Association Conference Call Explores Equal Pay Trends

April 20, 2018

The Association hosted a conference call exploring the various aspects of the gender pay equity challenge both in the United States and Europe, featuring member company representatives as well as subject matter experts.  HR Policy Vice Chair Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent at ManpowerGroup, kicked off the call saying, "If we had had this call as recently as five years ago we would likely have focused exclusively on federal policy.  Now, the playing field has shifted primarily to the state and local levels as well as in Europe, not to mention what companies are doing voluntarily on their own." 

  • Corrin Jackson, Special Counsel for the Workplace Policy Institute, which closely tracks state and local employment laws, noted that the various laws often have not been tested in the courts.  She said, "What we are seeing is employers trying desperately to comply but no agreement on how the laws should be interpreted." 
  • Rebecca Rule, Managing Associate, Employment, Reward and Immigration at Lewis Silkin LLP, reviewed European equal pay initiatives, including the UK's Equality Act of 2010, which requires a comprehensive report of pay gaps.  She observed that a major flaw in the Act is that the data requested does not distinguish between different positions.   
  • Company representatives walked through what their companies are doing to achieve gender pay equity, such as analyzing salary data across work populations and addressing bias in recruiting and talent management.  They noted that while their respective company efforts are substantial, government attempts to tip the scales often include reporting requirements for data that ultimately lacks relevance toward achieving pay equity.    
  • Ani Huang, Vice President for the Association, discussed shareholder proposals and campaigns on gender pay as well as voluntary company disclosures and pledges to organizations such as Paradigm for Parity and Catalyst.

  • The call was moderated by Mark Wilson, Vice President of Health and Employment Policy at the Association.  He was also joined by E.R. Anderson, Vice President of Communications and Government Affairs, who highlighted the Association's white paper on the topic.