More and more companies are making broad pay adjustments after taking deep dives into worker pay data. They are auditing their payrolls for gaps between men’s and women’s pay, tweaking salaries that aren’t competitive with other companies and making changes to compensation programs to help prevent potential bias.
Natasha Lamb, a managing partner with Arjuna Capital, has pushed nearly two dozen companies in the finance, retail and technology industries to disclose their pay gap figures and commit to re-analyze them each year. She said Arjuna withdrew its proposal at Nike in April 2017 after the company pledged to release its numbers; Nike said in March that women were paid 99.6 percent of male employees’ pay in 2016. That number was 99.9 percent in 2017, Rossiter said.
But even as companies are doing more pay audits, the practice creates tension for companies. Some may not be sure they have the budget to close any gaps that are found. Others may be hesitant to do the analyses because discovering — and then acknowledging — unfair pay in the past could present legal risks.
Arjuna’s Lamb says such efforts to unearth root causes, or broader changes to compensation structures, could help companies go beyond just putting a Band-aid on the problem. Employers, she said, need to go “back to fundamentals so every year we don’t need to make up these gaps.”
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