Companies are not explicitly out to discriminate against employees. Here's how they can find and fix any disparities.
Gender at Work

Does your company know if it has a gender pay gap?

Despite progress, most companies still have a long way to go to eliminate salary gaps by race and gender, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study.

While white women make 82 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterpart, black women only make 65 cents and Latina women make 58 cents, according to Pew.

Working towards pay parity for similar jobs is not a one-day pursuit. So, what can employers and employees do to keep the conversation going?

Glassdoor offered one answer — a 17-page step-by-step guide for how employers can address and tackle the gender pay gap in their own companies.

Step No. 1: do an annual audit to figure out how much employees make

Why data matters: It can change behavior.

Once employers have the hard data on salaries for their staff — along with their races, genders, and other potentially influential favors, anonymized to protect the privacy of employees — data reveals whether there is a pattern of unequal pay and offers a way to resolve the problem.

Specifically, for HR workers, Glassdoor recommends conducting this gender pay analysis at least annually. HR departments also need to provide equal opportunities for performance reviews to account for unconscious age and gender biases. Since older workers are less likely to negotiate, Glassdoor says employers should leave less room for negotiation, so that offers can be more equal.

Companies don’t need a lot of money to identify pay gaps

Glassdoor listed statistical software that companies can use to calculate the gender pay gap, which they define as: “[t]he difference between average pay for men and women, both before and after we’ve accounted for differences among workers in education, experience, job roles, employee performance and other factors aside from gender that affect pay.”

Glassdoor also provides different models to test gender pay difference across different departments or job titles.

Glassdoor said its goal is to prove that you don’t need fancy equipment and “expensive outside consultants” or even a big IT department to do this. With just some equations on an Excel spreadsheet, any Human Resources worker can figure it out.

But again, Glassdoor urges, be sure to strip the data of any identifying information. Don’t put your employees’ salaries on a cloud data storage platform that run the risk of being hacked.

Stopping unconscious biases

Glassdoor found that companies are not explicitly out to discriminate against their employees. More often than not, it comes down to implicit human biases.

“Pay gaps don’t result from overt discrimination, they result from years of unintentional bias that can creep into an organization over time,” Glassdoor found.

That’s why employers and employees need hard data and numbers as proof to wake them out of this stupor, Glassdoor concluded.

“Analysis is far more involved than printing out a spreadsheet and eyeballing it — you need to go deep and control for a variety of factors to get the real story.”