Wage Inequality: Actions you can take
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Last week four organizations partnered to discuss wage inequality in Tech. Here’s a summary of what was discussed (Hired, Blacks in Technology, Ada’s List and Interview Kickstart)
Topic: Key takeaways from the Hired 2022 Wage Inequality Report:
The wage gap is narrowing but still prevalent, with Black and Latina women seeing the widest gap
The expectation gap is correlated with the wage gap - groups that are paid less also expect lower salaries.
Gender and race pay discrepancies remain prevalent.
There is a reduction in non-diverse interview panels compared to previous years, but over 36% or over ⅓ of all interview panels are male only.
We are at 98 cents to every dollar a man makes in Denver, and having every major city over 90 cents or pence is something we should celebrate. It’s MORE than possible to create an inclusive, equitable environment in tech, and we’re well on our way to doing it - It’s time to double down and close the gaps entirely. Tech is the industry of the future, so ensuring we close these gaps is critical to building a better future for all of us.
Topic: The impact of remote and global hiring on wage gaps and wage equity
In terms of remote jobs potentially widening wage and expectation gaps, one factor to remember is that many candidates consider remote work a benefit. And in other surveys and data, we have been able to surface from candidates in our marketplace that candidates today are even willing to take a pay cut to ensure that they have that flexibility in their roles moving forward. And many employers have leaned into this being part of an overall compensation strategy for their teams.
Additionally, when companies open up minor roles, they see the different candidate expectations, which widens their salary bands over time. This can strongly influence executive, financial, and hiring teams when setting budgets for roles, which obviously plays out into offers.
Traditionally, the market an employee operates in has been set by comp. This ultimately contributes to wider gaps in both wages and expectations. (COLA, etc.)
So how do we mitigate these things?
Many companies embrace salary transparency and decide to pay for the job and work versus the location where an employee works (market-based).
When a decision is made to pay for the impact of role to company vs. market-based, often see the wage gaps and salary bands tighten.
Also, recruiters at companies can play a more significant part in lessening expectations and wage gaps by communicating with candidates transparently about budgets for the role or when they are undervaluing their worth within the process.
One feature on our marketplace that does this is our salary bias alert tool which notifies hiring teams when an offer is not in line with data we see on the market (lower than expected). It has shown to be valuable to groups, with almost 5% of offers being reevaluated and reconfigured when triggered.
Additionally, having internal audits annually reviewing salary bands based on location, gender, and race/ethnicity can keep these gaps in check.
Do you see any trends on the part of the employees or the companies affecting DEI hiring efforts?
I am calling employees to return to the office. More detrimental to women.
Individuals that aren’t flexible to go into the office.
We have a good momentum over the past few years towards promoting diverse and inclusive hiring practice, and closing the wage gap. As the economy stutters again and layoffs become more commonplace, how do you expect that to impact this progress that’s been made?
The world of work is changing, and flexible working hours and locations make it much easier to recruit and retain exceptional women in tech jobs; however, we have also seen from early research into these practices that women who are not in the office are less likely to get promoted or get raises and can also be more at risk for layoffs. I hope that won’t be the case, but we have insane examples of this already happening. Like in December of 2020 - Women made up 100% of the jobs lost in the US. Women lost 156K jobs, and men gained 16k jobs leading to a dangerous job report for the country made entirely of female bosses. That’s SHOCKING. Men got promoted three times as much in the pandemic. Someone joked with me that this is the new “Zoom Ceiling,” and I think we need to be aware of the consequences of the unique flexibility so we can appropriately plan for it and ensure we continue to capitalize on our progress.
If you are hiring or considering layoffs or have an influence on this - look at these biases. PLEASE.
We love working with hired because they are normalizing so many of these practices with significant data
3. Topic: Actions you can take today to help close the expectation and wage gap
What would you recommend to someone that discovers a pay disparity in their organization?
First, make sure you are looking at the situation thoroughly:
What work tasks do your colleague has, how long have they been on the job, and what is their background,
Education, experience, and work duties affect how much an employee is paid.
Also, consider that your co-worker may have negotiated a higher starting salary or recently asked for a raise.
Do your research. Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Payscales - so many resources are available today -- but take them with a grain of salt. Make sure you’re comparing like for like.
Reach out to industry connections (maybe not coworkers to put them in a vulnerable/uncomfortable situation) to ask about their market rates, etc.
While a salary discrepancy with your co-worker may be the catalyst for why you’re asking for a pay raise, this should not be the rationale you come to HR or your manager about. You need to show your value to the company and why your skills and hard work are worth rewarding. This is about YOU, not your COWORKER.
What can someone ask in an interview to understand if a company is committed to DEI and pay equity?
It starts at the beginning: Is the language in their job descriptions inclusive? Does it skew to a particular gender (rockstar, aggressive, etc.)
Look at your interview team -- are you being interviewed with very similar backgrounds, experiences, etc.?
Do they ask questions in the interview process regarding inclusivity or belonging and how you’ve handled certain situations previously?
Do they have a task force or ERG (talk about Hired’s Unite ERG)
Unite for us is a space for all intersectional identities to connect and support each other through professional development, open discussions, and building awareness of the societal and cultural issues we face both in and outside the workplace.
Ask your interviewers about their experience with DEI at the Company - what does the company do to support DEIB initiatives? How do they participate in those initiatives?
Review the companies Core Values / Mission / Vision. Is DEIB interwoven into those pillars of the company?
Lastly, check out the company’s benefits -- things like Paid Parental Leave and other programs are often visible from the onset of interview processes -- are they inclusive?
From a pay equity front - do JDs include salary bands? Is your recruiter/hiring team transparent about budgets for roles? Does the company publish any data to support its representation/transparency?
Industry representation and equal access to opportunity are a big part of wage inequality. What resources would you recommend for job seekers trying to get into tech or move up in their careers in the tech industry?
There are four ways to approach a company: as an applicant, as a referral from a peer or mentor, by contacting recruiting, or by getting leadership. You can use the tools recruiters use to find your connections in a company. site: linkedin.com/in (director AND “machine learning” AND amazon)
4. Topic: Strategies to ensure you are getting paid fairly
Negotiating a job offer can be stressful for fear of looking difficult in front of a future employer. How can job seekers discuss salary during the interview process in a way that is received positively by the employer while ensuring that they aren’t low-balling themselves?
Remember that you are constantly negotiating. Suppose you are asked for your salary expectations before the interview. In that case, you can always say that you would like more information about the position before confirming the salary you are looking for. Still, at some point, it will be necessary to anchor; for that, you should know your value, and you can use tools like Hired salary calculator. You should research 30 data points in the marketplace to discover your salary expectations.
After you discover your salary expectations and make it to the numbers part of the offer negotiation, how do you re-anchor: there is a four-phrase tool I would like to give you: You can say: “I have a situation. I don’t want to leave money on the table. I need your help getting to “X” Dollars.” and when they get to “X,” the 4th phrase is used right before you say yes, ask “Is this the strongest offer you can extend?”. Then stop talking and let them respond, and if they say yes, you can feel good about accepting.
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