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Proposal for Achieving Pay Equity in Five Years or Less: The Elegance and Simplicity of a Single Metric

By Debra Logan | May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

We are proposing a radical solution to tackle the most important issue in achieving fairness (equity) in the workplace:  pay equity.
It begins and ends with a single simple metric:  (gender) pay equity. We will define this as 0% variation in substantially similar job roles within companies, by 2025. 
Here is the outline of that solution:
  • Set an aspirational (and SMART) goal of 100% equity or 0% variance between employees doing substantially equal work by 2025.
  • Start with closing the gender pay gap.  Employees doing substantially equal work, having qualified based on experience and education should be paid equitably.  Like, the same.  If a category of workers is found to have variations, use regression analysis to see if gender (or another non-work relevant trait) is the cause of the variation.
  • This should be a board level & executive management team objective.
  • The CEO is accountable for the metric.
  • Over time, resolve unexplained pay disparities recognizing that evidence of improvement and effort can be defensible position.
  • Over time does not mean ‘this year’ nor does it mean ‘whenever’: a three to five year time horizon is realistic.
  • Consider sharing a topline summary of results internally with leadership, the board of directors, and employees.
  • Review & revise the model every year (if necessary) because of changes in external circumstances.
  • Run the analysis every year and keep closing the gaps while identifying the causes of the variation.

There are, of course, a million and one excuses as to why this can’t happen or won’t happen.  And that is what they are, excuses.  The good news is that you are not going to have  to do this alone, or pay consultants year after year, because all of this is ripe for automation.  A reference model is the first step in allowing the  software vendor community to create the functionality that end user companies need.  There are already approaches to this automation on the market, just now emerging

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, here’s what a reference model is and the purpose it serves.

A reference model represents the component parts of any consistent idea, business functions, system components, processes and data descriptions. It should be a complete set of these concepts for a problem space, in this case for building pay equity automation, including repeatable process. This frame of reference can then be used to communicate ideas clearly between the community who need to solve the problem (everyone) and the community that will come up with the solution.

Now, all we have to do is come up with that reference model.  But first: in the next installment of the EPIC blog, you will see several reference models to further illuminate the concept and show it in action.




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