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Redefining gender equity with Amy Cross

Nov 1, 2022 2:00:00 AM | By


Today we talk about what gender equity is and isn’t, and how HR leaders can reimagine they way it’s operationalized in their companies. Joining us is Amy Cross, founder of Gender Fair, a marketing and corporate social responsibility platform that showcases companies that serve women well, what they call Gender Fair companies.

Join us as we discuss:

  • What companies are doing wrong when it comes to gender equity
  • How Gender Fair works with companies to operationalize pay equity
  • The most important steps employers can take to create gender pay equity



CAITLIN ALLEN:Good morning, everyone. Welcome to High Growth matters, the official podcast from open comp, the company that 1000s of the fastest, the world's oops, this is why we record again. Okay. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to High Growth matters, the official open comp podcast. My name is Caitlin Allen, the VP of Marketing at open comp, and I am your host today. And today we are going to talk about something very important. What gender equity isn't, is not, and how you as our listeners, HR leaders who are building badass businesses, how you can reimagine how gender equity is operationalized in your company. So joining us is Amy cross the founder of gender Fair, which is a marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility platform that showcases companies that serve women, which is what they call gender fair companies. And we'll we'll dive into that in a minute. Amy, thank you so much for being here. Thank you, it's nice to talk to you. Is, so let's let's dive in and maybe start with definitions. Amy, what does pay equity mean to you personally?

AMY CROSS: Well, personally would mean like, if our entire culture women were receiving equal capital at all aspects that would be tax, tax, and capital and industry, and payment and corporations. But I think that the main thing is that when it comes to capital, women, and people of color are not to not share in in capital or society. So we have many areas to attack. And I guess the first one that your company's working with is on corporate pay equity as we do to as we measure that in gender fair. But yes, I my dream of equity would just be like we all have the same amount of cash each group as capital.

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CAITLIN ALLEN: You know, it's good when it's that simple. Let's, I'd love to hear then. Clearly, this is something you're passionate about very knowledgeable about. Can you tell us a little bit about gender fair and how you came to start it, as well as then how you work with companies today? Sure.

AMY CROSS: Actually, I'll get the whole genesis but part of the Genesis comes to comes back to capital and political capital, like I realized that women don't have equal rights in this country because women don't have equal representation in Congress. And that doesn't exist because women, I did some research and 20 22,008 were outside the funding mechanisms of Congress, like not being supported by industry. So that showed me that was really key is that women aren't getting enough money to put women in the legislature. So that's why this I just started work in corporate America, measuring corporate America. So what gender fair is gender affairs and have a measurement system to measure how companies serve women, and it was inspired by the Human Rights Campaign has something to call the guide to Corporate Equality they launched 15 years ago, and they measure companies on LGBTQ policies, and they've changed policies and 1500 companies over this time. 700 companies now got a perfect score. It's a very common thing you'll see on company websites. So my reasoning is Why can't women do the same? We're a very large market share, we should be able to, I would imagine that women could convince corporations, if they want women to work for them, or buy from them that they might want to do better. So anyway, Jennifer has a measurement system, it was inspired by the UN's women empowerment principles. I don't know. Have you heard of those? Caitlin?

CAITLIN ALLEN: I have they they track leadership and family friendly policies. Right.

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AMY CROSS: Yeah, and eight different categories. But you know, they should be everywhere, because it's the UN said here, this everyone knows the SDGs right. It's very common. But the women's empowerment principles are sort of not that well known. And we think they should be a lot of companies have signed up to them, you know, said they will run the companies on these principles, but there's no accountability. So what we do is we created a rating system using these metrics by the from the UN, and we look for things that were reported and measurable so we look at four areas we look at leadership, we look at employee policies, we look at advertising communications, we look at diversity reporting and also social responsibility which in our case means philanthropy for women because again back to capital not going to women and people of color only 1.9% of capital goes to women in our and philanthropy so no wonder we're not getting ahead right. So out of all the charitable dollars more goes to pets than does to women and girls. So that's why we consider it important to measure and we also measure pay equity that's we start with didn't start out doing that when we began in 2016 Because companies the first company to do met do a pay equity study was gap in 2016. And and then you pretty you probably know about the Obama's White House pledge, right? That's probably in Uh, in the history of Europe, that's probably connected to. So yeah, it's a new thing, this, this idea of actually measuring and counting pay.

CAITLIN ALLEN: It's so basic, but yet so innovative at the same time, which is, which is a wonderful pairing. When I was preparing for this, this podcast, Amy, I think I read somewhere that only 10% of today's companies actually qualify as in your rating system as gender fair, is that still accurate?

AMY CROSS: Right, well, 10 to 15, maybe it's but the main thing is a very, it's not a very hard like, we don't say, do you have 50% women, of course, that's how I like to say, I'd like to have measurements for you just a little bit about the fortune 500 Average, and the women and the leadership of women in your company. And still companies don't do very well. And you know, where we don't see the needle moving, which is related to what open comp does, we don't see the needle moving on named executive officers or the C suite, those five top executives that have to be listed in the SEC. And that's where the money has, that's where the big money is, right? Those salaries that where they get bonuses back to what open comp does and an equity shares. So, you know, it since we've been tracking it, the data in five years, the board member has moved up a lot parental leave is moved up. A lot of companies have quick studies. But the named executive office number is around 14%. That's pretty pathetic. And interestingly, back to equal pay, Caitlin, because we are researchers look at the proxies, and they check to see you know, how many women are on listed as the named executive officers? It's very common that if there is a woman and a small percentage of companies that even have any she's often paid second to least. Because they would just look so bad to have five people named on in the SEC. And then oh, the woman she's paid Lee, so it's often second to last. And it's it's like a joke. But yeah, so I would like more companies to that's where I see people not really getting better. We know that. And that's that's why the needle isn't isn't moving.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You've given some examples already. Amy So so not to make you repeat yourself. But I would love to dive into I think you said it was the four the four categories that you track at gender fair leadership, and play friendly policies, advertising and diversity reporting and philanthropy. In talk specifically about what companies often do wrong, as it relates to gender equity in those categories before they they get rated by gender fair. No better compensation software than OpenComp.

AMY CROSS: Right? Well, that that's I'll repeat myself that leadership, we know that we know the pipeline, you know, just shrinks at the top or you know, the tower, the tower goes to the tippy top of its pyramid, only women, not very many women succeed at the top. So that's that's what's bad and leadership. And a lot of companies do like leadership programming, but I don't think it's very effective, because like 90% of companies now have er G's. So I don't think this idea that we have to train women, I've never worked in corporate America, I'm just a journalist, I worked in publishing houses, and they've been fine to me. But I would question the fact that we have to train women to do leadership, I think I don't think that needs, I don't think that is who we need to train, I think we have to reformulate systems and train the people who aren't sharing leadership with them. I've rarely heard of, like, massive men's leadership programming in companies, that just doesn't happen. And the other place where they need to improve is, of course, parental leave, because we know that 20% of private companies offer parental leave. And it's very difficult. I mean, a lot of people should say that taxpayer, the taxpayer should support this, because that's a benefit to any culture, to have workers and to have children. So, you know, it's a it's a known thing that our, our country is one of the few that doesn't pay. And, you know, women taxpayers again, that's, I don't pay, I pay taxes in America, I pay taxes to Canada, but I file in America, if I were an American woman, taxpayer, I'd be outraged that my my federal government couldn't pass federal childcare. parental leave, that's pretty pathetic. So you pay taxes into a system. And when you get that's a lack of that's like inequity, that's financial inequity. And diversity reporting, we, you know, a lot of company and much more companies are now reporting on their employee diversity, which is great more than when we first started. And I would say not a lot of them are tracking supplier numbers. They might say they do diversity reporting, but you have to really work hard to change the way you know who we're going to hire. And we're gonna make sure we send a lot of money to the black community or Hispanic community or the veteran community. So we could I would like to see more companies really counting that making goals and saying how they're going to move money and not just real proof and professional services to into those other communities. And that's also a way for them to recruit into different communities. And advertising has changed as when we first started we could tell how a company was As in women's leadership by how their, their, their iconography, like, you know, companies that know women's leadership, just they express themselves differently in communications. Now, most people have caught up in, you know, women and the people of color in every in every ad, but you won't see them leading leading the company, but you'll see them and they'll be ads. And in philanthropy, a lot of people might just agree with us that we believe that companies should have some should do well on our index should do well should do something that community of women and girls, as the UN has stated in their principles. But so I would like more companies to add that or transparent about how much money they do spend, because not many, not all of them do. That's one of the metrics we ask, we say, is there any flat fee for women? Is it national, or international and ongoing? Or? And do you report how much because if it's just like, $10,000, that's not really meaningful, right? You can't do a lot of change with that. Like, I think Google Walmart, when supported, they gave $100 million to the community of women. That's pretty significant. That's great. Google also has a very big number, but compared to what the companies do, that's not huge. So those are some of the big mistakes that we see. And I think pay as of course, you know, you probably know the number, but it was around 14 to 20% of companies report on their pay gap. And, and they usually say, oh, there wasn't any, because they do this, you know, they do that. They don't do the median pay gap. To know that your company helps measure the median pay gap, I imagine.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yes, we provide the minimum than the median and the maximum of companies of their industry and size, and then it is up to the company to decide the band, which they'd like to pay. 

AMY CROSS: Well, I mean, because I what I mean, medium, I mean, like the way the British do it, like count all the salaries of women paid by this company, all the salaries of men. Oh, pardon me. Sometimes people call that median. Does your technology do that?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yeah, our DEI reporting does that it looks at things like how women are paid other underrepresented groups, and then also by level, and by department. And as I'm sure you know, a lot of a lot of companies will say, for instance, oh, we have, you know, 50% women, but then if you look at their how they pay all of all the folks that they've hired on the female side of things, I'm choosing women as an example, but right for, you know, the the executive assistants or the entry level, folks, right? Right. anything's wrong with those roles. But but they're to your point, they're not at leadership. And so the the reporting shows, by underrepresented groups, and then level of the organization. So you know, at the senior leadership team level, are women paid fairly? At the middle level of the like, mid band manager, are they paid fairly? And then also by by department, like, are the engineers who are working?

AMY CROSS: I mean, this is male, right? This this, that the way of reporting the medium gap is so powerful, like in the US, we still a company will say, Oh, no, we have no pay gap. But if they do the UK method of doing it, look at the median, like, yes, men are paid $1 billion, and women get paid 500 million globally in your company. So that shows that shows very clear, there's a problem. And then we need this other more than other data to, to pull it out. But so those are the those are the big errors I see in family friendly policies. That's the place where, you know, it's easier for companies to do this, then do other things. It's easier to like, you know, have policies childcare centers, is something that, you know, people would love to have in their business, and they would love to have, but, you know, we did some research, a company called ABX did some research for us. And they found that the thing that people cared about the most were protections from sexual harassment in the workforce, and then followed by pay equity. And, you know, I thought it would be, you know, home office perks or mental health services, but those are, you know, that shows how basic people's needs are in the workforce, they want to feel safe, and they want to feel they're paid fairly. And I think that I mean, I found that quite moving actually, that this, it's not as others the fruit fro that people want that those are the things that people wanted the most men and women

CAITLIN ALLEN: runs, we have quite a hierarchy of needs, and in some ways, exactly.

AMY CROSS: I was gonna say that, but I just I didn't really study that at school. I wasn't sure I could pull it out.

CAITLIN ALLEN: I think I've read the Wikipedia page. So you probably know more than I do.

AMY CROSS: Oh, I think you're a scientist and are ahead of me.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Oh, flipping the script a bit, Amy, maybe let's we can go through those those areas again, but on the best practice side. So for leadership, it's obviously having women in leadership, it's paying them at, you know, a median level, what are some of the other best practices

AMY CROSS: that and more Yeah, for leadership? You know, I think you have to be you have to be really intentional about this and some things that we've seen is some thing I met one company does this thing where they do like, everyone works at mentoring each other. So like you have or mentoring in groups or mentoring a boss I've been mentoring below. And these are things like we make it more of a community into instead of so individual I forget which company it is it was one of the tech companies has a very innovative program around mentoring and bringing people up. I really liked this idea. And also, I liked the idea of a lot of companies. Now we're working on D biasing promotions and doing opt into promotions. Maybe it's IBM GM, I can't I'm not going to name all the companies because like, I can't, and they don't pay me to do it. So why should I? But so I've seen that which I think is also very effective to, you know, if you wait for everyone to raise their hand and say, Oh, Please promote me, oh, please pay me equally, then you only get the squeaky wheels who are getting fair treatment. And I don't think that's you know, that's not the fairest way to do things. So I love these I love these ways that a system will locate someone who's been in it for the in the company for a while and then say, Oh, you deserve to be looked at for promotion. So I think that, you know, the more you take away human bias, the more likely or to create fairness. And I think there's a lot of really innovative things that people are doing around that, that I would recommend around leadership.

CAITLIN ALLEN: And we will get into innovation here in a minute. But as it relates to the other four categories, maybe we can do advertising next youth mentor.

AMY CROSS: Oh, yeah, yeah, sure. There's occasional some innovations. I think, for employee employee for employer policies, I think companies should listen more to their ERGs. Like companies now have a lot of these Employee Resource Groups. Sometimes they're called business resource groups. But, you know, instead of inventing which policies everyone wants, I've seen ERGs talk to companies like Coca Cola employees, a Coca Cola advocated for parental leave male and female back in 2016. And that was very effective like this is their I don't know, why this. Why should this be a top dialogue about what kind of benefits people need? I think I really like it when employees take part in that and and the innovations around. You know, I think sexual harassment policies are very important. And there's been some federal legislation that gretchen carlson helped pass. So now that there's You can't force arbitration anymore around issues of sexual harassment, but it's not retroactive. So that's an important thing and lift our voices has some great suggestions about removing non disclosure agreements, removing art forced arbitration, I think companies need to look at that they've some great things like ombuds services that worked for her to report harassment issues that aren't just HR, which a lot of people don't trust. And what else around employee she's, of course, pay, that's a key one that's we put that we put pay equity and deploy policies. And they're on advertising, I think the other thing that companies can do, which we're seeing, we saw this a few years ago, HP, and it was it. Screen Facebook, they started asking their advertising agencies to bring diverse teams to the table. So they were just getting, you know, white guys creating or getting images for white guys. And I would even go further and suggest that, but more more companies hire agencies and by people of color and women, because that's another way, you know, to grant move capital, more creating more pay equity, and generally towards women and people of color in their agencies. So they're getting really representative communication. And I think when HP asked for diverse teams in their advertising, they got they they did a study later that showed that their ROI was better. Like they they were they could they had more sales, even just by putting a better creative team creative team on their advertising.

AMY CROSS: So I liked the way you keep it in your head, we call them lead, we try to remember the between them leads. And diversity reporting, of course, more the innovation, diversity reporting now is companies sharing their EEO one data, which probably everyone here probably knows that that is something all companies except Except educational institutions have to report to the government. And I think this is a very positive trend, because it's much more intersectional. But companies report their own diversity. It's just like, we have this many women, this many people of color, but they don't look at the levels. We don't have this many, you know, women in management, this many people of color and technical roles. So that's what's great about the EEO and data and when a company does that, like, we just started working with Zoetis on our coalition for for Jennifer procurement, and Zoetis releases that and I'm like, Yay, that's so great. This is exactly what we need to see. And it's and you can see where you need to work. And I already talked about I would like to more companies to to work harder at supplier diversity and really make an effort and and report to their constituents. And then for philanthropy, I think again, I would wish companies talk to their ERGs that's it. I think it was Kate Spade ate or something like that, that actually allocated a certain amount of its flat budget to what the employees wanted to do. And they would say, if you're, if you're on a board, if some organization will support, you know, the coach or the Spanish will give certain money to the group on which their, their, their team members serve. So I thought that was very nice, the more you involve companies and community, the better they'll all do. So I thought that was I think that that's, that's a very important innovation. And also connecting to two groups that are that are related to your field, which companies do already so like, you know, the big tech companies, they they donate to Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, people of color and check, because that's also a place where they can do recruiting and, and, and help diversify their pipeline. So that's I don't have to, I don't have to tell most of it. But but for smaller companies that are new, newer companies that are listening to this, they might that might be a tip that they could figure out, it's like, do philanthropy in your field. Like, if it's just something that's not connected? It's it's not maybe as powerful or meaningful,

CAITLIN ALLEN: and yet very on mission, if it's if it's a concentric circle of your business,

AMY CROSS: right. And then it feeds into it, you build a community? You know, there's, there's great things I've seen, I've seen a lot of executives, some companies have their executives, you know, do sort of sponsorship work as well as give money or like in supplier diversity for some, some firms will mentor the the companies for which they buy like. So it's not so when these things are less transactional and more relationship? I think they they're powerful for everyone.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yes. What would you say for you personally, Amy, are the innovative things that pioneering companies are doing right now that are most exciting to you?

AMY CROSS: Well, I think, because I'm so concerned about women getting equal share of the capital and companies. I like, I like programs that are D biasing promotion, and sort of having objective criteria. I think that's very, I just read about that recently. I thought, well, this is good, because otherwise you can say okay, Caitlin, yeah, she's doing great. Or to Kaitlyn. Oh, she's not doing but how do you measure that? So if you make me measure that before I promote you before you versus Mr. Handsome guy. aquiline nose, strong chin handsome guy, I quit. It makes me question my biases. So I think that's very, very, very powerful. And I have these things, right, what I like I believe, and personally, I am advocating for full pay transparency. I think that's where the American workplace should go. Like in Scandinavia, we know how much people pay in taxes, white Americans have to keep the secret. I can't see any benefit. And I'll see who who benefits from this. Besides, I mean, the workers don't benefit from hidden pay scales.

CAITLIN ALLEN: And when you say, a transparency, I mean, do you mean literally everyone salaries exposed? Or do you

AMY CROSS: mean Yeah, internally? Yes, that's for me. That's the that's the that's the ultimate like a few companies do and buffers very famously does it a gender fair company called mn will flirt does it and then they did a really interesting study afterwards, showing that people really felt good because when you don't know there's uncertainty, like you don't feel that there was like, There's I can't read the research exactly what it showed the employees actually felt happier about the workplace in general, just knowing that you know, so and so down down the hall makes x doesn't change how you do your work, right? Why? Why does it matter in the federal government pay scales are our public Everyone knows you're a GS one or a GS 13. I grew up in DC people talked about people salary levels. So what is so secret? It's just money? So that's my personal my personal preference. I don't know if everyone else would agree with me. But if it were up to me, I would do a manifesto for full and total patrons parents.

CAITLIN ALLEN: Thank you. Um, and that's actually a perfect segue to my second to last question, which is all about open imperative. You're, you're on the advisory board. It's an organization that is committed to ending gender pay inequity by 2027. I know, it was the money, what would you say the most important steps that companies can take? What are the most important steps companies can take today to eliminate gender pay inequity, including joining opening part of and getting a free pay equity? Beyond that?

AMY CROSS: Well, of course, they of course, they should do that. And they should find out what they're doing. And then they shouldn't say they're going to improve and they shouldn't create waste. They should, you know, figure out ways to pay people fairly and promote them fairly and offer and offer leadership to other people and make sure that their equity allotments are fair, like it's, it shouldn't be so hard. I always say when we're talking about these questions of equality, I will say like, you know, I used to have children in my house and there's sometimes cake and I always would cut the cake and give them their piece of cake pieces of cake in front of one another. I didn't put the cake under the table or like cover it with a cloth they got to see what the other letter size cake was and I don't know why this is a difficult concept when it comes to money that that's that has to be secret. So I'm repeating myself about that. But I really feel this. It's so key. It's so good. So key, but also you don't have to do you have to you don't have to be a scientist to do this, I have a friend of a friend who used to work at SAP called Maggie Fox, and she and our LinkedIn page number she writes about this, she realized that there was an inequity in her team. And so she got her bonus allotment one year and and with just using her own bonus allotment, even everybody up with that, it didn't, you know, it wasn't a lot of complicated equations, she could just figure that out, just like I could recap the cake. So we don't have to make it so complicated. I mean, there's great tools we can use, but just, you know, it just takes a real effort. And I think that, if we know, that's the issue that people care about second most in the workforce. And if we know that, you know, some I've read some research saying that some people attribute this was something from Columbia, some people can attribute women's rates of depression to lack of equal pay in the workforce. Like, you know, if this makes people feel so bad, why wouldn't you fix it? Why would you make if you if you feel if you feel well remunerated? And you know, that you're you know, especially compared compared to like, how people feel about pay is also related to how they think others are being paid, right? It's not just about me, myself, apparently, and even in, even in society, everyone feels that they had like, as much money as the guy who was, you know, next door, they feel better. Yeah. And he was a bit of a ramble

CAITLIN ALLEN: from, I think, Cooper, but leading companies that have paid transparency and pay equity, with higher retention rates, higher share market, in addition, which are very real business outcomes that are needed. So right, agree.

AMY CROSS: And I could totally understand, I could totally see that, like, you're gonna work hard. If you feel fair, if you feel fairly treated, you're gonna work harder, you're gonna work or my husband used to have a company and he was in trouble at one point, and he sold it. He, when he took it over, he sold shares to its employees. And it did so well, it was were the highest performing companies in its sector. And I would maintain because people felt really fairly pay. And like there was a point ownership is the best way. So the more the more people own a piece of that cake that they make, I think the better they'll do. But yeah, I'm not surprised that they would work harder, and they would feel better and feel happier if they knew they were getting, if they were assured they're getting paid. And I hope that Americans move more to the median pay gap, which shows that shows the lack of equity clear, because most companies that do report their pay system, they say, Oh, we did a pay gap study, and we showed it was like apples to apples were an oranges to oranges. They were fairly paid. But we know that you know, there's only a few really big, there's a few caramel coated apples, and most of them are just little Macintosh is in there. And you can't really compare them. Yeah. So

CAITLIN ALLEN: for me personally, that's, that's one of the reasons why I get so inspired when new patrons fancy legislation passes, because when salary bans are required in job postings, for instance, that means that companies have to think through what's my median, my minimum and my maximum, right and then report on it to employees on how you're performing against your bands. So by no means is it the the end all solution, but you know, New York City, California on January 1, Washington on January 1, that's great. That hopefully will will lead the charge.

AMY CROSS: And you know, what's really astonishing is like the Equal Pay Act is that from 1963. And so if that's already in law, to me, it's astonishing that we can't, that we still have to fight to have something that's in law, right? Like that is pretty and here's another innovation I thought that I really liked around pay is that I think Eli Lilly was one company that doesn't they don't allow negotiation around pay bands. Because again, they know it's just the squeaky wheels who are going to get paid. And whereas the other ones who are might be equally good workers don't so back to your point of having transparent bands and having to stay within your band. But that was a quite, quite reasonable change.

CAITLIN ALLEN: I do wonder how much that is the future where the future of salary negotiations isn't that at all? Because there's a band.

AMY CROSS: Right? And the same thing and again, the federal system with its GS and it's all based on how much you do and you don't you know, you can't really fight about it. And you can just be you know, say I'm great, I'm great. So, how do you make it how do they make you feel fairly compensated open comp? Me personally, I know at the company, what I'm sure in your company, they must do things to make you all feel

CAITLIN ALLEN: oh, yes, very effective at that we would luckily drink or champagne in that respect. You know But it's it starts with the first touch in the employee lifecycle where our salary bands are and our comp philosophy as well as where we get our data from are all listed in job postings. And I think that's, that's an important tool, right? Like, where's your data from? What's your philosophy? And how is that applied to the band. And I do know how much everyone else on the executive team makes, we talk about pay equity report results on a quarterly basis. And open imperative, for instance, is a, an organization that's associated with open compass, we were part of founding it. And so I know that that also is something that's really near and dear to most people's hearts who work here because of the mission orientation of the business. So I'm sure I just butchered it and made earlier we give you money.

AMY CROSS: No, no, that was good. I liked the way first touch you. So that's what the company doesn't? Have you seen something yourself? And like, the companies that you work with Ron open imperative, like some bat, have you seen some things that they the people don't understand they were doing that was wrong, and they went, Oh, wow, we could do X? Have you seen some practices change that way?

CAITLIN ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, I think, I think it's pretty, they're all basics, but they're important basics. So for instance, realizing that you need to compare the two, where do you need to be on top of where you source your compensation data from? Right. A lot of companies are like, Oh, we're actually comparing our company, which is, let's say, a series B Company to a public one. And so that gets that gets tweaked. There's a lot of insights that come from looking at pay equity by department and by level of seniority. And there's a lot of laws there with the pair credit reports that we give folks, I would say those are the two biggest halls that I've seen. And then, you know, in the annual football reviews or merit cycles, there, that's the best practice to look up quarterly, or you know, in ideal an ideal world, or annually in a kind of standard, practice one and then make adjustments. And so having companies begin to do that on a consistent basis, and then budget for adjustments. It's so basic, but if you think ahead about it, and expect that you're going to find inequities, we all have them, and then then writing for them. That's a really important practice. And then the last one that's coming to mind, Amy is, especially in the world where we work related to startups that raise new new funding rounds, when they're important company milestone milestones like that, when you get a new funding cycle, or when there's m&a that happens, you have to look at your company and re level, right, like, Are you paying fairly versus market. So that's more of an equity related to the marketplace, not necessarily within your company. But it's, it's an important moment that I think a lot of companies overlook. And that's where, you know, if you if you have a company account, pardon me, if you have an employee say that was employee number five, and it you know, you now have 1000 employees, those folks often get left behind in the promotions and the adjustments from a cash basis. If you make sure that you have that practice that gets implemented during company milestones, that's a great way to avoid it.

AMY CROSS: I'm gonna, I'm gonna hope that the newer companies will be better than old companies like we saw it in advertising, we saw how like, in our legacy companies had very sexist kind of misogynist, advertising when we first started in 2016. Whereas new tech companies that were run by younger people didn't, they were more realistic and forward looking. And so I'm going to hope that people of, you know, your generation or below starting companies will sort of have a more will be have a deeper sense of fairness going forward.

CAITLIN ALLEN: And that's really well said, I mean, you'll teach them anything. And I could, I could keep going. But, of course, for your calendar, maybe we can conclude with one question we ask all of our guests, which is among the host of amazing nuggets of wisdom you've dropped today, what's the one thing we want our audience to remember and to take action on after listening to this episode?

AMY CROSS: Well, I really just believe in fairness, and I think that companies should try to treat everyone fairly and in my mind, the way we measure that is with money. So I think that's the first place for everyone to start is making sure that they're paying everyone fairly. And that would be my I don't know if that's enough. I don't know if that's enough wisdom, but that's what I would. I would say that's like the key thing, that people if they if people care about that company should care about it, too.

CAITLIN ALLEN: I agree. It influences everything we do on a daily basis. So very there with you, everyone. Thank you for tuning in today. And Amy, thank you so much for your time, you can find out how to connect with Amy and gender fair in the show notes as well as how to join open imperative and to get that free pay equity report that we've referenced so hope you all have a good day and Amy again thank you

AMY CROSS: thank you Caitlin great to talk to you

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