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Guide: Structure and check for pay equity

Introduction

The gender pay gap is a well-documented, well-researched, and persistent problem, as highlighted by Laszlo Bock, Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations. The systemic underpayment of women chips away at society's values of fairness and equality—and has a real economic impact. Designing and auditing fair pay practices are steps organizations everywhere can take to create more equitable workplaces.

To set and check for fair pay practices, organizations should consider these actions:

  1. Set a compensation philosophy. Your philosophy guides how you award compensation.
  2. Structure compensation processes and pay for the role. Structure provides a framework for compensation decisions, such as paying for the role and thereby supporting equal pay for equal work.
  3. Run a pay equity analysis. Once the above two are in place, check to make sure the system is working as intended by conducting regular and rigorous analyses.

All organizations can take steps one and two to combat the gender pay gap. Step three, a pay equity analysis, is a complicated process. It requires advanced statistics skills and could have serious legal implications for your organization. It should not be undertaken lightly.

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