CEOs: Gender Pay Equity A Top 2022 Priority

By OpenComp, Mar 15, 2022 6:05:00 AM

Survey shows gender pay equity a top priority in 2022, but startups lack resources


SAN FRANCISCO (March 15, 2021) - In recognition of the average woman’s Equal Pay Day in the United States, OpenComp, a leading provider in compensation software and comp tools, today released “The State of Startups’ Pay Equity in 2022,” which uncovers a significant tension in the way of pay progress. While pay equity is a top priority for 78% of CEOs, they are out of tune with the majority of their teams who say they lack resources to address pay equity.


Leaders cite access to data as the leading barrier to moving pay equity forward in their organizations, followed by leadership buy-in and time.


The urgency to pay competitively and fairly is high amongst CEOs of high-growth companies, even while they manage the realities of cash burn and equity dilution; however, this new survey reveals the many realities that continue to hinder large-scale pay equity action in the pre-IPO marketplace. 


According to 500 CEOs, CFOs, and HR executives at high-growth companies of less than 500 employees: 


  • Pay equity matters to most high-growth executives, especially CEOs. The majority (74%) of high-growth executives say pay equity is important, especially CEOs (78%). Nearly two-thirds (64%) believe pay equity is a top priority at their organization, and CEOs are 9% more likely to strongly agree.

  • Pay equity greatly influences recruiting and retaining the best talent. More than two-thirds (67%) agree with this statement. CEOs are 6% more likely to strongly agree.

  • CEOs are out of tune that the majority of their teams lack resources to address pay equity. Despite CEOs’ stated priorities, most of their teams (61%) lack adequate resources to address pay equity. In fact, CEOs are 15% more likely to be unaware of this fact than HR leaders.

  • Company leaders were asked what top barriers in their organizations prevent pay-equity action: access to compensation data (19%), leadership buy-in (15%), time (13%), prioritization (12%), money/funding (12%), insufficient internal knowledge (10%).
  • Leaders would like the following resources/actions to better manage pay equity within their organizations: Set pay ranges to aid in consistent pay decisions (41%), information on best practices (36%); more transparent pay conversations (32%); software to measure/track progress (31%); automated reports on employee compensation data (31%);  training for HR teams, recruiters and leadership (30%); automated reports on employee compensation data (31%).
  • Organizations that prioritize pay use a range of best practices to drive equity: set and publish pay ranges (38%); share pay ranges during the interview process (32%); document and communicate criteria for bonuses, promotions, benefits with employees (31%); and don’t ask for salary history during hiring (28%); conduct pay audits (27%); budget for pay discrepancies (27%); conduct informal internal discussions around pay (26%)

In order to address these barriers and close gender pay gaps, OpenComp also announced today the launch of a new coalition, Organizations for Pay Equity Now. OPEN Imperative  brings together hundreds of high-growth employers, investors and influencers committed to eliminating gender pay disparity in their organizations via data-driven action. No group is better positioned to solve this crisis than companies building the future, as business leaders must be involved to enact institutional change from the top down. 


In its debut, OPEN Imperative set an Equal Pay Moonshot to close the gender pay gap among startups in the next five years.


To learn more about OPEN Imperative and be part of the change, sign up here:


To learn more about OpenComp's compensation software and comp tools, please visit



This survey was conducted using the online survey platform Pollfish. The sample of 501 individuals in the United States was surveyed between February 3, 2022 and February 5, 2022. The margin of error is 4.38% and no additional weighting was done to the initial sample. Pollfish’s survey platform delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web.


About OpenComp

OpenComp empowers high-growth companies to grow faster and smarter with compensation software and comp tools. More than 2,000 companies use OpenComp to attract and empower top talent in fair, consistent ways, including Calm, DataRobot, Discord, DrChrono, Figma, Medium, Mosaic, Mux, and Reddit. Founded in 2021 by Thanh Nguyen and Nancy Connery, Salesforce’s founding HR team, OpenComp has raised $24 million in venture capital from J.P. Morgan, TIME Ventures (the investment fund for Marc Benioff), 8VC and more. OpenComp is available for free for organizations up to 50 employees, with tiered pricing and services for other organizations based on size and needs. Sign up at and get connected at



Media Contacts

Heather Sliwinski 

Changemaker Communications for OpenComp