boniol, M., McIsaac, M., Xu, L., Wuliji, T., Diallo, K. and Campbell, J., 2019. Gender equity in the health workforce: analysis of 104 countries (No.

WHO/HIS/HWF/Gender/WP1/2019.1). World Health Organization.

Bosch, A., 2015. Reasons for the gender pay gap–What HR practitioners should know. South African board for people pracfices women’s Report, pp.3-6.

Bresler, L. and Stake, R.E., 2017. Qualitative research methodology in music education. In Critical Essays in Music Education (pp. 113-128). Routledge.

Kumar, R., 2019. Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. Sage Publications Limited.

Lomazzi, V., Israel, S. and Crespi, I., 2019. Gender equality in Europe and the effect of work- family balance policies on gender-role attitudes. Social Sciences, 8(1).

Magda, I. and Cukrowska‐Torzewska, E., 2018. Do female managers help to lower within-firm gender pay gaps? Public institutions vs. private enterprises.

McElhaney, K. and Smith, G., 2017. Eliminating the Pay Gap: An Exploration of Gender Equality, Equal Pay, and A Company that Is Leading the Way.

Miller, K. and Vagins, D.J., 2018. The simple truth about the gender pay gap. American Association of University Women.

Olsen, W., Gash, V., Sook, K. and Zhang, M., 2018. The gender pay gap in the UK: evidence from the UKHLS.

Treadwell, H.M., 2019. Wages and Women in Health Care: The Race and Gender Gap.

Treadwell, H.M., 2019. Wages and Women in Health Care: The Race and Gender Gap.

Wickramasekara, P., 2016. South Asian Gulf migration to the Gulf: A safety valve or a development strategy?. Migration and Development, 5(1), pp.99-129.

Wolszczak-Derlacz, J., 2013. The impact of gender wage gap on sectoral economic growth– cross-country approach. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 8(3), pp.103-122.

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