Forty-Two Percent of Employees Say Their Employer Is Not Dedicated to Closing Pay Gaps in New Pay Equity Research by Salary.com and the HR Research Institute
- The research report, 2021 Viewpoint: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, provides insights on views of HR executives vs. those of employees to help understand the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and guide employer DE&I initiatives.
HR professionals are more likely to have rose-colored glasses when looking at the current state of pay equity in their organization compared to employees. While only about half of surveyed employees (53%) say they are paid equitably or believe their peers are, a larger proportion of HR professionals (66%) believe their peers are paid equitably. However, HR professionals and employees are more aligned when it comes to how leadership prioritizes equitable pay; only 17% and 18%, respectively, say it is a top priority among the executives in their organization. And perhaps most concerning, a full 42% of employees say their employer is not dedicated to closing pay gaps.
The free research report, 2021 Viewpoint: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, is now available for download. HR.com’s HR Research Institute and Salary.com conducted the study of a sample of HR professionals to compare with a sample of employees in order to examine and compare the perceptions of each group. The study aims to help employers understand and assess the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace and to improve workforce equity and DE&I initiatives.
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Addressing Pay Equity
HR respondents (57%) suggest they are more likely to report pay equity issues, which is far more than employees (37%). This may be because HR has more access to the training and the workforce data necessary to uncover discrepancies in pay. Further, it’s interesting that while HR professionals report pay equity issues more often, employees are more likely to suffer consequences when reporting these issues (44% vs. 17%).
“Pay equity is a fundamental element of the employer-employee relationship, yet 42% of employees surveyed said their employer is not dedicated to closing pay gaps,” said Lenna Turner, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Compensation Consultant at Salary.com. “At Salary.com, we define pay equity as internally equitable, externally competitive, and transparently communicated. While employers are making progress on pay equity, a lack of transparent communication could be leading to this employee skepticism.”
Fewer than one-quarter of HR professionals say their organization has a formal budget allocated to closing pay gaps. This lack of budget could be the reason why just 33% of HR professionals agree or strongly agree that their organization has the proper tools to detect internal pay gaps.
HR professionals who say their organization’s pay equity tools successfully detect internal pay gaps and inequity are more likely to:
- say they themselves and their peers are paid equitably
- have pay equity among different ethnicities/races
- make equitable pay a top priority among executives
- have a formal budget allocated to closing pay gaps
- have employees speak up if they witness or experience workplace discrimination
- have DE&I initiatives that are adequately staffed, funded and measured
- say their organization celebrates diversity
“In the wake of the pandemic, it’s even more critical that management and their employees see eye to eye when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Employees value these issues immensely, but are not seeing their companies do enough work in this area,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of HR.com. “Employers have to understand that equity is critical for business growth!”