Organizations should strive to include pay equity analysis as a core component of their annual compensation reviews and DEI processes. But many organizations are still falling short. While 74% of executives in a Harvard Business Review survey consider pay equity a moderate or high strategic priority, 49% of organizations don’t have an established pay-equity plan, and only 41% of employees say their employers have successfully achieved pay equity.
In a recent DEI Leader Network (DLN) Live Event, we invited Keni W. Dominguez, a workplace consultant, certified mediator, salary negotiation coach, Workplace Fairness Executive Committee Board member, and pay equity expert at 81cents to share and discuss strategies for achieving equitable compensation at work. In case you missed it, you can watch the presentation here and download the slides here.
Here are five actionable insights Keni W. Dominguez shared:
1. Pay equity should be the cornerstone of any organization that values its workforce.
Equitable compensation is more than just a legal or ethical stance. Pay equity is the right thing to do — it’s good for business, and it centers the employee experience. But it also helps foster trust between employees and employers, and we need more of that in the workforce. It drives engagement and morale, and helps with building brand reputation. Pay equity isn’t just about doing what’s right. It’s about creating a workplace that attracts, retains and motivates the best talent.
2. Pay gaps exist beyond gender.
While the gender pay gap and disparities are prevalent, there are underlying issues that go much deeper. Applying an intersectional lens, pay disparities extend beyond gender lines. Men, women and non-binary individuals of historically marginalized groups receive lower pay for the same work. As we push for change, our lens has to be broad, and we also need to be sure we’re being inclusive and looking beyond just gender when we’re looking for pay gaps.
3. Through transparency, organizations can cultivate trust.
According to Dominguez, 98% of workers are in favor of salary disclosures. Transparency is a foundational principle of fair compensation. And it’s not just pay transparency — transparency can refer to promotional criteria, salary ranges, compensation events throughout the year, or performance management cycles and criteria. By being open, organizations can build trust with their employees.
4. Start your benchmarking exercise by creating a leveling framework.
When starting your salary benchmarking exercise, create a leveling framework or career progression framework clearly delineating the levels people within your organization can advance into, and the competencies for each respective level. Ensure that in your benchmarking exercises, you’re focused on benchmarking roles and not just titles. Additionally, ensure you have up-to-date data and accurate information around employee census such as tenure, role, job family, and respective level. Look beyond base pay — performance bonus and other information can make a big difference.
5. Transforming your compensation plan won’t happen overnight.
To make equity a reality in your compensation, it takes a concerted effort and a systematic approach, and many steps, from establishing an equity committee, to conducting regular benchmarking, to creating a clear compensation philosophy, to making data-driven decisions about compensation, to creating a career progression framework and effective training offerings for employee development.
Keni’s Recommended Resources
Types of Data Sources to Consider:
Compensation Philosophies From Oyster
Career Progression Framework Resources:
At Diversity Works, we’re dedicated to partnering with organizations to cultivate pay equity strategies that drive growth, innovation, and positive change. Our experts bring decades of experience and knowledge to the table, ensuring that your compensation equity journey is effective and impactful.
DEI Leader Network
Every third Thursday, we host an event for this community of DEI Practitioners. Please join next month’s live event, Supplier Diversity 101: A Critical Part of Your DEI Strategy, on October 19, 2023 at 1 PM ET, featuring Elizabeth Curwen, Managing Partner of Diversity Works. You can register for the live event here.
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About Diversity Works
Diversity Works helps organizations understand and leverage the power of workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.