Getting Real About Equality

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Getting Real About Equality

The news out of the When Women Thrive 2020 global report was that, finally, hiring, promotion, and retention rates among women were on par with those of men, and across all career levels. And in those areas, organizations have been taking the lead: 81 percent of companies in the report called improving diversity and inclusion either “important” or “very important.”

However significant that finding was – and that was big news — there’s plenty more work to do. For one thing, we’re still decades away from women representing half the global workforce. And here’s the remaining, enduring problem: pay inequities. The fact is that women still, on average, are paid less than their male counterparts for doing similar work. For people of color, the situation’s worse. But more than ever, organizations are under pressure to do something about it.

It’s all part of getting real about equality.

Read on.

The Issue

These days, top executives and HR leaders are feeling heat from shareholders, governments, advocates, and other stakeholders to act to ensure equity in their workplaces. Add to that, media scrutiny and increased risks of being sued. What’s more, employees are increasingly favoring companies that prioritize societal issues including diversity, inclusion, and pay parity for people of all genders and races. Particularly since we’re in a tight labor market that Forbes expects to last at least throughout the decade, it would behoove organizations to take stock, so that they can recruit and retain top talent.

Pay Equality

After generations of efforts to do something about it, this country continues to grapple with compensation parity and pay gap issues. According to Thomson Reuters, women’s yearly pay was 82.3 percent of men’s – a gap that’s even wider for women of color.

This situation persists despite the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. In addition, several states have passed legislation to heighten salary transparency, and cries are getting louder to make it illegal for employers to ask job candidates about their salary history to mitigate the perpetuation on inequities.

Yet, the issue persists.

Pay Equity Analysis

Companies that make pay equity analysis a central portion of their yearly compensation reviews can lessen legal risk, get disclosure ready, and improve workforce diversity.

What’s a pay equity analysis? Also called a pay parity audit or equal pay audit, a pay equity analysis is a method of analyzing compensation rates within a company and evaluating any pay differences relative to race, age, gender, responsibilities, seniority, and other criteria.

How Employers Can Promote Best Practices

There are steps organizations can take:

  • To help ensure transparency, organizations should establish transparent pay schemes and objective measurements concerning performance, recruitment, and advancement.
  • To promote organizational trust, companies should communicate often and candidly with employees and the metrics and any progress.
  • Ensure that all decision-makers are trained about the organization’s pay system and know how to appropriately document decisions.
  • Think about putting in place for each position or classification standard pay ranges or guidelines.
  • To ensure that work performed and the skills necessary to perform such work is properly reflected, make sure that job descriptions are current and up to date.

In sum, yes, it’s time to get real about equality. High time, in fact. If you’re ready and need exterior help with pay equity analysis and remediation, the leading HR consultant Mercer has the experience and expertise to properly review and resolve pay inequities, lessen legal risk, and improve diversity using comprehensive, objective, and efficient methodology.

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