Shining a Light on Pay Inequities Can Help Workers and Employers Close Gaps

The gender pay gap is real – any way you slice it. Do you know where your company stands? If not it’s time to ask.

Earlier this year, Glassdoor Economic Research released a study, Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, that analyzed more than 534,000 salary surveys from workers at more than 68,000 employers. In the U.S., Glassdoor data revealed a 24 percent pay gap, meaning women earn, on average, $0.76 for every dollar a man earns.

Glassdoor collects salary data anonymously down to the job title and company level, and we were able to take the analysis further than the raw average to control for age, education, years of experience, location, job title and company. With these statistical controls in place, the U.S. pay gap compresses to an average 5.4 percent “adjusted pay gap” although some occupations are much higher, such as computer programmer with a 28 percent adjusted percent gap. And, Glassdoor data reveals the adjusted gender pay gap widens with age, starting at 2.2 percent for those 18-24 and growing to 10.5 percent for those 44-54.

While two-thirds of the adjusted gap can be explained through the sorting of men and women into different occupations with varying levels of compensation, one-third of the adjusted gap cannot be explained and is likely some form of intended or unintended bias that needs to be addressed. And, keep in mind that just because the differences might be explained, it certainly doesn’t mean it is justified. We can all do more to empower girls and young women to pursue any career they choose, including those in STEM fields.

Nearly nine in 10 American workers believe people should be paid equally for equal work and experience. However, most U.S workers remain in the dark – nearly seven in 10 wish they had a better understanding of fair market compensation for their job and skill set at their company and local job market.

How are we to know what’s fair, really? The truth is, it’s really hard. Most employers do not have transparent pay practices.

Imagine if sharing pay wasn’t taboo in our society and every worker knew exactly where they stacked up related to compensation in their company and market? Imagine if pay gaps couldn’t hide in departmental crevices and go unaddressed for years or even decades?


The time is now. The good news is anyone can anonymously share their pay on Glassdoor and help empower other workers with information. The video above highlights workers who stepped outside anonymity to share their own pay, and help spark conversations. We invite every worker everywhere to join the #ShareYourPay movement. We can all help turn the lights on and increase pay transparency.

When pay gaps are illuminated, employers can take positive steps to close them. Glassdoor is proud to be one of the 28 employers to take the White House Pay Equality Pledge as part of the United State of Women Summit held June 14. We have committed to review our compensation annually, and we decided not to stop at analysis – we will be completely transparent about our results. And, we challenge other employers to do the same. We know it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is worth the time and effort to ensure women are being paid fairly.

And, equitable pay practices will increasingly set employers apart. More than 60 percent of U.S. workers say they will not apply to a company where a pay gap exists. More than 2,000 employers have already pledged equitable pay practices on their company profiles on Glassdoor, candidates are taking notice, and we invite you to do the same.

If you don’t know where your company stands, it’s time to ask. It’s time to turn the lights on and illuminate gaps – whether intended or unintended – and keep them from being hidden in secrecy and darkness. The time is now.

Dawn Lyon is the vice president of corporate affairs at Glassdoor.

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Are you now the liberal media?
I thought the Department of Labor represented both sides.
I signed up for the blog, and most I am getting is far left opinions.
I request that you give other entities equal time with our government supported website: Chamber of Commerce, Right to Work Foundation, and conservative think tanks.

It makes me wonder if the DOL stats are reliable . . . IRS, Department of Justice, and now Department of Labor with agendas to push when all agnecies are supported by all citizens?

Now you may place me on a watch list for conservatives who need to be silenced or shamed by political correctness?

I have followed the DOL for many years. It used to be nothing but the facts. Now it is one-sided facts, with discussion of other views or facts not allowed to Glassdoor in the same article?

Yes, the book of Revelation is coming true. The lamb-like bease (Christian nation) is starting to roar like a lion (dictatorship).

With you JoAnn! Well said!

Another frightening trend.

The government believes that actual companies should all operate as they do, with defined position descriptions and a set pay scale. Federal employees climb the GS pay scale as a reward for staying alive, which is what generally constitutes "experience."

Here in the real world, employees are constantly seeking the best pay they can get and employers seek the best employees they can find. If they don't pay them enough, they leave. There is no loyalty on either side, which makes a fairly clean marketplace.

Thing is, employees' value isn't based solely on the position description and years experience.

In some cases, employees are more valuable than others doing the same job for other reasons: (A) maybe they have worked in related industries and the company wants to incorporate some of that perspective, (B) maybe they have relationships that will help grow the business, (C) maybe they have been working harder and longer hours in previous jobs and their current job so have been on a steeper growth curve, (D) and many other things we could conceive of.

Now, we are going to reveal salaries. This is a setup for lawsuits, placing employers at risk of discrimination claims from people that discover they make less. Maybe they are not as smart, don't work as many hours, don't hustle, don't generate new work for the company, don't get great reviews from customers.

Employers are bracing themselves for legal they continue packing their bags to move to more business friendly countries.

I see, let's shame each other (male, female, and transgender) about our salaries. Let's compare with each other what I thought was private between an employer and employees. Just like the new rule from OSHA where the Obama administration will start sharing private injury data (by company) online. This is another attempt at "behavior modification" by deceptive practices. Why is sharing private salary information good for America? How does it solve pay gaps? I see it as making people angry and hurt, and judgmental.

Apparently I am not correctly utilizing the DOL website, as I am unable to locate the web page where the Department has posted the salaries of all current DOL employees, listing job title, sex, gender, gender identity, salary, bonus and perks. I'm sure the DOL is totally consistent with it's espoused position on pay transparency, so the Department will surely be proud to post this information to show to all of us it's own commitment to pay equity so we may be inspired by our government's fine example. Please direct us to the URL where this list is posted. Thank you.

Nice post John!

I work in private security ,I am a female, 50 yrs old, I have trained 10 officers and supervisors, who all are men,who make more money than me, and less experience. I have applied for the supervisor Position and have to share it with an officer I trained, and he still is having problems with the position. The branch has asked me to write the training manual, but again no equal pay, less pay, less respect.. All the officers I trained, have quit or been fired. I am discriminated because I am a woman, over 40, But my company has begged me not to leave,when I said I was done, In my State, it is not illegal to share pay rates among employees, the company can ask you not too, but you can't be fired, or written up,if you share the information. I have a college degree in criminal justice, the ones I have trained do not, and have never worked in security. so yes,the pay gap needs to close, state also says it is a law for equal pay, equal work regardless of gender .Employers completely ignore this law.

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