While we have made many strides in the journey toward equal pay, wage inequality does still exist in many parts of the country. Legislatures, citizens, and even universities strive and innovate efforts every day to make sure that women and people of color earn as much as their white male counterparts doing the same jobs.
This is the goal of Boston University’s Employer Wage Gap Calculator.
Checking pay inequality
“Our goal is to get people to do the math and measure their pay gaps themselves,” says Kim Borman, executive director of Boston Women’s Workforce Council (BWWC). “That way, employers have an idea of whether they need to dig deeper into their data.”
Boston University’s Software & Application Innovation Lab (SAIL) for the BWWC and the city of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, lets employers calculate the wage gaps relating to gender or race and make sure they are paying their employees fairly.
Unequal wage practices are prevalent throughout the country, and Boston is no exception. The BWWC used confidential data from over 250 Boston-area employers to calculate that Boston women earn on average 70 cents to every dollar of their white male counterparts, while people of color averaged 76 cents.
While this issue is fairly common, many employers do it unintentionally, according to Borman. The Employer Wage Gap Calculator gives employers a chance to check in and see if they “haven’t advanced women or people of color at the same rate as men.” It also allows employees to check their wages and see if they are below what they should be.
This tool can empower employers and employees with the information necessary to close the wage gap and foster pay equality like in other nations.
“BWWC is being loud about the issue of pay equity, so that people get involved and understand what is going on at their own companies,” Borman says. “We know that over time, the way that companies grow, prosper, retain, and recruit people is through pay equity.”