What It Means to Close the Pay Gap: The Workforce Institute Weigh-In

This month, The Workforce Institute Weigh-In continues the conversation on the critical topic of pay equity, exploring what closing the gap looks like.

The Workforce Institute Weigh-In for April 2022: “What does it mean to close the pay gap?”

“Closing the pay gap means that individuals in different demographic categories are paid the same for the same work. Currently, the gender pay gap is one of the most significant, with women earning on average just 68% of what men are paid for the same work, according to the World Economic Forum. If we keep doing what we’re doing, gender parity will not be reached for almost 100 years.” — Alexandra Levit, author, Humanity Works

“Closing the pay gap means that all individuals of marginalized identities with the same duties, education, titles, level of authority, etc., are paid equally to the power-majority identities in their workplace.” — Sarah Morgan, chief excellence officer, BuzzARooney, LLC

“Closing the pay gap means no longer needing to recognize February, April, August, and November as the months that Asian, white, Black, and Hispanic women, respectively, finally make as much as their white male counterparts did in the prior year. It means setting compensation parameters for a role based on job duties and not breaking away from the compensation ‘because’ the applicant didn’t ask for the salary in question. It also means taking the burden off the candidate (external hire or internal promotion) of asking for their pay and guiding them toward and paying the appropriate salary.” — Joey V. Price, co-host, While We Were Working podcast

“You close the pay gap when you know how and why people are compensated at your organization, and those parameters have been clearly communicated to workers. Using surveys to test for understanding and to check on how your workers feel is a great way to leverage technology to stay ahead of potential issues.” — Laurie Ruettimann, host, Punk Rock HR podcast

“Managers need to establish a list of defined priorities around closing the gender pay gap. Examples include minimizing the overall increase in the wage bill, maintaining pay differences across job categories to reflect different job responsibilities, and incentivizing a great performance. These priorities should then be converted into quantitative goals.” — Ivonne Vargas, author, ¡Contrátame! (Hire Me!)