Fairness at Work Episode #9: How to Talk to Your Employees About Pay Equity

Webinar recording

Aired March 23, 2021



Maria Colacurcio: Good morning, everyone thanks for joining us today for episode nine how to talk to your employees about pay equity.

Maria Colacurcio: This is part of our fairness at work series that we kicked off just about a year ago when covert hits and it's been so successful that we plan to continue doing it.


Maria Colacurcio: And also having a potentially who knows in person event at the end of June so stay tuned for details on that if you haven't been able to join us for prior episodes you can go to Syndio.com.


Maria Colacurcio: and check out with fairness at work series under resources where all of the recordings are available that's my reminder to mute my phone.


Maria Colacurcio: And we'll make sure that myself, as well as well as the panelists have done that so we're not interrupted.


Maria Colacurcio: We have two fantastic panelists with us today, which we will introduce in a moment, and today it's all about transparency, accountability and communication.


Maria Colacurcio: So thank you again for joining us one quick note, we will be talking about legalities and talking about things that encompass the legal sphere we're not giving legal advice we're not your lawyer, we have a lot of lawyers.


Maria Colacurcio: And, Kate herself, as a lawyer, but please do not consider any of the conversation to be official legal advice or guidance so that's the one disclaimer today.


Maria Colacurcio: Alright, so let's get started so changes upon us, are we ready So what are we talking about here we're talking about what you're probably seeing in the media, on a daily basis.


Maria Colacurcio: there's a body of research that employees, especially millennials and gen Z ears are putting increasing importance on page transparency.


Maria Colacurcio: And they're starting to do that by taking action they're sharing compensation information they're starting to ask some really difficult questions.


Maria Colacurcio: about how they're being paid why they're paid what they're paid, and if that pay is equitable.


Maria Colacurcio: The risk of employees, taking this public is unfortunately very real for leaders in companies, so you can see here if we build the site out there's a bunch of different examples.


Maria Colacurcio: of employees, demanding transparency, so you can talk about Google We have examples from blizzard entertainment where companies and employees.


Maria Colacurcio: are now grappling with this idea that crowd sourced spreadsheets of summaries are going to become more of the norm.


Maria Colacurcio: organizations are starting to set a new precedent for transparency, as well, so.


Maria Colacurcio: All of us have heard of salesforce and they've been sharing remediation amounts publicly for years it's becoming more and more common and more and more organizations are starting to post compensation on job descriptions.


Maria Colacurcio: we're getting clear signals, also from the Bible and in Harris administration that federal Equal Pay legislation is coming.


Maria Colacurcio: This is gender equity Council there's the paycheck Ferris act as well as we're seeing things at the state level from California Colorado New York Oregon and others.


Maria Colacurcio: So all signs are pointing toward companies are starting to become more accountable and starting to expose a bit more transparency around the topic of pay, this is really important for employees, and this is what employees are asking for.


Maria Colacurcio: So the second thing that we tell customers all the time, as the CEO of Syndio our mission is to eradicate pay disparities in the workplace and what this means is we help companies in the enterprise.


Maria Colacurcio: move from the old way, using outside legal counsel to software and they're a bunch of reasons to do this, and one thing we tell our customers consistently is that it's okay to find an equity.


Maria Colacurcio: anytime you lift the hood after not looking at your engine for a long time you're going to find rest, this should come as a relief to leaders to understand and know.


Maria Colacurcio: That in that initial look you're going to find problems that's very normal because discretion across large populations typically favors the majority, and if the majority are Mare you'll likely have disparities The good news is.


Maria Colacurcio: In that using software, you can find those disparities fix them and stay ahead of them over time.


Maria Colacurcio: So most companies that do an initial assessment find an equity and almost every Organization has some bias often it's not intentional and it could be the result of years and years and years of pay decisions, this is almost unavoidable.


Maria Colacurcio: But because of this it's really critical to look take action and keep looking in an ongoing way, which is what all of the leaders were progressive in this space are doing.


Maria Colacurcio: they're using software to make it easier, more frequent to look at pay policies are their policies working as intended.


Maria Colacurcio: And to stay on top of starting pay are they offering starting pay salaries in line with not only market pay but also internal equity so let's go ahead and finish building out this slide.


Maria Colacurcio: So what employees perceive efforts to address equity companies typically see a return in favor from the employees, meaning they give back their loyalty and devotion to the company.


Maria Colacurcio: In the sense of performance 20% more employees are willing to put an extra effort, because they know their company is taking steps to make things equitable and again this doesn't mean perfect.


Maria Colacurcio: don't equate perfect with effort employees, want to see effort on the part of the company.


Maria Colacurcio: attraction nearly two times as many employees would recommend their organization as a great place to work when the company takes steps to start looking at internal equity and not just looking at it.


Maria Colacurcio: But actually talking about it and giving a summary results and turn over this is the big 120 4% fewer employees to they're actively looking for a new job somewhere else, and these are gartner statistics.


Maria Colacurcio: When companies take steps to address pay in equity and to share some set of results with the company and again this doesn't mean posting a list of everyone salary, this is some sort of summary results are being transparent and accountable to the efforts that you're making.


Maria Colacurcio: So let's move ahead and introduce our speakers for today, we have an incredible panel and again for those of you who've been with us for episodes in the past, you understand the way these.


Maria Colacurcio: These the way these events work, so this is meant to be an open discussion.


Maria Colacurcio: Informal with our panelists we have topics and questions planned ahead of time, but we love to get questions from the audience, so please use the Q amp a.


Maria Colacurcio: slot on your zoom screen at the bottom, with the two little message boxes to post your questions we typically get through many of our customer questions or our attendee questions on these events, so please feel free to use that button and ask.


Maria Colacurcio: We have two phenomenal speakers with us today and we're really, really grateful to both of you for your time, the first is Kate Woodward.


Maria Colacurcio: Kate is a senior Labor and employment counsel at GE healthcare, where she provides advice on a host of Labor and employment laws.


Maria Colacurcio: She has a passion for pay equity and preventing harassment and discrimination but remember whatever Kate says she's not giving you legal advice she's just talking about her own experiences.


Maria Colacurcio: Prior to working at GE she was an employment litigator and compliance director at Sara Lee corporation she's also a mom to two boys whom she enjoys teaching about fairness and equity.


Maria Colacurcio: Then we have tanya Casey tanya is an experienced and super passionate professional the strong history of success.


Maria Colacurcio: leading global teams in the SAS industry so software as a service that's the industry we're in also the industry that she's in.


Maria Colacurcio: With a long career in sales and seven years at docusign she's currently leading global solutions and systems readiness programs.


Maria Colacurcio: She also sits on the women at docusign executive committee and is a member of the National sales enablement society.


Maria Colacurcio: she's a second generation immigrant with family migrating from the Middle East Beirut Lebanon, she holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Washington right here in Seattle.


Maria Colacurcio: with several other certifications, including women in leadership X executive education certification, if I can say that right haas Business School at Berkeley.


Maria Colacurcio: She is from personal experience, she is a dear friend, and I know firsthand she's a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion efforts, including the topic of pay equity so much that she's asked us to come and speak at her company.


Maria Colacurcio: So these are our two panelists for today and i'll be moderating the discussion so.


Maria Colacurcio: Really, the only way to have a real conversation about paid transparency is have the legal and the employer employee perspective.


Maria Colacurcio: So it's really about bringing these two things together, how can we bridge gaps and build trust between the employer and then the leadership team, who is constantly facing these types of things we talked about earlier, the crowdsource spreadsheet.


Maria Colacurcio: Employees filling the void of information when they don't have it from the company they're going to fill in the void of their own information, so how can leaders battle and bridge that divide between what the company wants to share.


Maria Colacurcio: And what the employees want so that's what we're going to kick off today we're just going to get right to it and ask the question.


Maria Colacurcio: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to page transparency.


Maria Colacurcio: And this is something we want to ask you the audience to answer so we're going to do a quick poll.


Maria Colacurcio: And then we'll get into the meat, so your biggest challenge, is it not knowing the answer to employees questions if you're a leader and your employees are coming to you asking all these questions and your company has not giving you the Info to answer that question.


Maria Colacurcio: Number two you're not allowed, but you're not sure what you're allowed to say so again.


Maria Colacurcio: If companies keep deferring pay equity to the legal team, it will be viewed through the lens of risk and so managers struggling they don't know what they're allowed to say.


Maria Colacurcio: And number three not having alignment with leadership on how to say it so we're going to give you a second to answer that question.


Maria Colacurcio: And then we will jump right into hearing from our panel.


Maria Colacurcio: Okay, it looks like number three has 46% so not having alignment with leadership that's fantastic for today's conversation because that's really what we're talking about here, how do we align.


Maria Colacurcio: With leadership on how to say what we're trying to say.


Maria Colacurcio: The second is not sure what i'm allowed to say, I think this is so, indicative of the fact that pay equity and companies is still run by legal departments and it's run through the lens of fear.


Maria Colacurcio: And we continue to ask the question why, why is this something.


Maria Colacurcio: That leaders are outsourcing to legal to enable them to push here, so I think that's very, very clear and we're seeing this all the time i'm not sure what i'm allowed to say, and then the third but still a 17% is I just don't know the answers.


Maria Colacurcio: Okay let's dig in so what we're going to cover today is what transparency really means what questions are top of mind for employees.


Maria Colacurcio: What to do if employees raise concerns about for pay and how to be ready for what's coming next a transparency.


Maria Colacurcio: So these are the four topics we're going to talk about, and with that, I think, will transition to the gallery view so we can see each other's faces, as we have this conversation.


Maria Colacurcio: And we'll kick it off so first question to get things started transparencies a pretty overused term.


Maria Colacurcio: I use it constantly and my team is telling me oh you use that word many, many times in your conversation you didn't quite explain what it means.


Maria Colacurcio: So I would love to hear from both of you and Kate let's start with you, if that's Okay, what does what does transparency really mean in this context.


Kate Woodward: yep Maria thanks for having me this is such an important topics and so timely and relevant and I think you're right transparency is a term that we hear a lot and what what a lot of.


Kate Woodward: Employees are and people are craving right, but I think we're transparency starts, in my view, is with education and how does pay work at your company what kinds of factors go into paid decisions and.


Kate Woodward: Because I think you're right what you mentioned earlier, is if they don't have some of that context, there is a lot of room for misinterpretation or assumptions that there's something going on.


Kate Woodward: That that is negative, in some way, so I think it's important that we have the dialogue and and share what we can share certainly about why people are paid what they're paid.


Maria Colacurcio: X cake appreciate that and tanya how leadership standpoint, I mean you've led global teams, so when you're talking about transparency, what does it mean to employees, what do they want to know what what questions are you getting asked.


Tanya Casey: I mean, I think everyone on the call is probably hearing some of the same things that i've been asked, over the years, which is, am I, being paid fairly.


Tanya Casey: how's my compensation determined, and how does it compare to my peers.


Tanya Casey: I think you know as Kate said there's some confusion about what this might all means, so I didn't even sometimes have the right answer between to like help somebody understand what's the difference between.


Tanya Casey: Pay equity and a pay gap if i'm not super informed as a leader and.


Tanya Casey: there's some level of subjectivity and unless you're informed so kind of doubling down on the.


Tanya Casey: topic of education, so you know, defining fairness, as an example, if you leave it to the subjectivity of a leader without informing them on how a company is going to be stating, you know that definition is definitely subject to interpretation and.


Tanya Casey: You know in lieu of a proper definition or answers from a company or manager people can come to conclusions on their own so transparency ultimately can mean a number of different things to employees, but is really rooted on being.


Tanya Casey: informed so that you're not in a situation that's not typically best for a company or its people, which is misinformation if people come to conclusions on their own.


Maria Colacurcio: hey that's a great answer tion what you're speaking to you from, from my perspective on what we see with companies is that transparency is really a spectrum.


Maria Colacurcio: Right so there's all these questions that you're being asked by employees like what am I paid How does that determine what's my range where, am I in the range and employers don't have to have back to your answer, Kate.


Maria Colacurcio: All the answers they just have to have a sense of where are they on the spectrum and how do they make sure they're aligned with leadership.


Maria Colacurcio: To address very clearly this is where we're at on the spectrum, these are the questions we're going to answer here's how we're going to answer them and here's where we want to get to.


Maria Colacurcio: So I think both of you really reflected that the other thing that came in from the audience and we'll just chat about this quickly because tanya you mentioned it from a global perspective.


Maria Colacurcio: The question was how do you communicate pay equity and also work toward it when you have a global distributed team, and I think.


Maria Colacurcio: At least what we're seeing and i'm curious if either of you have thoughts on this is that we're starting to see from a global perspective, the US is influencing the UK and the UK is influencing the US from a legislation perspective so.


Maria Colacurcio: we're very focused on the US style regression so looking at pay equity analysis and how we do it is starting to kind of filter over to the UK is thinking.


Maria Colacurcio: And the UK is very focused on what you said Tommy of the pay gap, so the distribution and representation that average that mean median.


Maria Colacurcio: The look at what is the average male salary versus the female sorry and that average gap is now starting to filter its way over to.


Maria Colacurcio: Our side in the US in that legislation is potentially going to look at both not just equal pay for equal work, which is pepe but also that distribution and representation any other thoughts from either of you just on that global perspective in terms of.


Maria Colacurcio: specifics of when you have a global team, you know what are the things that you should be thinking about.


Tanya Casey: I mean, I definitely can speak from my experience and kit i'd love to hear from you as well, but I think that there are a lot of factors that go into pay whether you're in the US or the UK or otherwise.


Tanya Casey: not speaking from a legal perspective, but I know that for me it's all about what those factors are is it stock is it equity, you know if are you pick are you paying on equity are you paying on salary, are you looking at.


Tanya Casey: Discrepancies with benefits in mind and those could be different, depending on where you are in the world.


Tanya Casey: And so you know just again having all of the factors at your fingertips, to be able to help people assess or look at that data in a meaningful way so that you're.


Tanya Casey: it's not you know it's not apples to apples, not everybody has to be paid the same it's about being paid fairly and equitably in your region and as it relates to you know the company and lawful standards, so I don't know if you have any other.


Tanya Casey: thoughts on that.


Kate Woodward: yeah I agree that you know, companies need to have their arms around what the laws are and certainly what their pay practices are in each of those and everywhere that they operate.


Kate Woodward: And and Maria to your point, you know one influences the other and people, you know mix terms, so there's it's really important that there's an understanding of you know what the laws are in those places and what our practices are, and you know that the companies are following them.


Maria Colacurcio: yeah I totally agree and it's funny because it's not funny, but it is more than just legislation right there's also this activist push.


Maria Colacurcio: they're all over me media, because it is a proxy for are there enough women and minorities and senior leadership so it's legislation and it's the activist push as well, I think, on both sides.


Maria Colacurcio: So some of these questions may seem pretty straightforward to employees who don't understand the complexity of everything that goes into compensation.


Maria Colacurcio: And there might be an expectation that leaders should be able to easily answer them.


Maria Colacurcio: We really believe that, if employers aren't proactively sharing this information, sometimes employees will fill the void and they'll fill it with information that's not accurate, you could you could see that a couple of examples, the.


Maria Colacurcio: New York Times published a real media salary and it was basically a crowdsource spreadsheet of people that were journalists in media.


Maria Colacurcio: And when we analyzed it, it was actually backwards, they had they had figured out the wrong conclusion because the data was wrong they were using the wrong controls and there was all sorts of misinformation in there, so.


Maria Colacurcio: I guess Kate, how do you recommend employers connect the dots so transparency can be confusing if you don't give the right context So how do you answer these questions in a way that makes sense and doesn't doesn't backfire if they have put some effort into trying to figure it out.


Kate Woodward: Well, I think it's a journey, for most companies right there is a spectrum of you know comfort level and how you know these questions are being answered.


Kate Woodward: But I think that, first and foremost, they need to get their arms companies have to make sure they have their arms around the data and that their data is accurate and it's understandable and accessible.


Kate Woodward: They need to know what their policies are right and understand those clearly and that they're working the way that they're intended to.


Kate Woodward: And then, a pay equity analysis to ensure there are no unlawful inequities that should be a regular thing that that companies are doing.


Kate Woodward: In for any outliers you know, regardless of the reason, even if it's not based on gender or race I think it's important for look at that.


Kate Woodward: And, and in my view, the trend is going toward a more regular look and not maybe just a once a year, look it's more often, because we are.


Kate Woodward: A fast paced world employees move in and out of jobs, all the time, so your data is constantly changing, so I think it's making sure you have your arms around that data and.


Kate Woodward: and have a way to look at it that's meaningful, such as through the Cindy of tool, where you can see your data in different ways and figure out what might need further investigation, when you answer those questions in a meaningful way.


Maria Colacurcio: yeah I think I think that's true, I mean like we've said, in the absence of information, please will fill the void and it's it's the sense of like nature abhors a vacuum right so who's going to put the information in.


Maria Colacurcio: I want to pause for a minute, because the chats going nuts and and we have a lot of questions about.


Maria Colacurcio: Legislation and what's the current legislation and how, how are we going to be thinking about this and my opinion is that.


Maria Colacurcio: The laws are important and, yes, we're trying to look around corners to see what's coming but it's less about the laws and more about senior leaders and employee employees, so I think tanya you have some really good perspectives there in terms of.


Maria Colacurcio: You know what happens if you run an analysis and you do find there's a problem, I mean this is less about the laws and more about senior leadership and what information do you share, what do you keep under wraps.


Tanya Casey: yeah, and I mean listen, I think I believe that employees are a lot more tolerant than people actually think.


Tanya Casey: So if organizations share that they've done an analysis and have found an equity is it can actually build trust, so long as the company's sharing that they have a plan to.


Tanya Casey: amend or a mediator, whatever it is that they're doing a fix them it's so much better to tell that truth, then be silent and to the points that we've been making so.


Tanya Casey: And there's the other hand, the other kind of side of the spectrum where.


Tanya Casey: People sometimes leave with a little bit of skepticism so if a company says oh we've solved for everything we actually don't need to do an analysis we're good and.


Tanya Casey: You know, it can definitely lead to distrust so be honest about what was found and we've we've seen right through a number of studies that that actually forges a really healthy culture with the topic.


Tanya Casey: Which is ultimately what you want, and again, as you said, Maria I think most employees are really curious about how pay works, so they.


Tanya Casey: They can tend to believe that things are worse than they may be, are so if.


Tanya Casey: An employee believes that an organized organization isn't looking into this at all, then they're more likely to say like shared their salary data or.


Tanya Casey: lodge complaints that i'm not making the same as somebody you know next to me when there might be a valid reason for that.


Tanya Casey: So I think the most important thing is to tell them that you're analyzing pay equity and that if you found an equity is that you're taking swift action.


Tanya Casey: To address them, and you know, I just want to put a pin and something that Kate said earlier, I cannot stress this enough, you have to constantly educate employees.


Tanya Casey: And more fundamentally, you know your your managers they're the frontline of Defense so they have to understand the philosophy behind compensation and many times, certainly what I found as a frontline leader and in.


Tanya Casey: In my time is that if i'm not equipped to answer again, I can answer subjectively, I can tell somebody may be different answers which doesn't lead to.


Tanya Casey: A well informed you know group of people that feel confident about the the culture or and.


Tanya Casey: And what the area that the environment that your company has tried to cultivate So if you help them understand.


Tanya Casey: Are you paying people based on tenure or performance or location or total rewards and you know what that formula is then you'll be in really good shape to have your constituents can follow you along.


Tanya Casey: The journey.


Maria Colacurcio: I love that tie, and I think you just answered a question in the chat that said.


Maria Colacurcio: My issue isn't so much not being aligned with leadership, but rather managers going rogue and saying nothing other than what leadership has agreed to say, and I think what i'm hearing from you is.


Maria Colacurcio: arm them with information so they don't have to go rogue give them the information they need and Kate.


Maria Colacurcio: to your comment it's you need a plan you don't immediately just go from zero to 60 and go fully public you've got to have that education component, specifically with senior leadership and make sure everyone's speaking the same voice okay any other thoughts on that and the education.


Kate Woodward: yeah I was just gonna I was going to talk a little bit about the the legal piece of it to the question that chat about you know kind of what laws can we expect and.


Kate Woodward: I think this is a really interesting space and can be challenging for employers to implement because.


Kate Woodward: You have the Equal Pay Act, which required to equal pay for equal work, but then you have a host of state laws and which you mentioned earlier, Maria that have a higher standard.


Kate Woodward: Similarly, situated work or you know just different legal standards and then you know we may, as you mentioned, have a federal law coming down that would.


Kate Woodward: require, among other things, that any differences, be accepted by a bonafide factor, other than gender and wait for talking about the gender space, so instead of just any factor, other than sex, so I think it's will all be watching.


Kate Woodward: with interest to see how this develops and I think it just really highlights that this is such an important area and then employers need to really own their data and be buttoned up and have have answers right if if questions are raised about why someone's pay is what it is.


Tanya Casey: And I think, Kate like if I don't have the answer i'm not quite as articulate as you and stating you know what might be disrupted by State or by region or whatever that might be, if you are, if you are me with enough.


Tanya Casey: But you also let me know that I have a line, so that if I don't have the right information i'm not coming up with it, but i'm saying hey employee.


Tanya Casey: You can speak to this person in HR or this person it typically an HR some sort of people group right where maybe they'll get more information or again.


Tanya Casey: Have a little bit more of the articulation of legal practices or whatever that might be I think what i'm getting at is.


Tanya Casey: I think that you need to inform them enough, but if there's an area where a manager isn't going to be the expert in all things legality.


Tanya Casey: Make sure that at least they know who the people are that they can lean on within an organization to give them give their employees better and better guidance right yeah.


Kate Woodward: Absolutely, I think that's right it's it's a team effort it's it's the leaders it's HR compensation and and legal you know, to the extent that there's some kind of privileged analysis but that's right it.


Kate Woodward: All those groups needs to be involved in and folks should know who to reach out to for help and station for those communication points.


Maria Colacurcio: So there's a bunch of questions now because we're touching on the legal part, so I just want to reiterate we're not giving legal advice.


Maria Colacurcio: i'm going to try and summarize them the best I can, because I think we're right on this topic.


Maria Colacurcio: At present, we can knock a couple of these out so there's a few things around current legislation is the focus on base salary or total COMP when defending equal pay for equal work so.


Maria Colacurcio: i'll touch on that one quickly and then Kate would love for you to weigh in but.


Maria Colacurcio: we're talking about the last protect all compensation, not just base pay so it's not just based on bonus there's no sort of like except stock options, you can put these over here and hide them and build them out, however, you want.


Maria Colacurcio: So any thoughts on that I know it's a pretty straightforward question and the answer is.


Maria Colacurcio: legislation protects all compensation, but from the minds of employees and from a company like.


Maria Colacurcio: Employees think in terms of total COMP I mean they're looking when they asked do we pay fairly, do you think they're just talking about based there, do you think they understand their incentive bonuses their stock options, I mean how How are people thinking about this term total COMP.


Kate Woodward: And I think it's a fair question and i'm not sure how employees are thinking about it but that's why, and I think it's going to be a very.


Kate Woodward: You know the analysis is going to vary right in terms of what kind of a sales employees paid very differently than on sales employee.


Kate Woodward: So you might have to look at that paid differently, but I think that's why it's so important to do you know do your analysis, make sure you're looking at your groupings of people in the right way, in a way that makes the most sense.


Kate Woodward: and doing those comparisons and maybe you're going to look at basically maybe you're going to get total COMP packages probably looking at at at all, because to your point, you know that's how perhaps the employees, looking at it and the wall of Santa.


Tanya Casey: Maria I think it also goes back to what we have been talking about earlier around and.


Tanya Casey: Making sure that a manager is informed being prepared for different people that might be focusing on different things i've had employees literally sit with me and talk about.


Tanya Casey: And their investing schedule and how much they're going to make on any given year in total COMP and bonus structure and when their bonus structure starts to.


Tanya Casey: You know, maybe they got an annual and one time sign on bonus, and then they want to see their.


Tanya Casey: compensation package increase on that second year, knowing that they're going to decrease on that after that first year from there signing bonus.


Tanya Casey: That i've had people that really don't analyze it at all and just want to make sure that they're paid fairly on an.


Tanya Casey: annual salary and benefits, like they might have looked at benefits to something that might be important to some more than others and.


Tanya Casey: they've looked at different companies in different ways and kind of assessed terms or and you know.


Tanya Casey: great benefits that are off the beaten path that docusign, for example, offers to their employees and it's been a big competitive advantage so and it goes back to just making sure that.


Tanya Casey: In that managers are comfortable with talking about this talk, because it could be different, depending on who you're talking to I do think, I agree with Kate though generally are looking at it all out, but people are looking at total compensation, more so than anything nowadays.


Maria Colacurcio: Great so the other question in this vein is, is it possible that openly admitting you've identified problem areas, but when you up to lawsuits from those affected in the problem area.


Maria Colacurcio: And I think I heard you both answer this already so i'm going to summarize and tell me if there's anything else you have to add but yes technically.


Maria Colacurcio: it's an admission admitting you're fixing a problem, sometimes.


Maria Colacurcio: You know, people are afraid of doing this, but what from what we've seen in our experiences with customers that have done this, it leads to trust it leads to.


Maria Colacurcio: devotion like trust from employees and actually creates more loyalty, because the employees have.


Maria Colacurcio: assurance that the company is looking at it, so I think there's this tension between fixing a problem and protecting yourself to ensure you never get sued and it will always exist because fixing something means there was something to fix so.


Maria Colacurcio: Any advice, and if you don't have any it's Okay, because i'm springing this on you, but any advice to navigate that tension around.


Maria Colacurcio: You know, being afraid to admit something and communicating with senior leadership or even the board that it's going to be okay because it's going to engender trust any thoughts on that.


Kate Woodward: Now I do agree, and I would say I wouldn't assume it's it's an admission, because you know data and internal competitors things change.


Kate Woodward: so rapidly that that's why these regular looks make a lot of sense, so it will assume if an employee's were saying you know they're they're going to be receiving.


Kate Woodward: some kind of just and I wouldn't assume that there was you know some historical issue it's just might be like at that point in time, you know, a correction was warranted so.


Kate Woodward: I wouldn't you know necessarily assume that but sure I mean there's always risk, but I think it's it's the right thing to do right for from a legal perspective and even just the fairness perspective if we see.


Kate Woodward: Companies in general, see issues that that they make those changes as they're needed and and that you know goes to the trust factor that we've been talking about.


Maria Colacurcio: Great answer.


Maria Colacurcio: So, moving on to the process i'm really curious how you both feel about maybe Kate on your side, you know who should own this process, who should be making this plan and then tire really curious on.


Maria Colacurcio: The team who do you need to pull together in terms of the team to operationalize an initiative like this on the ground to make sure that education does occur so Kate let's start with you in terms of owning the process, making the time.


Kate Woodward: mm hmm well, I think you know, some people want to make it a legal check the box compliance.


Kate Woodward: You know initiative, but really it shouldn't be that great if there is some legal analysis that needs to be done under privileged and that's.


Kate Woodward: Confidential that should happen, but I think you know, we need to as we've been saying to arm our leadership and HR to have those conversations and to really own the process so that they understand why this is important.


Kate Woodward: Why this matters and and how to talk to our teams about it, so I think it has to be you know all leadership has to be bought in.


Kate Woodward: it's it's the legal side of it, yes, but it's also the fairness side of it too and it's retention, we want to retain and attract great talent and, and this is all part of them.


Maria Colacurcio: honey, what are your thoughts on the team.


Tanya Casey: mean at the end of the day, from.


Tanya Casey: and


Tanya Casey: From my standpoint, I think that everything stems from the CEO on down, so I do think that leadership does have to participate and be a part in the effort and.


Tanya Casey: They set the tone and the stage for what matters and.


Tanya Casey: You could say that this is something that matters but it's all relative if it doesn't matter more or less than other priorities that the companies focused on so.


Tanya Casey: If the CEO is behind something as an executive sponsor and you know it goes much better.


Tanya Casey: And, and then you know, I think, of course, everything that Keith just mentioned, you know you have folks in legal and compensation managers who are critical as the primary point of contact could be a part of it.


Tanya Casey: And, and you know again doubling down on education for them and what i've seen go really well when it comes to.


Tanya Casey: actually getting this out into an organization is harnessing the channels that you would normally use to communicate with employees, so you know if it's a regular all hands if it's an internal.


Tanya Casey: system that allows you to actually and assign some sort of a training module that's required or a site that can actually explain compensation and benefits policies that have salary bands or otherwise.


Tanya Casey: And that people can take into consideration, where they don't have to mind map.


Tanya Casey: Where do I find this and it's kind of you know, all in the transparency realm or it's just it should be in a place that feels really comfortable and common.


Tanya Casey: And that would be the best case scenario, so if the team that's working on it is focused on how to get information to the primary point of contact in ways that they know and that matter most to them, then.


Tanya Casey: That can be that can be best done.


Maria Colacurcio: That makes sense, we have, we have a similar question in the chat and it's a it's a long one, so i'm going to summarize it again it's.


Maria Colacurcio: From a marketing and cons leader, which I think is interesting, we haven't quite talked yet about how marketing and communications fits into the puzzle.


Maria Colacurcio: They said, you know, can you talk about the role of marketing in this, we often happen to.


Maria Colacurcio: My firm often taps into it, but it feels like we're being asked to promote something that is not even set up correctly by HR yet just curious how you balance this and the internal teams My fear is that we over promote something that's not ready yet.


Maria Colacurcio: And this is so interesting for me specifically because my first introduction to this topic was while I was working in communications at starbucks.


Maria Colacurcio: And I would say the communications team was really pushing to have a great result at our first annual meeting and announcement of parity, but the legal team was pushing back because we didn't really at that time, yet understand.


Maria Colacurcio: Why we couldn't be 100% why can't we say we're 100% and that's what we want it, we were like we want 100% but we had to be educated to.


Maria Colacurcio: To understand the ins and outs of what does that mean, and why can't we just stay.


Maria Colacurcio: 100% and I think it's really important for marketing leaders to get a better understanding of this topic, because you don't want to go out.


Maria Colacurcio: and say that you're 100% if you're not so any thoughts on that from either view just in terms of like that handoff between the the analysis, the results higher educating the leaders speak to employees and how marketing is often running with it.


Kate Woodward: I think that's interesting and it brings up a good point about the you know why can't we just go.


Kate Woodward: And I think that's something that you know the lawyers right will say it's we could be waving a privilege and we have to be you know really ready to think about it from all the eagles before.


Kate Woodward: going to do that, and there are different ways to kind of.


Kate Woodward: slice and look at that data, so I think I understand you know, in your experience that hasn't been say there to make sure you know that everyone understood everything before kind of going because, once you open that door then.


Kate Woodward: You know more sort of more will follow, so I understand that and tanya i'd love your thoughts on kind of the marketing angle of it.


Tanya Casey: yeah I mean such a thoughtful question because it up, I hate to keep.


Tanya Casey: Beating this horse, but I mean it really does all come back to education and what collectively as a team, maybe a part of that team is a marketer right.


Tanya Casey: Where, you know as a part of the team you're talking about what feels comfortable for the company to.


Tanya Casey: to share announce how they want to announce it in a consistent way in terms of the formula and that we're taking and then I think, just like any relationship right.


Tanya Casey: A little bit of vulnerability and does typically.


Tanya Casey: mean that you're moving toward a better, more healthier honest, you know, trusting relationships, so it could be a crawl walk run it doesn't mean that you have to like.


Tanya Casey: Go bag immediately and then you know kind of roll it back, but you can certainly you know crawl walk run approach and and see what you're getting from you know the field from.


Tanya Casey: Your internal constituents and your stakeholders and your managers and continue to iterate, I think, Kate you mentioned this before where.


Tanya Casey: You said that the information should be available often I think the same thing might go for an iterative process, and you know can considering from a marketing angle that.


Tanya Casey: You know you're really talking about your internal stakeholders before.


Tanya Casey: Perhaps you go and big externally in some way, I think the big external push could be really about cultivating that culture of honesty and transparency internally period and that can be a differentiator but Maria have you seen companies do this really well and.


Tanya Casey: In your experience.


Maria Colacurcio: I have, and I think Tommy to your point earlier about senior leaders in a position to be successful.


Maria Colacurcio: The worst thing that you can do as a marketing team as a communications team is go out with a number.


Maria Colacurcio: That is not in sync with the rest of the organization, as we talk about you know, we want to have this number for our public facing persona or.


Maria Colacurcio: To combat the activists or to do whatever we want to do in terms of our PSG commitments, but if that isn't aligned internally you're putting your leaders in a terrible position.


Maria Colacurcio: Because everyone's going to start asking with that flurry of information, even just a snippet everyone's going to start asking to go one level deeper and if you're not prepared for that your team's not prepared for that.


Maria Colacurcio: You can be put in a really, really bad position nordstrom is a great example of this, so nordstrom is a customer of send you their their public.


Maria Colacurcio: They face or famously went public a couple of years ago with this information, and we had their head of combine one of our webinars and she talked about.


Maria Colacurcio: The process, they went through I mean if you saw the announcement on linkedin it was their highest engaging posts amongst employees when they announced their hundred percent pay parity number.


Maria Colacurcio: But behind the scenes, it was an incredible effort they did role playing.


Maria Colacurcio: They empowered their managers to practice talking about the elements of the controls and why people were paid what they were paid.


Maria Colacurcio: It was an incredible effort that was cross functional and so I think it's really important, as you think about you know, once you know public.


Maria Colacurcio: there's a consequence on privilege, Kate, as you said, or implication there's also an accountability that puts in the employees minds my company is going to be doing this every year you're on the hook at that point.


Maria Colacurcio: So it's not just something that you try and do for quick win on Equal Pay Day, you know, this is something you have to be very, very thoughtful about.


Tanya Casey: I also really like the the topic of.


Tanya Casey: Or the the concept of a role play Maria and you know adults, as many of us might know.


Tanya Casey: Which is a little bit different from the way a child would learn adults kind of learning principles are that they learn by doing.


Tanya Casey: And, and so you know just like anything else we could read a book and remember maybe 10% of it or 20% of it, of the details.


Tanya Casey: And same thing goes from a training standpoint, so I love that idea, and that they put into practice, which is role playing you can learn by doing and.


Tanya Casey: kind of missed up and misstep a little bit more and get informed and then try it again until you really get it right and that can kind of stick with you a little bit more and and pull through for the long haul.


Kate Woodward: I love that to that really demonstrate the commitment on the part of the company to take this seriously and make sure people are educated when they're speaking to their employees yeah.


Maria Colacurcio: yeah and one of actually one of the chat folks put in the message is also important that the people involved in decision making, represent the demographics, of the company, so I think that's a really interesting point as well, that you have a.


Maria Colacurcio: Diverse set of people that are making the decisions around communication, because you want to represent how your employees are going to consume.


Maria Colacurcio: Those communications so here's kind of an off topic question, but I do think it's very top of mind right now.


Maria Colacurcio: it's it's a question in the chat asking about the trend of some companies normalizing pay across geographies to attract retain talent.


Maria Colacurcio: versus other companies that are adjusting pay for folks that choose to relocate to lower cost markets so have I have you had any conversations internally or with peers or colleagues at other companies.


Maria Colacurcio: about this whole concept of GEO differences and are we going to start paying less if people choose to move outside potentially our corporate headquarters that are in an expensive urban area have you have you been talking with any of your colleagues about this.


Tanya Casey: yeah recently oh go.


Maria Colacurcio: ahead.


No, no.


Tanya Casey: Okay, my quick um you know, especially recently with Covid and you know, the effects of this pandemic i've had employees move left and right it's.


Tanya Casey: Something that's been really commonly requested people that have families that are are both full time and you know working and and parents and they want to move closer to their families and if they were living closer to.


Tanya Casey: Seattle or San Francisco some of our main headquarters and and the discussion is absolutely come up where you will be paid a bit differently, based on location, that the discussion for us has been.


Tanya Casey: super well informed, there are again components of the formula and to your pay and are there if it's a high performer or someone who has you know again tenure, or whatever it might be.


Tanya Casey: And you know we do want to look at it fairly and so we've looked at, can we balance on equity, can we balance on you know some sort of compensation structure that's.


Tanya Casey: A little bit more tailored to the needs of that employee otherwise absolutely location ends up being a part of it, and because of.


Tanya Casey: And because of the structure of some of the locations they're going if you go from San Francisco to utah or something like that, where.


Tanya Casey: And the housing market is different or general market is different, we definitely share what that analysis looks like, so I do think.


Tanya Casey: In that case, it's been a fairly easy conversation, which is understood, and it would just be much harder if we didn't have that data in our hands to do that in an informed way and I don't know, Kate if you have anything else.


Kate Woodward: yeah.


Kate Woodward: I think that's really interesting, as you know, you're right people you know, maybe moving more in two different places, but I think most companies don't have the appetite to take people salaries down.


Kate Woodward: Right and and in though in this example, it would be because of the geography, which you can do.


Kate Woodward: But I just don't think a lot of companies have that FA, but I think they need to keep in mind, then, of what what that does done to the other people's salaries, who are.


Kate Woodward: Literally situated right, and I think that goes for whether you're moving in the same job or also taking another job I think that's an area that's really important for employers to keep in mind that employees take different jobs for different reasons it's not always for a salary bump.


Kate Woodward: Right, as you know, as HR as leaders anyone involved with making a decision that is a question really important question is like what does this do, then, to the pay of other similarly situated employees.


Tanya Casey: it's a really great point definitely looking at it in comparison making again really informed decisions based on the impact it has across the board responsibilities, etc, not just where they're going to be sitting yeah.


Maria Colacurcio: it's certainly a raging debate right now I mean I think it's going to be really interesting to see where we end up because.


Maria Colacurcio: we'll be more remote make these GEO differences more important.


Maria Colacurcio: or less I don't think we've seen or figured out where this is going to land just yet, but I think it's a really interesting question that starts to bring up conversation about again.


Maria Colacurcio: Why are we paid what we're paid, and if this doesn't matter or does matter right on either side of the point What else does or doesn't matter, and I think that brings us to an interesting question on pay for performance in the chat let me get back and find it.


Maria Colacurcio: let's see where was this one and I here we go, how does historical pay for performance or meritocracy philosophies fit within the equal pay for equal work philosophy.


Maria Colacurcio: How can companies still recognize performance or pay, while ensuring equity across very performance levels um.


Maria Colacurcio: i'll just answer this quickly and then curious if if either of you have thoughts on pay for performance it's so critical to measure and analyze the degree to which what you as a company say is true.


Maria Colacurcio: If that's actually true so many companies say their pay for performance and a few actually are.


Maria Colacurcio: But that's exactly what we do with our software is it predicts the degree to which these pay policies play out in reality.


Maria Colacurcio: And a lot of times they don't so when you predict what patient be based on these policies net of gender net a brace and then compare it.


Maria Colacurcio: If they just don't play out so do either of you have any experience with answering this question in terms of performance and and how can companies still recognize that, while ensuring equity.


Kate Woodward: And I think that's interesting and that I agree with you very I think a lot of companies think they're paid for performance but then, if you look at the effects of their practices, maybe that's not the case.


Kate Woodward: I think you know if that's true, then you're right, it has to be measurable and it's companies that have you know strong metrics around their ratings and things like that, and some companies don't have ratings at all you can still do pay for you know performance for.


Kate Woodward: How, you know how people are doing, but I think it becomes it becomes a little Gray so that's why I agree, I think it's important to know what your values are and what you pay for what your papers are and then validate that that is in fact what's happening.


Tanya Casey: yeah and I think how to manage it for the long term and back to what we were talking about with real low you know, we know that.


Tanya Casey: and salaries, like salary discrepancies are typically one of the biggest drivers of an equitable inequitable pay if we start with a starting salary and then continue on to pay for performance or whatever that might be.


Tanya Casey: And it certainly you know helps us retain some of the best talent and continues to foster that.


Tanya Casey: type of efficient work on the other hand, am I looking at you know fairness across my team in a way that can help me effectively hire and promote and.


Tanya Casey: And you know again like Do I need to reassess the levels and what time hiring because i'm expecting that people.


Tanya Casey: are performing in the way that i've just you know, continue to pay for performance like Am I looking at my levels, a little bit incorrectly that I.


Tanya Casey: should be looking at it in a more fair and equitable manner, so it definitely and it raises a bunch of questions for me and i'm assuming others, so I agree key.


Maria Colacurcio: yeah and I think this goes to another question in the Q amp a which says.


Maria Colacurcio: A big part of equity goes beyond pay and includes the opportunity pipeline, so this is exactly what you're talking about tanya, what is your stance on career ladder.


Maria Colacurcio: Transparency, I mean we call this that scenario opportunity equity there's there's a real difference between competitive and non competitive promotions.


Maria Colacurcio: Competitive promotion should be posted there should be transparency, I we really believe you miss out on 100% of the candidates you never consider.


Maria Colacurcio: And you know, Kate I don't know if you've seen this but we've seen many lawsuits happen when they're sort of this tap on the shoulder like hey you're up for this job versus a competitive.


Maria Colacurcio: process, so any thoughts on this from either view on kind of this opportunity equity in the pipeline career ladder promotions transparency around these topics.


Kate Woodward: yeah I think that's exactly right.


Kate Woodward: Is what you said is.


Kate Woodward: You know there shouldn't be a tap on the shoulder if a job is truly morphing into a bigger job and it's still that job, but just with additional responsibilities, maybe that justifies and promotion that that doesn't need to be posted in a competitive process.


Kate Woodward: But if it's truly a new job, then, then it should be posted so that others, you know can apply for it, so I think I think that's right I think there's a lot of emphasis on that and companies need to pay close attention to make sure there's there's fairness there as well.


Tanya Casey: yeah I mean, I think that people you know, some people have different.



00:54:34.860 --> 00:54:49.050

Tanya Casey: goals in mind than others so K as an example i'd love to hear your take on this one I you know employees that are very uninterested in management, they just want to keep developing on an individual contributor path right and so.


Tanya Casey: As a leader, I want to make sure that i'm supporting them on that path and continuing to give them more responsibility or challenges.


Tanya Casey: or acknowledge when they've done something above and beyond their role and scope and responsibility, as defined by like a career framework.


Tanya Casey: And, and you know, give them the opportunity to be promoted, based on their performance over a course of several years it's never like a six months situation it's an assessment over time.


Tanya Casey: And we're working together to achieve goals, etc, where I don't think it would be.


Tanya Casey: Valuable to necessarily say okay now i'm going to create a net new wreck that this person would have to interview for but rather it's a you know it's a growth trajectory.


Tanya Casey: However, if it was going to be a total pivot from their job description and they were going to be, for example, taking on.


Tanya Casey: Direct reports, or that the role and is going to require like a significant set of new responsibilities or expectations.


Tanya Casey: That, in that case we absolutely want to post Iraq have a formal you know loop and make sure that we honor the process so that we're getting the best, most diverse, you know candidates for any particular job, what do you, what do you think of that how is that kind of seen from your perspective.


Kate Woodward: yeah I absolutely agree and I think every situation is different, right now, it requires a look of you know, an HR partner and the leader to really nice, is it a new job or is it just an expansion of.


Kate Woodward: That person's responsibilities and then again going back to what I mentioned earlier, is what you know if that person is getting a promotion in a pain free then.


Kate Woodward: What does that do to compromise, you know, are they now moving up to a different band we're now they're kind of compared with you know, a whole different set of people and just always keeping in mind what you know kind of what the patients are yeah yeah.


Maria Colacurcio: I think that's a great point you know transparency sets expectations versus surprise you know for leaders leads to compliance and confusion.


Maria Colacurcio: So I think if you can set expectations that you know if it's a non competitive promotion you're moving from apparently the one apparently go to.


Maria Colacurcio: or something it's incremental it's it's there's not incremental headcount been added to that it's just a promotion and if employees sort of understand how that works.


Maria Colacurcio: Then you'll be able to set expectations and not run yourself into a corner, so we have six minutes left, I want to kind of do a quick rapid fire with each of you tanya.


Maria Colacurcio: For you, if you had a magic one as a leader of global teams what information, would you have access to that would help you hire develop and retain a really high performing team and just for yourself as being a leader.


Tanya Casey: I mean i've had to do these things manually before and what Kate and I, and you Maria have been talking about this this hour and it's you know, being able to see my entire team.


Tanya Casey: Their salaries and the logic that's gone into them, I mean it seems really straightforward but.


Tanya Casey: it's not if if we don't have a tool that can you know kind of help assemble these things you have to do it manually.


Tanya Casey: And you know, I think that would not only help me communicate with my team about compensation, but also like you said effectively hire and promote.


Tanya Casey: And while ensuring fairness from day one, because that can change over time, like we just said, somebody promoted or and or is paid on performance or starting salaries which we had talked about which you know.


Tanya Casey: i've been at docusign for seven years that's changed quite a bit over time So how do you how do you look at the drivers and to you know really assessing equitable pay.


Tanya Casey: So if I can ensure that we're getting that right and making it consistent and tracking it over time, then that would go a really long way, for me, I had a magic wand.


Maria Colacurcio: Thanks time really appreciate that I think leaders will take a lot from your experience just leading teams and trying to be in a position where you're equipped with the information to educate, I think that has comes through loud and clear.


Maria Colacurcio: Kate what advice, do you have, for your fellow lawyers everywhere that are thinking about these topics and not legal advice again but.


Kate Woodward: I would say, get your arms around your data, make sure you, you have it at your fingertips, you know it, you understand what groupings you're looking at what analysis you're doing.


Kate Woodward: And then be you know you're not in it alone engage your HR partners your leaders, they have to be in it with you, they have to be invested and.


Kate Woodward: And and you're in it together to make sure you're making really good decisions from pay equity and from a fairness standpoint right, you might make decisions.


Kate Woodward: That aren't to protect you know your legal risks, but just because they're the right thing to do so, I think you know get get with all your stakeholders and make sure you're doing the right things for for the company and for employees.


it's a great answer.


Maria Colacurcio: Okay, we have three minutes left, so I think i'll grab maybe one last attendee question and then we will sign off I gotta find a good one.


Maria Colacurcio: So this one's interesting and I think it's a good place to end because I don't know that there's a great answer to it.


Maria Colacurcio: But there's a question about focusing on pay ranges or bands within various titles, rather than transparency individual COMP packages.


Maria Colacurcio: So the question is how do you feel about focusing on this and what it also helps for leaders to be transparent about expectations at various levels.


Maria Colacurcio: to know how someone can advance to the top of the page and so I think this is again a question I have.


Maria Colacurcio: On that zero to 60 spectrum of transparency if we're focusing on the we're going to talk about why we pay what we pay.


Maria Colacurcio: what's the level of detail, but I think you that you need to go into her need to have your hands on an order to be able to answer the questions this is gonna unfortunately have to be a pretty quick answer but we're talking about ranges or bands.


Maria Colacurcio: What would help you as leaders to know.


Tanya Casey: You know I I, I know I mentioned this earlier on, I think i'll probably just expand on it, I think it's what's the formula within that band what's taken into consideration, we had talked about, is it GEO is it.


Tanya Casey: An assessment of like companies that pay in a particular way for a role that's described and with the level of experience needed or the responsibilities needed.


Tanya Casey: And is it a level of education, and I know that that's something that has been a topic of conversation.


Tanya Casey: And it's certainly something that's considered right and, in many cases and, and so I think it's really understanding the formula Maria and and what goes into those bands.


Tanya Casey: And to have an effective conversation and make sure that you're effectively managing against it, as well do you have room in that band, and you know, to advocate for something that might be.


Tanya Casey: more fair and equitable to the rest of the group that you have on hand, or you know, like responsibilities that you might be looking at across the organization so K I don't know if you have anything to add there.


Kate Woodward: Who would agree, I think there's some room to share and there are laws like the Colorado law which you've mentioned earlier, Maria that requires in your job postings to to list those ranges, so I think there is information that can be shared on that point.


Maria Colacurcio: Thank you yeah that's it's a tricky one and there's it's very personal company to company, but I think the message came through loud and clear around education transparency it's a journey.


Maria Colacurcio: You know arm your leaders, make sure they have what they need.


Maria Colacurcio: I am so appreciative for your time today, both of you, you were incredible panelists and speakers and really appreciate all the insights that you gave to our audience today.


Maria Colacurcio: Just as a reminder, if you registered and attended and you will send out the link to the recordings, you can gather up all of this great info.


Maria Colacurcio: There were so many questions we didn't get to so audience, thank you for being so active in the chat we will answer those questions and send them out after the fact, so just know that those answers are coming and again tanya and Kate Thank you so much for your time today.


Tanya Casey: thanks for having oh thanks.


Tanya Casey: Take care.


curcio: Just as a reminder, if you registered and attended and you will send out the link to the recordings, you can gather up all of this great info.


Maria Colacurcio: There were so many questions we didn't get to so audience, thank you for being so active in the chat we will answer those questions and send them out after the fact, so just know that those answers are coming and again tanya and Kate Thank you so much for your time today.


Tanya Casey: thanks for having oh thanks.


Tanya Casey: Take care.