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Equal Pay Counts:
What Companies Can Do
Gender equality is critical for organizations that want to perform at the highest levels, and it requires ensuring that women and men have the same opportunities and are paid fairly for their work.
The gender pay gap affects women throughout their careers.
On average, women in the United States are paid 20% less than men. And if you break it down by race and ethnicity, the pay gap is even worse—Black women are paid 38% less and Latinas are paid 47% less.1 As a result, the average woman misses out on more than $400,000 during the course of her career.2 This pay gap is wider in higher-paying industries and roles.3
Equal Pay 2018 Survey Findings
16% Only 16% of Americans think companies are doing enough to close the gender pay gap. And 60% attribute the gap to sexism or unconscious bias, while just 5% think women don’t work as hard or are less educated than men.4
1. Conduct a pay audit
Awareness is the first step to solving a problem. Analyze compensation by gender and race so you can see and address pay gaps. In addition, be explicit about how your organization determines compensation so employees don’t have to guess what factors are driving their pay.
Did you know?
Only 26% of U.S. companies track differences in salary between women of color and other groups in comparable roles.10
2. Ensure that hiring and promotions are fair
Audit reviews and promotions regularly to ensure your company is not systematically rating men more highly and promoting them more quickly. Train managers so they understand the impact of gender bias on their decision-making, and put clear and consistent criteria in place to reduce bias in staffing decisions and performance reviews.
3. Make sure women have equal opportunities for advancement
Women typically receive less feedback on their performance, get fewer high-profile assignments, and have less access to mentorship and sponsorship. Make sure the women in your organization have equal access to the people and opportunities that accelerate careers and are not saddled with a disproportionate amount of “office housework,” such as organizing events.
4. Make it a norm for women to negotiate
We expect women to be giving and collaborative, so when they advocate for themselves, we often see them unfavorably. This social pushback can negatively affect the results of women’s negotiations—and their careers. Make sure the women in your organization are encouraged to negotiate and are applauded, not penalized, when they do.
Did you know?
Women who negotiate are more likely than men who do to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy.”15