- Many employees believe that age, race and gender are factors in how they are paid, according to a new study by beqom, a cloud-based compensation software firm. Beqom’s 2018 Compensation and Culture Report found that 31% of U.S. employees don't believe their employers pay fairly when factoring in age or race, and 48% believe men are paid more than women.
- In examining the reasons for the perceived demographic-based pay gaps, the study found that one-third of workers believe managers and supervisors set pay rates on how they feel about an employee, as opposed to the employee's skills, experience or performance.
- U.S. workers want and are engaging in pay transparency, with 45% reporting that they know their colleagues' pay rates, and 46% admitting that they shared or talked about their wages with colleagues. But less than 19% of employees are comfortable talking about compensation with their managers or supervisors.
A perceived lack of fairness in the workplace can deeply stymie any attempts to create an inclusive, engaging place to work, and issues with pay equity get to the core of those concerns, Zenefits Chief People Officer Beth Steinberg previously told HR Dive.
Workers now want and expect pay transparency, but employers aren't so sure. In fact, in a recent survey, 60% of tech workers said their employers try to dissuade them from discussing pay. But today's workers are pressuring employers to move away from secrecy, and more employers are responding. In a midyear survey, 53% of employers said they plan to make their pay decisions more transparent in the next three years.
The push for transparency also has been emboldened by the #MeToo movement, meaning employers have to do more than recognize that pay equity is an issue. Experts have previously recommended a pay audit to get a handle on any pay equity issues that may exist. But this study in particular points to the necessity of manager training, too. Managers need to be trained to manage pay decisions without bias, and to communicate pay decisions clearly.