Pay Equity on Center Stage

Today marks Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes the extra days of the year, on average, women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Pay equity is attracting a lot of attention in the news, in particular with the tech industry. Facebook disclosed yesterday that it not only regularly assesses compensation practices in the workplace, but that it has no gender pay gap. In addition to Facebook, Microsoft publicly shared a similar outcome of pay equity. This was a timely release of information to lead into Equal Pay Day.

Additionally, in March 2016, Amazon.com released its gender pay gap evaluation results, indicating women in their company earned 99.9 cents to every dollar a male peer earned in a similar job. In February 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook reported that women earned 99.6 cents to every dollar a peer male earned at the company. However, there are still some critics of the methodologies used to describe the gender pay gap at these companies. Some critics claim that the highest paid people at Amazon, for instance, are still men, because men make up a higher percentage of the highest paying jobs at the company. Interestingly, this is a similar criticism of the pay gap found in President Obama’s administration as reported by the Washington Post in 2014:

One of the key reasons {of the gap} is that more men hold the higher-paying, senior jobs in the White House, and more women hold the lower-paying, junior jobs.”

While the tech industry is gaining the spotlight for disclosing whether gender pay gaps exist in the workforce, this is an issue pursued by society and enforced by the OFCCP and the EEOC. For example, there is an EEOC charge filed by five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team on March 30, 2016, accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination. In their complaint, the female players cited recent U.S. Soccer financial reports as proof, as they claim, that they earn only half as much as their male soccer comparators. However, the U.S. Soccer Federation refutes these claims, stating that the women’s soccer players signed a collective bargaining agreement. In addition, the Federation argues that the complaint filed by the women soccer players misrepresents the revenue contributions.

To continue discussion on this topic, DCI will be hosting a webinar. Agenda and registration information will be forthcoming soon.

By Joanna Colosimo, Senior Consultant, and Keli Wilson, Principal Consultant, at DCI Consulting Group 

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