5 Ways to Address Pay Inequity Head-On

Written by Staff

June 1, 2016

5 Ways to Address Pay Inequity Head On Hero

Despite laws, rulings, and cultural uproar, wage inequality still exists. But Facebook rants and heated dinner debates are not enough to make a change. Acting and working towards solutions to attack the issue head-on is crucial. Indeed, addressing wage inequality requires the action and effort of firms, leaders, and workers. Here are five ways I recommend fixing this issue:


Understanding the Reality of Pay Inequality

Pay inequity facts are not random stats that someone swayed to make a point. State agencies gather and compile this data.

The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the main source of labor force statistics in the U.S. It includes a chosen sample of 60,000 occupied households. It is a good source of facts to prove that pay inequity is still a major issue.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) released a report about pay inequity. It states that women receive 84 cents for every dollar paid to men. Women took home only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. It is a large amount of money that could change the lives of women and their families.

Conducting Pay Equity Audit

Self-reflection is crucial on the topic of pay equity. Assessing your firm, mainly if you are an employer is vital. Per Kent Plunkett, CEO of, firms should begin dealing with pay inequity by ensuring that jobs align with consistent criteria.

Precise job descriptions that outline duties and criteria for each role are also crucial. He suggested group positions for comparison and form levels.

Next, assess the pay variances between male and female workers within each level. Know the reasons for each variance and review the job demands. It includes education, work background, and performance, which can be valid factors in pay levels. If these are clashing, then you have work to do.

As told by Plunkett, firms can fix these variances through pay raises, total cash payments, and higher bonuses.

The government also helps in fixing pay inequity. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires firms with at least 100 workers to submit a yearly report. It should outline the ethnicity, race, and gender of the staff. It ensures equal pay among male and female workers and prevents bias in the workplace.


Communicating About Pay Inequity

Dealing with pay inequity can be tricky as people often want change without creating disruptions. Plunkett suggests that workers should ask their leaders about the firm’s pay decisions to tackle this issue. This approach should reveal whether the firm has a compensation policy that promotes fair pay.

When seeking compensation policy guidelines, it is crucial to look for job-leveling criteria. It should also include job descriptions that outline the roles and tasks of each position within the firm. Fair pay should consider total compensation, not just the base pay. Asking the right questions is crucial when learning your firm’s pay practices.

Support Groups Devoted to Fight Pay Inequity

There are non-profit groups that devote themselves to fighting pay inequity. These groups work to raise awareness and advocate for policy changes. They also provide aid for those affected by pay inequity. Equal Rights Advocates provides guidelines that can give you insights about your rights and options if you experience pay inequity at work. Firms bear the burden of providing a fair landscape. Yet, workers should equip themselves with facts on what they should earn.

Supporting this kind of group is crucial in the fight for fair pay for all workers. They may ask for grants, but financial support is not the only option. You can play a crucial role in backing these groups by spreading the word. Your voice shows support and educates your network about pay inequity.

Walk the Talk on Pay Equity

Walk the talk is a basic life principle. Walking the talk on pay inequity is crucial in forming a fair and just workplace. Preaching, whining, or teaching about pay equity is not enough. Firms should use tools and resources to keep track of their pay schemes. If you are an employer, add pay equity to the list of what to monitor.


Kent Plunkett shared the best ways to walk the talk on pay equity. It includes:

  • Have detailed descriptions for every job. They should include standard criteria for each job.
  • Train leaders to convey your firm’s compensation philosophy. They should know how to discuss pay plans and key factors on workers’ pay. They should be able to make regular, correct, and honest reviews of workers’ performance.
  • Assess equal pay yearly. Review all the workers across the firm within each level. Look at the variance in compensation between males and females. Evaluate the reasons and adjust to close the pay gaps.
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