Salary history bans and beyond: strategies to close the wage gap

It’s common practice to ask candidates for a job opening how much they’re making in their current position, but when women and candidates of color routinely make less money than their white, male counterparts, this question can work to reinforce pay gaps. Fortunately, salary-history bans, passed in 19 states and 21 local governments, seem to be working to reduce pay gaps and create more equal workplaces.

Research from Boston University shows that bans have had an overall positive effect, with a salary increase of an average of 5 to 6 percent for those changing jobs in the corresponding areas.

Black women make only 62 cents for every dollar earned by a white man and Indigenous and Latinx women earn 57 cents and 54 cents to a white man’s dollar. Eliminating salary history questions helps stop this cycle of discrimination against these candidates and ensures that every employee is being fairly compensated for their contribution. Salary history bans are a great starting point for workplace equality, but here are even more ideas on how to level the company playing field.

  1. Salary transparency. In addition to complete transparency about an individual’s compensation and its breakdown during the hiring process, making salary information available to all employees ensures that companies are held accountable for providing equal pay for equal work.

  2. Provide a clear path to career growth. It’s not always possible to hire new employees at the top of their ideal pay range, but companies can improve this situation by laying out a clear path for growth within the company including information about opportunities for expanded responsibility and skill development which empower workers to strive for their desired role and salary.

  3. Conduct an audit to assess employee fit. Minority candidates are often employed below their skill and education credentials. Conducting regular assessments to compare individuals’ roles to their education, skills, and experience can help identify employees working below their credentials.

  4. Do away with unlimited time off. Everyone loves vacation time, but research has shown that employees at companies with unlimited time off policies actually end up taking less vacation time than those with defined limits. For minority employees who feel they must work harder to get as far as other employees, this can result in taking little to no days off. Rather than unlimited time, companies should provide a structured and generous PTO policy and encourage employees to take time off to rest and recharge.

  5. Educate employees on negotiating equity. Talking about pay is awkward, but offering resources for employees on financial literacy and salary negotiation will help all employees feel confident advocating for themselves. This is especially helpful when it comes to more complex employee benefits such as receiving company shares as compensation.

  6. Ensure that leave doesn’t impact earnings. Whether for paternal, medical, or other, ensuring that necessary leave from work doesn’t negatively impact pay is critical. Research shows that only 23 percent of Latinx workers and 43 percent of Black workers have access to paid or partially paid parental leave, compared to 50 percent of white workers. Offering paid and guaranteed leave is a critical step for closing the wage gap.

The wage gap is slowly closing, but it is still significant especially for employees of color. Fortunately, there are many solutions to pay equity from salary history bans to pay transparency which actually works. Whether implemented as l8egislation or as corporate policies, these solutions to pay equity are plentiful and effective!

Solution News Source

Salary history bans and beyond: strategies to close the wage gap

It’s common practice to ask candidates for a job opening how much they’re making in their current position, but when women and candidates of color routinely make less money than their white, male counterparts, this question can work to reinforce pay gaps. Fortunately, salary-history bans, passed in 19 states and 21 local governments, seem to be working to reduce pay gaps and create more equal workplaces.

Research from Boston University shows that bans have had an overall positive effect, with a salary increase of an average of 5 to 6 percent for those changing jobs in the corresponding areas.

Black women make only 62 cents for every dollar earned by a white man and Indigenous and Latinx women earn 57 cents and 54 cents to a white man’s dollar. Eliminating salary history questions helps stop this cycle of discrimination against these candidates and ensures that every employee is being fairly compensated for their contribution. Salary history bans are a great starting point for workplace equality, but here are even more ideas on how to level the company playing field.

  1. Salary transparency. In addition to complete transparency about an individual’s compensation and its breakdown during the hiring process, making salary information available to all employees ensures that companies are held accountable for providing equal pay for equal work.

  2. Provide a clear path to career growth. It’s not always possible to hire new employees at the top of their ideal pay range, but companies can improve this situation by laying out a clear path for growth within the company including information about opportunities for expanded responsibility and skill development which empower workers to strive for their desired role and salary.

  3. Conduct an audit to assess employee fit. Minority candidates are often employed below their skill and education credentials. Conducting regular assessments to compare individuals’ roles to their education, skills, and experience can help identify employees working below their credentials.

  4. Do away with unlimited time off. Everyone loves vacation time, but research has shown that employees at companies with unlimited time off policies actually end up taking less vacation time than those with defined limits. For minority employees who feel they must work harder to get as far as other employees, this can result in taking little to no days off. Rather than unlimited time, companies should provide a structured and generous PTO policy and encourage employees to take time off to rest and recharge.

  5. Educate employees on negotiating equity. Talking about pay is awkward, but offering resources for employees on financial literacy and salary negotiation will help all employees feel confident advocating for themselves. This is especially helpful when it comes to more complex employee benefits such as receiving company shares as compensation.

  6. Ensure that leave doesn’t impact earnings. Whether for paternal, medical, or other, ensuring that necessary leave from work doesn’t negatively impact pay is critical. Research shows that only 23 percent of Latinx workers and 43 percent of Black workers have access to paid or partially paid parental leave, compared to 50 percent of white workers. Offering paid and guaranteed leave is a critical step for closing the wage gap.

The wage gap is slowly closing, but it is still significant especially for employees of color. Fortunately, there are many solutions to pay equity from salary history bans to pay transparency which actually works. Whether implemented as l8egislation or as corporate policies, these solutions to pay equity are plentiful and effective!

Solution News Source

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