In late August, the White House rolled back an Obama-era equal pay rule meant to shrink the gender wage gap by requiring large companies to report what they pay employees by gender and race. Despite this change, pay equity remains a hot topic at the forefront of CEOs’ minds. A Forbes review conducted in 2017 found that 72 large, publicly traded companies—including Intel, Amazon, Delta, and Salesforce—have committed to conduct pay equity analyses, and have established a policy to drive diversity and equal opportunity.
Companies and shareholders are increasingly seeing pay equity as a strategic business imperative—one that drives access to diverse talent, and subsequently, innovation and growth. A surge in pressure from shareholders along with strong state and, in some countries, national regulations (such as those imposed in Iceland) have also been effective in compelling companies to identify and correct pay disparities.
But what does “equal pay” mean? And how do we know when it’s been achieved? By understanding the different interpretations of “equal pay” and by taking a closer look at out how companies can mitigate the gender pay gap, we can: 1) start to use the term more accurately, and 2) more effectively unpack what companies and other stakeholders need to do to tackle the gap.
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