Pay gap

Companies seeking to close their gender pay gaps may benefit from publicly disclosing it

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Last week the SEC ruled that companies must disclose their CEO pay gap — the difference between what a CEO makes compared with the average pay of regular employees. In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, author Joanne Lipman argues that there’s another pay gap that companies should be publishing: the gender pay gap. Studies by Claudia Goldin of Harvard University have found that the gender gap remains for identical jobs. Female financial specialists, for example, earn 66 percent of the salary of male colleagues. The first step to correcting that problem may be for companies to acknowledge their own existing pay gaps. Last year, Lipman reported, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers voluntarily released its gender pay gap in Britain, revealing a 15.1 percent pay disparity. The gap was reflective of a lack of women in senior jobs, and so the firm reevaluated whether it was promoting employees fairly. A year later, the percentage of women promoted to partner was more than twice what it had been. It’s unlikely that the U.S. Government would try to force most companies to disclose gendered pay information, but in Britain a plan has been introduced to require companies with more than 250 employees to make their gender pay gaps public, and last year Obama signed a memorandum to force federal contractors to disclose gendered wage information to the Department of Labor. With the gender pay gap in the open, companies may find it more pressing, and easier, to work to eliminate it, Lipman contends.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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