Pragmatic Solutions to Achieve Pay Equity
Based on the newest research, a baby girl born today will not live in a United States with equal pay…neither will her daughter. Something has to change.
For awhile now, the achievement of equal pay has been projected to occur in 2058. Sadly, that meant that the majority of working women today would not still be working when this feat was achieved. Well, things got worse over the past 10 years. The dismal progress from 2003 to 2013 extends the projected date to 2139, 81 years later. Yup, you won’t be here for the big celebration unless something changes. I won’t be either.
The hiring process is designed so companies can pay the least amount possible to its employees. That’s the goal for every hire. The problem is that process consistently pays women less than it pays men. Things considered best hiring practices, although unintentional, compounded and perpetuating the gender pay gap. A couple a tweaks to the process and we could see some real progress to closing the Gender Pay Gap. And, these changes cost nothing to implement.
Eliminate Salary History – Salary history is used as a grading system to see if you should get the job and then as a benchmark on what to pay you. This makes it harder for women to get the interviews and then minimizes their pay as compared to men with each new job. So the women who graduate into a 7% gender pay gap get to experience a 22% pay gap by the time they are 35.
Include Salary Minimum in Job Advertisements – Women estimate the value of a job 30% less than men. Even women engineers state desired salaries $17,000 less than their male counterparts. Protect the misinformed job candidate just as we protect consumers by requiring minimal information. Including the Salary Minimum in job advertisements should start setting appropriate pay expectations.
I first proposed these ideas in 2011. Through an interesting journey, great supporters, and coalitions these ideas are now being discussed in the state house. Massachusetts became the first state in the country to consider such legislation. On January 16, 2015, Rep. Jay Livingstone and co-lead sponsor Rep. Ellen Story in the Mass House and Sen. Patricia Jehlen and co-lead sponsor Sen. Karen Spilka in the Senate filed An Act to Establish Pay Equity HD2802/SD1423. If you are lucky enough to live in Massachusetts, please ask you representative and senator to support the bills. Here’s help to find out who your representative and senator are and their contact information.
Let’s get more states to consider these measures! Contact me to discuss how.