CXO

How to address the gender pay gap: 5 tips for business leaders

The gender pay gap for women under 40 has widened by 17%, according to new data. Here are tips to help you build a more inclusive workplace.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Women under age 40 earned an average of $0.79 for each dollar earned by men in 2017, down from $0.82 in 2016. — Visier Insights, 2018
  • In 2017, women were 21% more likely to achieve top performer status than men. — Visier Insights, 2018

Tuesday's Equal Pay Day comes at a moment when gender equity has come into the spotlight, as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements seek to spur change in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. However, as a whole, employers are still failing to make progress toward achieving gender pay equity, according to a new report from Visier Insights.

In 2017, the gender pay gap for workers under age 40 increased by 17% over the year before, the report found. Women under age 40 earned an average of $0.79 for each dollar earned by men in 2017, down from $0.82 in 2016. For women over age 40, the gender wage gap did not experience any significant change, the report found, dropping from $0.74 in 2016 to $0.73 in 2017.

Visier collected data from more than 60 companies representing 1.5 million US-based employees across a range of industries to compile the report.

SEE: Hiring kit: Chief diversity officer (Tech Pro Research)

The pay gap persists despite the fact that women increasingly achieve top status on their performance ratings more frequently than men, according to the report. In 2017, women were 21% more likely to achieve top performer status than men, compared to 12% more likely in 2015.

Female managers in particular were 22% more likely than male manager to be rated as top performers in 2017, up from 7% in 2015, the report found.

Though women are more likely to receive top performer ratings, when looking at employees under age 40, men are more likely to receive promotions. Over age 40, however, this trend inverts, and women tend to receive more promotions than men.

Though women are more likely to be named top performers, a management gender gap still persists: In 2017, 18% of men in the workforce held manager positions, compared to 12% of women. Since managers on average earn two times the salary of non-managers, this contributes significantly to the overall gender wage gap, the report found.

SEE: The state of women in computer science: An investigative report (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)

The report included five tips for business leaders to promote gender equity:

1. Gain a high-level understanding of the state of gender equity at your organization. Start with simple metrics like "female ratio" (looking at the percent of total headcount that are female) by department, role, and/or location, and in your hiring pipelines.

2. Compare pay for men and women. Compa-ratio is a compensation calculation that indicates how close a person's base pay is the pay level midpoint for the role they perform. If women have a lower than average compa-ratio, then it is likely that pay decisions are not being made equitably.

3. Measure performance ratings by gender. Then compare them to promotion rates to identify areas of bias.

4. Measure promotions by gender, and also the nature of the promotions. This includes examining data by role, department, or location, to find out if the percent of women promoted to or holding manager positions is lower than the percent of men. If there is a discrepancy, you can implement the Rooney Rule: For every manager position you have open to fill, consider at least one woman and one underrepresented minority in your pool of candidates.

5. Take steps to correct gender inequity, starting with your processes for hiring. Consider blind screening of resumes (removing names or other gender identifiers from resumes) when selecting applicants for interviews, and identify where you should focus your efforts to improve gender balance in the hiring pipeline.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Gutzemberg

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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