No, no, no…I insist you should only pay me 64% of the position’s salary

No, no, no…I insist you should only pay me 64% of the position’s salary

Massachusetts has given us such treasures as New England Clam Chowder, the Red Sox, Boston cream pie and now they are the first state in this nation to truly do something about the pay gap that exists with so many private companies. Massachusetts is the first state to ban employers, both public and private, from asking for salary history during the recruiting and job offer process.  How does that affect the pay gap you ask?  It’s simple, when a person’s future salary is based, in part, on their past salary and their past salary was lower because they were a woman or a minority or a certain age, their future salary will remain lower than people in other groups and the gap, over time, only widens.  Playing the truly exhausting game of “salary catch up” becomes a futile task.

This may leave some people asking, “if we don’t know a person’s past salary how do we know what they expect to make now?”  Well here’s a novel idea, we should pay what the position is worth regardless of that individual’s salary has been in the past.  I’ve never heard a company say “since I’m only paying you 64% of what your white male counterpart makes I only expect 64% of the work.”  (as a black woman that is statistically what I make in comparison to my white male counterparts).

How does that play out if someone has less experience than someone else?  Again, I ask the question, do you lower the expectations once they are in the role?  If not, they should receive the same compensation.  Does that mean every person should make the exact same salary, not necessarily, there will always be differences in roles, expectations and abilities that should be factored in but if two people have the same title, are held accountable for the same outputs and judged against the same ruler why would one make 30-40% more than the other???

Many may be asking, “how did the pay gap come into existence, isn’t it common sense that people doing the same job should make the same money?”  Sadly, it isn’t…or at least historically it hasn’t been.  In the past, many companies used the “person” method of determining compensation meaning they paid the person what they felt that person needed instead of what the job was worth.  You heard comments like, “he’s probably the bread winner for his family so he needs extra income” or “she should be lucky she works here, if it weren’t for affirmative action we wouldn’t hire her” or my personal favorite, “she’s only working until she starts a family, it’s not like she really wants a career”.

Today you don’t hear those comments (I hope anyway) but some of those attitudes prevail.  More importantly, because they were so common in the past and many companies used a person’s past salary to help set their current salary it became a never-ending cycle of pay inequities that widened over the years to what we now see.

Speaking of that, what do we see now?  With  all of the legislation and education, isn’t the problem going away on its own…NO.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, on average, Hispanic Women earned only 54% of what a White Man earned FOR THE EXACT SAME JOB.  The chart below gives statistics for additional groups.

White Men Black Men Hispanic Men White Women Black Women Hispanic Women
100% 75.1% 67.2% 78% 64% 54%

 

Once inequities like that have been established, the only way to break them is to stop relaying on past salaries and pay everyone for the job they are doing, not the demographic box they check.

Thank you Massachusetts for one of my favorite basketball teams, thank you for fine institutions of higher learning and most of all THANK YOU for starting to solve an epidemic in our country!  I hope we see the rest of the country follow in your footsteps and stop asking people about the past when determining their future!

 

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Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting works with organizations and individuals to help them on their quest towards professional excellence.  If you’re facing significant change, unprecedented growth or stagnant results Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting will help by providing customized tools to solve problems, increase employee engagement, improve leadership capabilities and increase profits. As a Speaker, Trainer and Coach, Christy will provide diversity of thought, enhanced communication, improved leadership and a maximized corporate culture.  CPH Consulting will help grow your business!

 

What is the TRUE Value of Diversity?

What is the TRUE Value of Diversity?

Most would agree that the true value of a team lies in its ability to solve problems, enhance performance and meet organizational goals better than any one individual can. As true as that notion is, there is one caveat that must be discussed; it only works if each of the team members brings a new, different, and DIVERSE mindset and point of view to the conversation.

When a well-known TV conglomerate wanted to increase its ad and subscriber revenue it created and offered different channels. Another way to phrase that is it DIVERSIFIED its product offerings. When a political hopeful wanted to gain support from an additional segment of the population they hired individuals who knew, understood and represented that demographic…in other words they DIVERSIFIED their staff.

Imagine for a moment that you are on a game show, you get to the final question and you have no idea what the answer is but you really want to win. You have one opportunity for someone to help but who do you call? You could reach out to your best friend. The person you grew up with, went to school with, partied with, cried with and celebrated with. They are your go to person. They have your back. They want you to win…but can they really help you? If you went to school with them didn’t you learn the same things? If you grew up with them didn’t you have the same experiences? If you learned the same things and had the same experiences, don’t you know the same things and conversely not know the same things?

In that situation, you need the person who learned things you didn’t, did things you couldn’t and experienced things you never knew existed…you need different knowledge and skills…you need DIVERSITY!

Diversity isn’t just about checking certain boxes on a form. It’s more than making sure your organization, city or group looks a certain way. It’s about forward movement, growth and excellence. It’s about doing things in a better, smarter and more efficient way. It’s about maximizing profits and minimizing risk. Diversity is about business success!

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Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting works with organizations and individuals to help them on their quest towards professional excellence. If you’re facing significant change, unprecedented growth or stagnant results Christy Pruitt-Haynes Consulting will help by providing customized tools to solve problems, increase employee engagement, improve leadership capabilities and increase profits. As a Speaker, Trainer and Coach, Christy will provide diversity of thought, enhanced communication, improved leadership and a maximized corporate culture. CPH Consulting will help grow your business!