Monday, September 28, 2020

2020 is the Year To Prioritize Equal Pay

Here on the Unbounce blog we’re usually talking about all things conversion intelligence and optimization. And while we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming soon, today we have a call to action of a different kind. It’s one that’s very important to our people-focused company and an issue that companies can no longer ignore—the gender pay gap.

Research from Stats Canada shows that a woman only earns $0.92 for every $1 made by a man even after adjusting for differences in industries, occupations, and rate of part-time work. And this gap is much worse for women facing multiple forms of discrimination, such as racialized women, trans women, and women living with disabilities.

Meanwhile, as economies re-open, we’re now seeing a widening of gender inequities caused by COVID-19. Women unfortunately continue to be more vulnerable to the economic effects of the pandemic due to their increased likelihood of working in service industries and being the primary caregiver of young children. If we’re not intentional about our actions, we could see decades of progress for gender equality in the workforce wiped out in a single year.

At Unbounce, we’ve been working hard to foster real diversity and inclusion in the workplace, both within our own walls and outside of them. Now, we want to help and encourage our peers to address pay parity at their own companies. We believe that even though conversation and debate are healthy contributors to progressing important issues, real change can only happen when companies commit to taking meaningful actions on big issues.

And so—beyond having addressed our own pay gap at Unbounce—today we’re launching Pay Up for Progress, a way of urging companies to pledge to make equal pay a business priority. This pledge is a commitment taken by your CEO or Head of HR/People and Culture (P&C) to complete a gender wage gap analysis and begin taking practical steps towards pay parity.

Several Canadian tech companies including Traction on Demand, Allocadia, Kiite, Thinkific, and Klipfolio have already committed to taking the pledge and making pay parity a priority within their organizations.

Why Make Pay Parity a Business Priority?

Many of you know us as a landing page builder, but you might not be familiar with the team behind our software. From day one, we’ve been consciously building a people-first team with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Embracing diversity isn’t only about doing what’s right. We also know that companies with diverse talent and fair, equitable practices for all employees are healthier businesses overall.

For instance, when organizations make equal pay a priority, they’re 19% more likely to exceed industry-average levels of productivity and 54% more likely to beat industry-average turnover benchmarks. In other words, businesses that value equality end up with less turnover and higher productivity. 

There’s more. We hope 2020 has awoken us all to the vast gender and racial inequities that still exist in the world today. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that we have a chance to re-examine the ways we operate as businesses—and one of the clearest opportunities for us to make a positive impact is by standing for equal pay.

We certainly aren’t the only business taking note of the importance of pay parity either. As part of Salesforce’s commitment to equality for their employees, the company conducted two pay audits, pledged to evaluate compensation on an ongoing basis, and recently adjusted the salaries for 30,000 employees to address statistical differences in pay. Other prominent companies like Starbucks, Adobe, RealSelf, Glassdoor, Boston Scientific, Citi, Microsoft, Gap, and Zillow have all made efforts to close their pay gap and monitor pay parity on an ongoing basis.

Not only are these companies seeing better business results, but we admire that they’re paving the way for smaller companies to start taking action too. Which leads us to our story.

How Unbounce Prioritized Gender Pay Parity

Three years ago, after analyzing compensation throughout our company, we discovered (to our surprise and disappointment) that we had a gender wage gap at Unbounce. From the very beginning, our founders have recognized the importance of treating all employees equally and fairly—so when we learned about our pay gap, there was no question that we would take action to close it.

Looking back, our journey was full of ups and downs. But thanks to the hard work of our P&C team, data team, and founders, I’m pleased to say we took the necessary steps to achieve gender pay parity.

Today, this means both self-identifying men and women at Unbounce with the same managerial status, development level, and geographic location are paid equally. And while we’re certainly proud of the strides we’ve made so far, we still have a long road ahead of us. This work is never finished. 

We realize many companies, especially SMBs, may be under-resourced to do a compensation analysis and tackle prioritizing equal pay on their own.  That’s why we’re sharing some of the tools, resources, and a community of support to help companies begin taking their own steps to reach equal pay. 

If you take the pledge, there are a few ways we’d like to support you. You’ll get:

  1. Access to the “Pay Up for Progress Toolkit”—a step-by-step guide we created based on our experience to achieve pay parity.
  2. An invitation to two live workshops (via remote webinar) with advocates and experts to provide guidance and answer your questions.
  3. Support from a community of fellow pledged companies that can help coach and encourage one another.
The Pay Up for Progress Toolkit
Visit the Pay Up for Progress page to take the pledge and download the toolkit.

Equal Pay Needs to Be Prioritized

Here’s my ask of you, your CEO, your HR or P&C leaders, and anyone else who is part of this journey: commit to making progress today. Don’t aspire to achieve perfection at a distant point in the future. In the midst of the world’s crises and alongside a renewed urgency for action towards dismantling all forms of discrimination, prioritizing pay parity is no longer a ‘nice to have’—it’s a necessity for your team, business, and community. I hope this pledge (and the community of pledgers) will be the galvanizing first step for many. 

You’ve seen the research, you’ve read the reports, you’ve heard the countless stories. You don’t need me to convince you that something needs to be done. The time is now for us all to make our workplaces more fair and equitable for everyone. And if we do this work together, we can close the pay gap for good.

from Unbounce