New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is already finding himself in a PR nightmare over recent remarks he made about women’s pay. When asked at a conference for women in technology how women should ask for raises, Nadella said they shouldn’t. They should instead have faith that the system will provide them with good pay for quality work.
“Because that's good karma,” Nadella said. “It'll come back because somebody's going to know that's the kind of person that I want to trust.”
The remarks upset many people by suggesting women just need to be passive and patient in their quest for equitable pay, despite a recent Census Bureau report revealing that women still earn just 78.3 cents for every dollar earned by men.
While Nadella has apologized for (and clarified) his comments, they do raise an important question for business owners: Are you truly paying your men and women employees equitably? There are a few things business owners can do to ensure more equitable pay:
Design a clearly defined pay structure. Companies that have a well-designed pay structure—such as paying employees with the same experience or level within the company—are less likely to have large discrepancies in what they pay men and women. A 2010 survey found that just 44 percent of companies with 100 or fewer employees have a salary range structure, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Do an assessment. Compare the current salary and full compensation package of your current workforce and evaluate whether men and women in the same levels of the company are paid equitably. If not, you might want to consider giving a larger raise to female employees to reduce any gap.
Make equal pay a priority. Make equal pay among men and women a business priority, not just a nice thought. Continually review and compare the pay and compensation of men and women on all levels of the organization and take action to correct any gap.
Make pay more transparent in the office. One reason unequal pay exists is that many women don’t realize they’re earning less than men—because it’s taboo (or even banned) to talk about pay in the office. Some companies have already made their salaries open to everyone in the office. And by doing so, they’re preventing pay discrepancies that would surely be pointed out quickly by affected employees.
Read more articles on HR and benefits.
Photo: Getty Images