Media Alert: Stagnant Pay Gap Data Reveals Need for Companies to Use Gender-Blind Hiring Practices, Says Inclusive Leadership Strategist

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Media Alert: Stagnant Pay Gap Data Reveals Need for Companies to Use Gender-Blind Hiring Practices, Says Inclusive Leadership Strategist

The just-released 2018 data on The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace from Hired adds more fuel to the fire for companies to prioritize closing the gender pay gap. The study showed that 63 percent of the time, women are still being offered lower salaries than men for identical work at the same company. Close to half of respondents said they believe solving gender-based wage inequities must be a collaborative effort—relying not just on government policy changes, but also on actions from companies and employees.

Leading inclusive leadership strategist Rebecca Shambaugh agrees that organizations, women, and men all have an important role to play in combating the pay gap. In light of Equal Pay Day on April 10, Rebecca recommends the following strategies for each stakeholder:

  • Companies and their executives’ role is to create a culture of equality. This means all employees are treated equally regarding pay, growth opportunities, and advancement. It’s time for executives to double down and commit to equal pay—not just for gender but also for ethnicity and race. This can start by examining salaries: comparing people’s compensation for similar roles and exposing currently unexplained differences. Organizations can also start standardizing the use of blind hiring practices to eliminate bias, since research has proven that interviews and resume reviews are often tainted by gender discrimination. This helps to level the playing field by forcing hiring managers to focus only on a candidate’s true qualifications, rather than on surface characteristics or demographics.


  • Women need to recognize that not asking for what they want can be Sticky Floor. SHAMBAUGH’s research has shown that a few common thought patterns hold many women back from requesting the salary they want and deserve, including fear of hearing a “no” and discomfort with asking for something that feels like a personal favor.


  • Men in leadership positions can use their power to influence policy changes for more equitable hiring and pay practices. Data from Hired revealed that certain sectors fare worse than others in pay inequities. By arming themselves with these figures for their industry, senior-level men can encourage leadership groups to prioritize equal pay.


Rebecca asks leaders and organizations to consider a provocative question: What if all companies started using a “blind” systematic approach when it comes to hiring, succession planning, promotions, and other steps related to career advancement—including salary determinations? Some of SHAMBAUGH’s clients have begun to take this route, which has revealed that their previous systems indeed suffered from gender bias, including in the area of equal pay.

As an internationally recognized leadership expert and speaker, Rebecca’s organization provides best practices for creating inclusive cultures while providing targeted solutions to overcome gender bias and accelerate gender balance at all levels of an organization—including equitable pay practices. By transforming workplace cultures so that everyone has the same chance to thrive in an environment that supports gender equality, organizations have a clear roadmap on the path to equal pay for equal work—all leading to greater bottom-line performance.


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Rebecca Shambaugh

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