November 30, 2021

Reviewing And Resolving Pay Inequities

By Sona Mathews

It’s impossible to be unbiased.

An article published by the American Bar Association, “Everyone Is a Little Bit Biased,” dives into some of the implicit biases experienced by individuals based on things like gender or race—for instance, or people being mistaken for a lawyer or paralegal based on their name or gender.
While it would obviously be better if we could live in a world free of bias, this isn’t something we’re close to at the moment.

Reviewing And Resolving Pay Inequities: eAskme
Reviewing And Resolving Pay Inequities: eAskme

And in reality, it’s likely never going to happen. This, however, isn’t the crux of the issue.

More than eliminating bias altogether, people and organizations in today’s world need to be focused more on recognizing instances of bias and working to rectify them.

Simply saying bias doesn’t exist with an enterprise, or that certain people don’t hold biases, is just dishonest and does nothing to improve the situation.

Of all the areas in which it’s important to address biases (there are many), pay inequity within the workplace is one of the most pressing areas of concern.

Not only does this have drastic real-world effects on workers and their families, this is an issue that can be quickly and relatively easily resolved through a bit of data collection and remediation.

Here are some tips for reviewing and resolving pay inequities within an organization.

What Are Pay Inequities and Why Do They Matter?

Pay inequities have been a part of the economic reality for many people for their entire lives.

These aren’t problems that just came out of nowhere; they’ve been around for as long as commerce itself.

But what is pay equity, really, and why is this an important topic?

In the simplest terms, pay equity is ensuring people with the same level of experience are paid the same rate for doing equivalent work.

While this is generally easy to agree on for the vast majority of people, it hasn’t been resolved within society.

While the pay gap has been closing for women over the past couple decades, it still exists and is extremely noticeable for those affected by it.

The average full-time working woman only made about $0.82 for every dollar a white man doing the same work made in 2019, according to Pew Research.

Though this number has climbed to about $0.93 for women ages 25-34, this mostly shows that progress is showing up more in younger workers than those who have been entrenched in this system for their whole lives.

Women of color are the people who are hurt the most by pay equity gaps.

Hispanic or Latino women might lose out on over $1.1 million in wages that would have been earned by a white man doing the same job over a 40-year career, according to data analyzed by the Center for American Progress.

Clearly, something needs to be done about this, both to increase economic fairness and to build a better corporate culture.

How Should Enterprises Review and Resolve Pay Inequities?

Commitment to pay equity isn’t just the right thing to do.

Many people will demand this kind of action from their employers.

These are a few things that can help enterprises pivot toward more equitable pay practices:

Get the right people and tools for the job:

Running an internal pay equity audit is a good idea, but can be extremely difficult. As already mentioned, people are biased.

If pay discrepancies weren’t noticed before, simply doing an internal audit likely won’t be enough to identify and fix them.

Getting seasoned consultants and ready-made technology from a firm that specializes in these sorts of programs is likely to be more effective.

Otherwise, time and resources might be spent on an endeavor that doesn’t yield necessary results.

Utilize a pay equity calculator:

Web-based tools, such as Mercer’s Pay Equity Calculator, can help organizations get a better grasp on their situations.

In addition to identifying pay inequities, it can track progress over time and helps analyze various remediation plans.

Continually review progress:

Pay equity isn’t a one-time deal. It needs to be revisited over time to ensure gains aren’t lost for vulnerable employees.

This should be built into the enterprise’s pay equity strategy.


There’s no excuse for paying people differently for doing the same work.

Fortunately, organizations that see the problem here now can access the resources necessary for overcoming this problem.

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