Press Release

More than One-Third of HR Pros Say Getting Leadership Support for Pay Transparency is Biggest Challenge in Addressing Pay Equity

December 5, 2021

Waltham, Mass. (December 7, 2021) — Pressure is mounting for Corporate America to address pay equity according to a new pulse survey from, a leading SaaS provider of cloud-based compensation market data, surveys and analytics. Sixty-four percent of HR professionals surveyed reported facing more pressure than just six months ago, with 20 percent of those respondents calling the pressure “tremendous.” Current employees and job candidates ranked as the top sources of pressure to get pay right, followed by organization leadership and society at large. The survey, conducted in October of 2021, represents responses from 700+ US-based HR professionals.

Pay transparency remains illusive

More than half of the companies surveyed put HR Directors in charge of pay equity programs, followed by compensation heads, according to the survey. Thirty-seven percent of the HR professionals in the survey responded “yes” when asked if their organization is struggling to address pay equity.

The vast majority (85 percent) indicated they know what to pay their employees to stay competitive and 61 percent have a process in place to address internal pay equity. Yet only 35 percent have established a pay philosophy that supports pay transparency.

This lack of transparency negatively impacts employees: only 34 percent of respondents said that any manager at their organization could honestly and accurately answer “How is my pay determined?” when asked by an employee. Sixty-four percent of respondents do not currently provide wage range disclosures in their job postings, and only 34 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months.

When asked which areas are proving the most difficult when it comes to addressing pay equity, leadership rose to the top:

  • 35 percent: Getting leadership to support pay transparency within our organization
  • 17 percent: Integrating our pay equity philosophy into our culture/employee experience
  • 14 percent: How to conduct a pay equity analysis
  • 14 percent: Finding the right technology, data collection and analysis tools
  • 7 percent: Finding someone within our HR organization who can oversee pay equity on an ongoing basis
  • 13 percent: Other, including budget and competing priorities

The pay equity advantage in the war for talent

Eighty-one percent of respondents credit the tight labor market for making it more difficult to hire new employees, and an overwhelming majority (95 percent) see pay equity as a competitive advantage in the war for talent.

“A tight labor market has given employees and job recruits the upper-hand in salary negotiations and many are rightfully exercising that power to demand an internally equitable and externally competitive salary,” said Garry Straker, senior compensation consultant at “This survey makes it clear that HR professionals appreciate the value of fair pay when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent. However, it remains to be seen how quickly companies will execute on new pay strategies to meet heightened employee expectations.”

Click here to download the full results of the report.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted between October 14th and November 10th, 2021, by There were 702 employer responses from organizations across the US: 38% of respondents were HR professionals; compensation professionals accounted for an additional 21%; 55% of respondents were from organizations with 500 employees or less.

ABOUT SALARY.COM is the leading provider of compensation market data, software, and analytics, bringing more of the trusted data and intuitive software organizations need to get pay right. The industry’s fastest-growing compensation management company, serves over 30,000 survey participant organizations, over 8,000 business-to-business software subscribers, and over 45 million employees globally. HR professionals rely on’s 360° view of their compensation practices so they can efficiently and accurately achieve internal pay equity and adapt to market changes.’s state-of-the-art CompAnalyst® accelerates compensation workflows, delivers real-time data, and powers accurate, equitable, and competitive compensation through one intuitive platform. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Julie Murphy

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