Databricks Uses Syndio to Fast Track Global Pay Equity & Earn "Fair Pay Workplace" Certification
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Databricks is an enterprise data and artificial intelligence (AI) software company. As a fast-growing tech company competing for top talent across the globe, they strive to be a top-rated employer by fostering a fair and inclusive work environment.
With a core company value of "letting the data decide," Devin Engel, Head of Total Rewards at Databricks, knew that employees and leadership would expect a data-focused approach to fairness, especially regarding pay equity. And in order to create a truly fair workplace, she needed to build trust with the employees around the pay equity analysis process and how compensation decisions are made. She also didn't want to simply react to an issue that might crop up in the future, but tackle pay equity head-on — because it's the right thing to do.
We have a responsibility as a company to use the data available to address existing pay disparities, hold ourselves accountable to making change, and make fair pay decisions every day."
Head of Total Rewards
Technology & software
2,700+ in 18 countries
- First-time analysis
- Global pay equity
Ensuring a comprehensive global view of pay equity across demographics and compensation types
- Syndio's Pay Equity Platform, PayEQ™
- Syndio's Elite Consulting
- Increases speed of execution
- Garners trust with employees
- Boosts employer brand
- Enables pay equity transparency and communication
Success as a company led to rapid growth, both in the U.S. and internationally, but the team had never done a pay equity analysis before. Knowing that every new hire had the potential to disrupt pay equity, the team felt it was urgent to get answers, uncover problems quickly, and use proven processes and methodology to resolve them.
This meant they needed a partner who could not only move quickly but also who knew the ins and outs of an array of global pay equity regulations. They also wanted to grow their internal capabilities and understanding of pay equity, so they could stay on top of issues as the company continued to grow and evolve as a global leader.
Databricks began using Syndio's pay equity platform, PayEQ™, to complete their first global analysis, as well as Syndio's patent-pending Pay Policy Analytics™ tool to ensure their pay policies were working as intended and not unknowingly creating further disparities.
Throughout the process, they leveraged Syndio's deep data science, legal, and compensation expertise to properly classify substantially similar groupings (SSGs), navigate regional pay equity laws, determine fair pay across both gender and race, and enhance their internal expertise and understanding of pay equity.
After the initial analysis, Databricks partnered with Syndio's expert consulting team to determine the best course of action for remediation, for future analyses, and to communicate their methodology, results, and action plan internally and externally.
Syndio was the obvious choice, and since starting to use the software [in 2020] we have gained a deep understanding of our pay equity and its underlying factors. The company provides not only the best software in the space, but access to experts and guidance as we move through our journey to pay equity."
Chief People Officer
Making an impact faster
Databricks had never done a pay equity analysis before partnering with Syndio. Still, they were able to complete their first analysis — including gender and race, base pay and bonuses — for all global employees in just two months. Getting results quickly meant they could resolve issues sooner, which was very important to their team because they know the cost of remediating pay disparities only grows over time.
Subsequent analyses can now be completed in moments, due the fact that their data was already configured within the solution. The results also improved, with total yearly remediation costs decreasing despite doubling the size of their workforce.
Fair Pay Workplace Certification
Databricks wanted to validate their pay equity analysis process and methodology. So they partnered with Fair Pay Workplace™ — a nonprofit organization providing a set of transparent pay equity rules and standards developed by industry experts — to become part of the first cohort of companies to receive Fair Pay certification. "We want to be held to a standard. And we want our employees to expect and understand the standard we want to meet and be held accountable to," says Engel.
Receiving this certification has also provided Databricks more opportunities to communicate their commitment to fair pay externally. They have even been featured as an industry-leading company in Bloomberg, further positioning them as an inclusive company and a best place to work.
Greater trust with employees
Knowing the results were produced through trusted and proven methodologies, Engel and her team have been able to be transparent about pay equity results and how pay decisions are made. This has fostered a culture of openness throughout the company where employees feel informed and comfortable asking questions. "People really appreciated the fact that we were encouraging the conversation and wanting it to be open," Engel states.
This transparency has had a positive impact on Databricks' employer brand, and has contributed to numerous employer awards, including:
- Fortune Best Workplaces in Tech 2021
- Forbes America's Best Startup Employers 2021
- LinkedIn Top Startups: The Hottest U.S. Tech Companies to Work For
As Databricks continues to rapidly grow, Engel is committed to furthering Databricks' pay equity work and expanding their analysis to include more demographics and intersectionalities. She also plans to leverage Syndio's real-time fair pay recommendations for new hire salaries to prevent pay disparities before they ever happen.
Whenever there's a chance to not just 'keep up' with pay equity but be ahead of the curve, we want to be part of it. We want to be a part of the movement that causes the industry to adopt a standard."
Head of Total Rewards