Even though many high-growth leaders value pay equity, many of them struggle to provide their teams with the resources to address it. Advancing pay equity, especially at a time when resources and budgets are constricted, is a complex effort.
There’s the data aspect—employers need access to relevant, real-time compensation data to identify imbalances and measure their progress towards fixing them. There’s also a cultural aspect. Recruiters and senior leaders need education and support to overcome taboos around talking about pay.
Underlying these issues is a lack of resources. In our research, we found that leaders need the most support in the following areas:
- Tools and resources to set pay ranges
- Information on best practices
- Training for HR, recruiters, and people managers
At OpenComp and OPEN Imperative, we’re working to fill these resource gaps so employers can tackle the complexity of pay equity. I’ve gathered those resources here, along with some from external partners, to help you create a more equitable, transparent approach to compensation.
Learn how to set pay ranges
Setting pay ranges is one of the most important steps you can take to address equity. By establishing pay ranges for specific roles or groups, you can remove bias and discriminatory practices from your wage-setting processes. As demand for transparency grows, and as new laws go into effect, pay ranges that are grounded in your company’s overall compensation philosophy enable recruiters and managers to share and discuss compensation with confidence.
For many leaders, the challenge is knowing when to create pay ranges, and how to create a compensation program that’s fair for employees and can scale with the business.
OpenComp’s quick-start guide to setting pay ranges offers step-by-step guidance on crafting a data-informed, scalable compensation program:
- Clarity on when to start creating pay ranges
- Guidance on common pitfalls to avoid
- Best practices for evaluating your pay ranges on an ongoing basis to keep them relevant
Prepare recruiters and managers for pay transparency
One of the most challenging aspects of addressing pay transparency is preparing recruiters and people managers to talk with employees about pay. While many pay transparency efforts focus on new candidates, it’s important to be ready for conversations with current employees as well.
But many managers aren’t prepared for pay transparency. According to a recent survey, only one-third of organizations provide formal training to managers on how to communicate with employees about compensation.
OpenComp has created several guides that will help your HR teams and people leaders talk about compensation with confidence:
- The Pay Transparency Playbook offers guidance on how to communicate your compensation philosophy and plan, as well as tips for the recruiting process.
- The Art & Science of Creating Excellent Offer Letters outlines how to design an efficient, fair, and consistent hiring journey that will attract top talent.
- The HR Leader’s Guide To Frictionless Salary Negotiation guides you through the cultural shift needed to change the way you approach conversations about compensation and build trust with employees and candidates.
Get clarity on legislation
This year, a wave of new pay transparency laws went into effect, and many others are under consideration. These laws, along with existing equal pay requirements, have created an uneven patchwork of legislation across the country. Understanding which laws apply to your company, especially if you have a distributed workforce, can be complicated.
Whether or not your organization is subject to current regulations, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the types of laws that are being considered and passed. They give you an idea of what legislation may be coming your way in the future. They’re also a good framework for practices that all companies should embrace to remain competitive and keep up with the broader cultural shift to greater equity and transparency.
Here are some simple tools you can use to track pay equity and pay transparency legislation:
- OpenComp’s Pay Transparency Legislation Tracker allows you to see which states and municipalities have current legislation in place and which ones have legislation pending.
- The American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Policy Guide to Equal Pay in the States outlines pay equity regulations by state.
- Equal Pay International’s Equal Pay Around the World map shows which countries have nationwide equal pay legislation and provides details about the laws specific to each one.
Share best practices
To address systemic inequity, and not just pay lip service to it, companies need to implement practices that deliver tangible results. But, since the movement for equity has been primarily driven by advocates and workers, business leaders haven’t developed a shared knowledge base of best practices.
While it’s important for progress to happen at the micro level, organization by organization, driving system-wide change has to happen at the macro level. That means company leaders need to work alongside advocates to identify and share the practices that are proven to work.
OPEN Imperative is bringing together high-growth employers, investors, and influencers committed to eliminating gender pay disparity in their organizations via data-driven action. We believe that business leaders have to play a more active role in rooting out systemic inequality. By taking a data-driven approach, and sharing knowledge with each other, we can deliver outcomes that are good for employees and good for business.
The OPEN Imperative is making best practices more accessible by:
- Connecting you with thought leaders and peers that are committed to overcoming barriers to equity
- Offering actionable steps to help you bridge gaps in pay
- Sharing ultra-curated resources and events, like OPEN Summit
We also work with some incredible partners who provide valuable resources. For example, Women Employed created Building Workplaces Where Women Can Thrive, a research brief that outlines key strategies for being an equitable workplace. And the Institute for Women’s Policy Research offers a number of resources, including this report on the gender pay gap.
With the right tools, you can drive meaningful change
Advancing equity can be complex, and even uncomfortable at times. These resources outline the data-driven processes, collaboration, and training your teams need to untangle that complexity and ease the process of making change. When your teams are armed with the right tools, you can foster an equitable, transparent compensation program and culture.
Emily Sweet is VP of Social Impact and OPEN Imperative Lead at OpenComp. She writes about topics including pay equity and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). A board member of the National Council of Jewish Women, Emily is a veteran philanthropic leader and policy advisor with more than 20 years experience advancing bold solutions to big problems that drive impact and inspire collective action. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.