Equal Pay Day draws attention to persisting gender wage gap

Pay Equity Day Mee Derby

Equal Pay Day was last Tuesday, April 10th, and as recruiting professionals, we are invested in the future of work and in helping create a world where the gender pay gap is a thing of the past. To get there, we all need to understand the challenges we face in 2018.


According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, “This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year… Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.”


In 2018, women would have to work through April 10th of the next year to earn the same income that men did in the previous year. The significance of it being on a Tuesday also represents how far into the next work week women would have to work to earn the same income that men did in the previous week.


The Census Bureau released a Stats for Stories post delving into this topic. It includes an infographic showing the gender pay gap across many occupations. The chart shows a sobering reality of a pay gap in every occupation examined, with some gaps wider than others. Does your staffing firm hire for any of the occupations included? If so, we advise you get familiar with the factors creating a gender pay gap in that vertical in order to help mitigate it.  


The ACLU published this infographic showing how the gender pay gap disproportionately impacts women of color:


This issue is multifaceted, and the ACLU of Maryland Tweeted some contributing factors that need to be addressed in closing the gender wage gap:

  • Lower wages
  • Lack of transparency
  • Salary history
  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Lack of paid family leave


Many companies are making pay equity a priority, like software industry leader Salesforce. After acquiring 13 companies in 2016, Salesforce ran a review of all employee compensation within their new umbrella. “If unexplained differences in pay popped up, it made salary adjustments,” explains this article on Fortune.com. “The process affected 6% of the company’s 17,000 salaries and cost the company some $3 million.” CEO Marc Benioff also emphasizes that pay equity is a moving target, and this process needs to happen on an ongoing basis. Pay equity needs to be monitored and adjusted yearly. This is especially true for growing companies.


The staffing industry can be on the very frontlines of installing practices that end the wage gap and move toward equal pay. Temporary staffing firms can audit their compensation records, both for internal staff and those we put on contract, to ensure that men and women are being paid equally. Direct hire and search firms can influence and make recommendations to client companies. What does your staffing firm do to address this trend? Education is the first step, and we highly recommend you share these stats with your team so they’re informed. The staffing industry can take the lead on this very important issue.