Do You Have A Pay Parity Problem?

BY Kathy Crosett
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What starts in Hollywood doesn’t stay in Hollywood. Employees in your organization are well aware of the #TimesUp movement which originated with movie stars. In today’s competitive marketplace, you should be laser-​focused on culture if you want to retain your best employees. Your team members care about culture and meaningful work, but they also care about their pay rates. The latest research shows, it’s not so much about what they’re getting paid, but about how they stack up gender-wise.

There has long been a gender wage gap. The latest Census Bureau data shows that women, on average, earn approximately 80% of what men earn, for the same work. And, data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research indicates that women of color are often paid even less. These numbers can vary significantly in some professions. The gap has been closing in recent years, but clearly there’s work to be done.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas just released a survey on pay parity. Of the 150 HR execs polled, 48% are “reviewing their compensation policies.” Approximately 28% of HR execs say their companies already have pay parity.

Navigating this topic can be tricky. Businesses aren’t sure how to establish pay parity in their company. If you think you may have a problem, consider using a third (impartial) party to review the existing compensation structure.

One way to cut down on constant speculation about who makes how much money is to publicize compensation ranges. At least 55% of HR execs believe companies should reveal the compensation ranges available for each position. But, doing so may cause other employee-​related problems. That could be why only 3% of companies follow this practice.

Leadership teams have other tools they can use use to show commitment to pay parity. For example, an annual review of each job description in the organization can help to identify imbalances. If an employee was hired to do one specific set of tasks, but is now doing much more, it’s time to rewrite the description and increase the salary.

The pay parity problem didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. If you can show your employees that you’re addressing the pay parity issue, and keep them posted on your progress, they’ll be more likely to stick around.