The World Economic Forum last year predicted that it might take over two centuries to close the global gender pay gap based on the rate of improvements in women’s pay in recent years. Goldman Sachs forecast a shorter wait of 100 years in the US, while Glassdoor predicted a 50-year delay.
The good news is the gender pay gap is narrowing in America, with women earning 85% of what men earn. This figure saw a 5% increase from 2017.
Now, based on a 2019 Pay Equity Practices Survey, 60% of corporate America has so far decided to be proactive and resolve the issue of unequal pay by gender. These firms include the more than 100 employers who signed the Equal Pay Pledge under the Obama administration.
The remaining 40% might slowly follow suit after the court this year ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect salary information from employers from 2017-2018.
Firms that Have Committed to Uphold Equal Pay
Of the forward-thinking corporations that have taken direct action to establish a more level playing field, observers noted that their C-suite and board support the implementation of equitable changes, including conducting payroll audits.
These companies also make sure employees have access to equity as part of compensation, clarify promotion processes, and show commitment to transparency about pay figures.
Here are some of those companies:
Citigroup – Raw Pay Gap
In January 2019, Citigroup became the first American bank to publicize its “raw pay gap” for women, meaning income between male and female personnel was compared without factoring in job function, level, and geography.
The result: women’s median pay is 71% of the median for men.
In a statement, Citi explained that it will reduce this disparity over time by increasing representation of women and US minorities in senior and high-paying roles. Women currently make up over half of its international workforce.
Citigroup added that it will ensure that 40% of assistant vice president through managing directorial slots will be devoted to women. Later this April, Citigroup was given an “A” in the second annual Gender Pay Scorecard report by Arjuna Capital and Proxy Impact.
Apple – Equal Pay Pledge
Apple is among the inaugural signatories of California’s own Equal Pay Pledge.
Apple says that it has achieved both gender and racial pay equity in the US, supposedly since 2016. Women and minorities reportedly get $1 for every dollar that men and white staff earn.
Women make up 38% of its global workforce, especially among new hires and below-30 group.
Starbucks – Employers for Pay Equity
Starbucks joined the Employers for Pay Equity consortium in April 2019.
Along with 25 co-members, the coffee giant pledged to implement best practices after announcing in 2018 that it achieved 100% pay equity for its male and female staff in the US.
Fortune reported that Starbucks began its company-wide wage review way back in 2008. The company also promotes a policy of openness about discussions on pay.
The company’s female partners currently make up 68% of its total workforce.
Salesforce – Gender Pay Gap Review
The gender pay gap undergoes regular review in Salesforce. It’s been making salary adjustments since it conducted an income analysis in 2015.
The company spent $3 million to increase pay for women in 2017 after an audit showed that men in the organization earned $3 million more than women in similar positions. Salesforce spent another $3 million the following year to equalize pay based on results of a fresh audit.
As a company practice, leaders of Salesforce teams with 30 members and more use a “scorecard” to track their hiring and promotion of women so they can ensure diversity within the organization on a regular basis.
Women currently make up about 32% of Salesforce, including the 4,000 hired in the past year.
Intel – 100% Pay Equality
Intel declared that it reached 100% pay equality for women and underrepresented minorities by the end of 2016.
It explained that an “external vendor” was hired to work with its human resources and legal teams. Using statistical models, they identified nations in which Intel operated in that had unequal pay by gender.
As of 2018, women made up 27% of Intel’s workforce.
Although the EEOC order requiring companies with over 100 workers to share their data doesn’t require public disclosure, Intel said that it will make its gender pay gap figures public.
It’s a brave move for the chipmaker, which in September 2019 reached a $5-million settlement with the US Department of Labor over claims that female workers and minority employees earned less than their male, white counterparts.
Adobe – Gender Pay Parity
Adobe announced gender pay parity in the US in 2017. It defines fairness in pay as ensuring that employees with the same roles at the same level in the same location are fairly and equitably paid.
Like other companies committed to maintaining parity over time, the company said that it continues to exclude the usual requirement of asking job applicants to submit their salary histories to avoid previous inequalities. Annual salary increases are also reviewed for fairness.
The organization has various networks to advance women’s careers in the areas of leadership through online courses and executive shadowing.
Women made up 32% of Adobe’s workforce based on its fiscal year 2018 report. That year, Adobe made it to the list of 75 large companies that are considered “Best Workplaces for Women” as compiled by Fortune and Great Place to Work Institute.
Delta Airlines – Equal Pay Pledge
Delta Airlines is among the founding signers of the White House Equal Pay Pledge in 2016.
The carrier reported a “nearly perfect” overall pay parity between its male and female workers as early as 2016, with women in administrative jobs earning 98% of what their male counterparts earn.
Delta sustained its 100% pay parity this year, earning the honor of being named as one of the “Best Workplaces for Women” by Fortune-Great Place to Work for a third consecutive year.
Female staff comprised 41.5% of the organization as of the second quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, its recruitment of women for new pilots grew 7.4% in the past four years, higher than the industry average of 5%.
Its Propel Pilot Career Path Program, Dream Flight, ACE and Solo Flight Academies, as well as maintenance training programs are all geared toward attracting women to commercial aviation.
Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap
Human resource management specialists advise companies that want to understand and address unequal pay to examine salary and bonuses by gender, tenure, age, education, location, and department.
Management must then express its commitment to equalize pay by sharing the results of the pay gap analysis and declaring any steps it plans to take to resolve discrepancies.
To help further remove barriers to women’s career development in your organization, management and HR teams should:
- Analyze job levels, and ensure that roles are valued appropriately.
- Check for bias in promotions. Provide manager training and controls so that both male and female candidates get fair evaluations and annual performance reviews.
- Studies reveal that women and more tenured workers are less likely to negotiate, so make sure your offers are fair from the get-go.
- Identify priorities for female inclusion in leadership positions.
- Design and implement programs to advance women’s careers.
Ensuring equal pay shouldn’t be a one-time goal but an ongoing endeavor. Advocating gender equality in compensation will improve your organization’s employee morale, employee retention, and company branding.