Written by
Ruth Thomas
Senior Consultant and Co-Founder, CURO
LinkedIn

11 March 2020

Pay equity is a hot topic that continues to gain momentum. New pay equity legislation is emerging regularly and pressure is increasing for companies to adopt pay transparency policies. Pair that with news coverage on high profile lawsuits, and it’s easy to see why more employers are preparing to take action. 

According to a World at Work and Korn Ferry survey, 60 percent of organizations are currently taking action on pay equity and 33 percent are considering action.

Employer action typically starts with pay equity analysis. But analysis can be complex - especially for larger organizations. More employees means more comparator groups, and bigger companies tend to favor multivariate regression analysis.

Plus, the bigger the company, the more frequently hiring, downsizing, acquisition or restructuring occurs. These ongoing changes mean performing an annual pay equity audit won’t provide up-to-date insights on pay trends.

That’s why larger organizations typically turn to external legal counsel and consultants for their pay equity process initiatives. External experts can help perform the analysis and help control the narrative for companies that make their results public. 

For law firms and consultants, the growing demand for pay equity review services is good for business. But as the demand for these pay equity services increases, they’ll need tools to deliver faster, more efficient analysis to maximize profits.

That’s where technology comes in.

How technology can streamline pay equity services

As with other areas of business, progressive leaders are looking to harness the converging technologies of the 4IR to help drive the cultural change required to eradicate bias. These leaders recognize that a strong record on equality and inclusion converts to increased employee engagement, improved customer orientation, more innovative decision making and ultimately, enhanced business performance.

One key area of cultural change at the top of HR’s agenda is pay equity, which has become a compelling business issue due to emerging legislation and increased exposure to potential litigation and brand reputation risks - as well as the realization that it can impact the ability to attract and retain high quality talent.

Companies taking action on pay equity are focused on two key areas: 

  1. Identifying and resolving root causes of pay inequities
  2. Remediation strategies and pay equity adjustments

Increasingly, organizations are looking to perform an internal pay audit to understand whether pay gaps exist. This involves examining employee data for evidence of a pay gaps between employees of different protected categories. Legal experts and consultants need a way to quickly help their clients achieve these two things. But using manual processes to analyze pay gaps and calculate the cost of pay equity adjustments is time consuming and inefficient. That’s why more law firms and consultants are partnering with HR technology vendors.


Download CURO Pay Equity product guide

Identifying and resolving root causes of pay inequities

First, let’s cover how HR technology like pay equity analysis software helps firms with the analysis part of their pay equity services.  

Built in statistical modelling and multivariate regression analysis essentially does the work for them. Getting results is as simple as importing data into the platform and pressing go. Once the data is in, firms can rapidly:

  • Identify pay equity issues at a country, business or job level
  • Identify the significant factors that drive pay variance and isolate the ‘illegal’ pay gap
  • Understand where pay gaps can be explained by non-monetary factors
  • View data on an unadjusted and adjusted basis
  • Drill down to monitor progress on pay equity status at an employee level

Visual analytics and dashboards in the platform also make it easy to explain findings and share results with clients.

A quick look at types of pay gaps 

The simplest way to measure pay gaps is to look at the average pay differences.  So for example to measure the gender pay gap you compare the average pay for men as a group, compared to average pay for women. This is the definition behind the most commonly cited statistics we see on gender pay gaps today. But a simple comparison of pay gaps on an aggregate basis doesn’t take into account there may be valid reasons why average pay for men differs from women as a group, such as location, job role or seniority.   For this reason, we call this the “unadjusted” or “raw” pay gap.

Another way to look at pay gaps is to compare similarly situated employees and consider what factors can influence pay. These compensable factors may include differences in education, tenure, type of job role, location, and performance.  They will differ from company to company and relate to your compensation philosophies and principles. The aim is to make a fair comparison between similar workers and to see what pay gap remains after considering these legitimate factors. This is what we call the “adjusted” gender pay gap.

By looking at both “unadjusted” and “adjusted” pay gaps, you’ll gain a robust view of what’s causing pay differences, which will help you solve any problems you find in your client's pipeline and make recommendations on ways to lower barriers in recruitment, hiring, pay and promotion before they arise as a broader organizational concern.

Remediation strategies and pay equity adjustments

Now let’s cover how technology helps with closing pay gaps.

Pay equity analysis software also includes budget modelling. This means once the data has been analyzed, the software provides budget recommendations and calculates the cost of pay equity adjustments. Adjustment recommendations are provided for specific groups of employees and outliers. Recommendations also include where spend should be targeted to have the biggest impact.

Any actions taken to resolve pay inequity can be tracked in the software at the employee level. This streamlines pay equity audits and makes it easier to track progress.

How technology can address privacy and data security concerns

Data privacy and security is a top concern for businesses. Especially when it comes to sensitive information such as potential pay gaps within their company.

Another benefit of partnering with a technology vendor is data security. The software will be storing data in a cloud-based environment that meets the highest security standards.   

The software also makes it easy to control who has access to the results of the pay equity analysis. Clients can determine who within their organization should have access to the data and set user permissions accordingly.

Conclusion

Emerging legislation and media coverage has made the message to employers clear: a strong record on pay equity can protect brand reputation, minimize legal risk and demonstrate social responsibility. 

Law firms and consultants should expect to see the demand for pay equity services rise. And those firms want to maximize profit and provide superior experiences will partner with HR technology vendors.

 

Want to learn more about CURO's partnership opportunities?

CURO combines your local industry experience with our best-of-breed compensation management and pay equity analysis software, to exceed our joint customers’ expectations.

Contact us to learn more about partnering. We'd love to hear from you!

Man analyzing pay equity data

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