A Reason Often Missed for Why the Gender Pay Gap Exist

Tavian Jean-Pierre
3 min readMay 19, 2022
Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Despite much work being done to close the pay gap between men and women, women are still underrepresented at senior levels. Reports before the pandemic show that only 1 in 5 women is on the C-suite.

With all the measures we have in place and new roles defined within HR like inclusivity and diversity manager, one may wonder how this is still the case. In this short, I will highlight one reason that often goes unnoticed.

Our Emotions Play a Role in Our Career Progression

Something that goes severely unnoticed is how our emotions drive us to our career choices and inevitably our progress. Studies have shown that women tend to make up a higher proportion of an industry if the emotional burden is higher.

Contrary to the old age belief that men take on more stressful work, women are actually more likely to experience higher levels of emotional burden and stress. And this is a great example of how women have been putting their resilience on display for years, yet going unnoticed for it. However, women are not swayed by this.

Women who experienced more emotional burdens at the same rank as their male counterparts felt more respected than the men. Women are less driven by rank in a company than men are. Therefore, they do not equate rank to the level of respect they are receiving within an organisation.

This tells us that women are more connected to the work that they do. Not only do they choose careers that are more emotionally taxing, but they also feel their worth is less about what others see (rank) and more about what they are doing.

Building Organisations That Support Better Workers

In a world that is becoming more individualistic and ego-driven, we need workers who are connected to their activities. Instead of looking for their next promotion or next bonus, we want workers who are genuinely connected to the work that they do.

However, with the emotional burden being high on women due to career choices, it is harder for them to progress. Not only is their attitude towards progression on average negative because they see it as more stress, but they also feel less of a…

Tavian Jean-Pierre

Founder of the Better Conversations Podcast | Challenging the status quo to shape a better future | Producing insights on the natural risks that face our planet