Ann Barnes with Altura Consulting Group recently posted a blog entry about a dated column on Compared Worth. Ann stated in her Compensation Force blog, “According to WorldatWork’s Alison Avalos, who puts out a regular column called “What Your Colleagues Are Reading”, the 2010 workspan piece on Comparable Worth written by me, Paul Weatherhead and my Compensation Cafe cohort Jim Brennan is the top viewed article for 2014, so far.” Ann continued her blog entry with two questions, “What’s up with that, I wonder? Is gender equity suddenly that big a topic among compensation professionals?
Ann’s question is noteworthy given that she, Paul Weatherhead and Jim Brennan wrote the column on Comparable Worth about 4 years ago. Why has a column on Comparable Worth written in 2010 become the top viewed article for 2014 year to date?
I would like to offer a few reasons why I believe Job Comparable Worth is a popular issue for compensation professionals as we enter the second half of 2014.
- There is no doubt that President Obama’s administration has made gender pay equity a top priority among important national issues. Several speeches and legislative initiatives to address and solve the gender pay gap have been part of the President’s agenda during his time in office.
- Pay equity has become one of the top if not the top issues for the U.S. Department of Labor. Additional DOL investigators were hired during the early years of President Obama’s administration and the number of pay equity investigations has increased with greater emphasis by the President as noted in the Client Alert – Employment advisor document generated by the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm. See below:
President Takes Action Meant to Increase Pay Equity for Employees of Federal Contractors – By Julia E. Judish and Keith D. Hudolin Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP April 15, 2014
On April 8, 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order and a Presidential Memorandum aimed at “closing the persistent pay gap for women and minorities,” at least for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. These two executive actions direct the Department of Labor to issue new regulations that will (i) prohibit government contractors from retaliating against employees and applicants for asking about, disclosing, or discussing their compensation with other workers, and (ii) require contractors to report summary compensation data for their employees, by sex and race, to the Department of Labor. By limiting the reach of these measures only to employers that are government contractors, President Obama was able to act on his own executive authority, without needing the cooperation of Congress. Government contractors comprise approximately a quarter of the U.S. workforce. Thus, these new regulations will directly affect a significant portion of employ ers, and may also have a ripple effect that extends even to wholly private-sector employers.
- Businesses and organizations have realized a significant rise in the number of female executives that have experienced first-hand the systemic job and pay challenges and the transparent glass ceilings as they rose up the corporate ladder. Female CEO’s, COO’s, General Managers, SVP’s, VP’s and Directors are taking steps to address gender pay gaps and offer opportunities for women to move into more responsible positions with greater pay levels.
- Market pay data offered by national and sector generated pay studies are limited to benchmark job titles with generic job duties and most employers have moved expediently into hybrid positions where internal job classifications across department lines have become inconsistent and blurred.
- Organizations’ Board of Directors or Board Compensation Committees are being held accountable to ensure that base salaries, incentives and long-term compensation offerings are in line and not creating undue risks for their respective organizations.
We’re seeing a growing interest in our DBCompensation software where comparable worth is determined through the use of a proven internal point/factor job valuing process and external pay analysis. This automated software database system which uploads employee data from HRIS and Payroll platform software programs is very efficient and the ROI is realized in the first year of use. The following pay equity graph is garnering more viewings and discussions at the compensation and HR conferences in 2014 just like the Comparable Worth column written in 2010 has become the most viewed article for 2014.