Did you know that April 4 is Equal Pay Day? This, as far as I am concerned, is both remarkable and shocking.
To really get the gravity of this - and given workforce analytics is a bit of a passion of mine - you need to break down some very basic calculations.
Let's scroll back to January 1, 2016 - a day of significance for this 2017 edition of the Equal Pay Day.
Remarkably, if you start calculating the gross pay of US men and women as of that day, January 1, 2016 - and given the same levels of experience and proficiency and productivity - a woman would have to work the entire 2016, in exactly the same job PLUS another 3 months and 4 days to receive the same pay packet as their male counterpart.
What is most shocking is that this more than often occurs across gender and ethnic lines within the same company.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, a staunch advocate of gender equity and founder of LeanIn.org, said it simply "this pay gap penalizes women who work hard every day. It hurts our families, our businesses, and our communities."
While Sheryl and her executive team have undoubtedly given crystal clear direction to my friend Scott Judd, head of People Insights/HR analytics at Facebook, to root out this unjust bias, there are far too few organizations taking this seriously, but more importantly, far too few are taking action.
This is unarguable, given the data.
I feel incredibly privileged to have had access to education, great family life and continual opportunities for growth. Yes, I'm a white male, husband and father of 2 rapidly developing young men (another blog topic entirely!).
But I'm also a business owner, and with my 2 business partners, one of whom is my wife, we've never, ever had any discussion about pay equity - because we've never needed to.
We simply started with founder alignment, then crystallization of our principles.
While it is much easier to address in smaller companies like ours, one of the key barriers companies are faced with is the lack of visibility into their pay data.
LeanIn.org, however, has some great advice for companies who want to act upon this:
Step 1) Conduct a pay audit
Step 2) Ensure that hiring and promotion activities are fair
Step 3) Make sure women have equal opportunity for advancement
Step 4) Make it a norm for women to negotiate
For those who have more powerful access to your HR and productivity data in forms of handy spreadsheets or analytics, you may want to try segmenting to dig deeper into:
- Turnover, compa-ratios, progression and development of women who are in their parenting years
- Abnormally high female turnover given predominantly male supervisory positions
- Productivity & performance to compa-ratio, by gender
- Signs of systematic bias based on gender or ethnicity
But don't just analyze....face the scary facts and take action. It's the right thing to do.
Next week we'll dig in deeper on how HR can help eradicate pay inequalities by leveraging workforce data and acting upon identified gaps and inconsistencies.