Taylor Swift, The Gender Pay Gap and the Impact on Your People – Employee Rights/Labour Relations

As the gender pay gap persists, the pop star is among those shedding light on the challenges women face in the workforce.

From her career to her love life, public controversies and songwriting, much has been written and discussed about Taylor Swift. However, insights shared by The New York Times staff writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner in an episode of The Daily podcast, “The year of Taylor Swift” are rarely used by the mainstream media.

The Brodesser-Akner interview yielded an unexpected revelation: Successful women may be publicly seen as having it all, but their professional accolades may be skewed by a dirty little secret. What is the mystery casting a shadow over this public perception? Finding that women are not allowed to advance in their position and are paid less than their male peers.

This is what equal pay and equal opportunity laws seek to prevent. With Equal Pay Day this month, praise for Swift’s actions on the topic is timely.

Swift is facing this revelation head-on, using her music as a powerful platform. In her song”My Tears Ricochet”, she complains that she was not given the opportunity to purchase her masters (the original sound recordings). Meanwhile, Brodesser-Akner describes her experience when she found out she was paid a third less than her male peers, saying she felt “betrayed by people she thought she loved.” ” her and even betrayed by what she thought of herself.

She assumed that her employer would act in “her best interests” and describes how, looking back on her work at the time, she felt so lucky to have a career and achieve professional success. However, these memories, her personal sacrifices and her achievements are tainted as she realizes that she has been abused.

Margret Vilborg Bjarnadottir, Ph.D., co-founder of PayAnalytics, an equity payout software solution, shares a similar personal experience in a Forbes article, “This tech founder hopes to bridge the pay gap through dataWhen she discovered her own gender pay gap, she too had a deeply personal and emotional experience. She was furious and won a teacher award just days after being told her pay shortfall would not be fixed.

There is a perception that the gender pay gap is just an urban legend – but there are plenty of examples where the government and the courts have found evidence of pay discrimination. The reality of the gender pay gap is why laws like Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and EU directive on payment transparency they will continue to be proposed and enacted.

So now that we’re in our era of transparency, employee expectations are changing. Employers need to take a step back and consider their payroll programs. Employees want to understand their current and potential salary opportunities.

They want to believe that they will be given equal opportunities for career advancement. They want to trust that their employers will act in their best interest. And for employers to provide visibility into their pay and talent programs, there must be some level playing field.

4 foundations for addressing the gender pay gap

For the change to occur, employers must assess their current pay situation and ensure the following fundamentals are met, including:

Employment structures

Develop and actively manage the underlying task architecture and task balancing frameworks used to define and organize tasks in your organization. These frameworks support the identification of roles that perform the same job.

Pay structures and policies

Find out where the organization stands by evaluating how well compensation structures support both internal equity and external competitiveness. Create a consistent approach to posting salary ranges – whether across the organization or by defined job segments – that can be shared with job seekers and employees. Finally, follow clear policies and guidelines that inform pay decisions in hiring, promotion and during the annual review/performance cycle.

Data and analytics

Review data and systems to assess whether the necessary tools and analytics are in place to support the pay and pay equity information that needs or will need to be shared with various stakeholders (e.g. job seekers, employees, investors, regulators , board of directors). Conduct equal pay, pay gap and pay driver analyzes to identify and address areas of risk. Explore instances where one demographic group is treated differently than another.

Education and engagement

Begin building a pay equity and transparency plan by defining commitments, priorities and what will be communicated to each stakeholder group. Then identify key execution steps, including enabling and supporting managers to be confident in their pay decisions and discussions with employees. Also, use a variety of learning strategies to enable employees to understand their job expectations, how performance affects talent decisions, and how pay decisions are made.

The real cost of inequality

The pay gap is often described in numbers: how wide or narrow it is, how many employees are affected, how much it will cost to close the gap, etc. But it’s important to realize what this thinking overlooks: the personal impact on affected employees, including the longer-term accumulation of lost wealth.

It is true that organizations do not focus on how employees feel. Yet every business story is built on a people story, and people are what make or break a business. Failure is easy. It can occur through the loss or inability to attract key employees, negative public perception, or scrutiny of programs and practices by regulators.

Success, on the other hand, requires an honest introspection that will bring those dirty secrets—whatever they are—out of the shadows and into the light, no matter how uncomfortable the process may be.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the issue. Professional advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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