The road to equal pay

Door Henrieke van Bommel

Paying your employees equally for the same work sounds easy but can be quite challenging. For example, women earn, on average, 6% less for the same work in Dutch profit organizations, and this number is only slowly decreasing. For organizations to decrease this gap, gaining insight into the current pay gap is important.

Highberg helps organizations analyze any potential pay gap and advises and guides alternative action toward pay equity.

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Why organizations should strive for pay equity

Fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is a cornerstone in pursuing organizational excellence. While the commitment to equal pay is a moral imperative, there are strategic and practical reasons organizations should focus on this topic, such as:

  • Legal compliance and risk mitigation
  • Enhanced talent attraction
  • Organizational reputation
  • Building a sustainable and inclusive culture

In conclusion, focusing on equal pay is not just a compliance requirement but a strategic imperative that fuels organizational growth, enhances reputation, and ensures a workplace where every individual can flourish. It's not just about doing what's right; it's about doing what's smart for the organization's long-term success.

Why partner with Highberg on pay equity

Understand your business

Our model is adjusted to the organization to understand what is happening fully.

Use a unique weighing algorithm

Our algorithm differs from other providers as it uses rake and not regression. This holds several advantages, namely: (1). understanding which variables explain a pay gap, (2) insights into subgroups without re-running the model, (3) the opportunity to deep-dive and define targeted next steps.

Compliant with (upcoming) legislation

Executing the Equal Pay analysis complies with (upcoming) laws and regulations (EU, CSRD, and EBA), and the results are delivered to be uploaded immediately for reporting purposes.

Cooperation with WOMEN Inc.

WOMEN Inc. has extensive experience advising on possible next steps for equal pay for equal work in organizations. Highberg and WOMEN Inc. have successfully researched equal pay for 30+ organizations.

Equal Pay Certificate

The Equal Pay Certification Mark from Highberg shows that the organization consciously rewards equal work.

Actionable insights

Receive clear and actionable insights into your organization's pay structure. Understand the root causes of pay disparities and access recommendations for remediation, promoting fairness across all levels.

Continuous monitoring

Our solution goes beyond a one-time analysis. Implement continuous monitoring to stay proactive in addressing pay gaps and adapting to changes in your workforce and industry standards.

Our model is adjusted to the organization to understand what is happening fully.

Use a unique weighing algorithm

Our algorithm differs from other providers as it uses rake and not regression. This holds several advantages, namely: (1) understanding which variables explain a pay gap, (2) insights into subgroups without re-running the model, and (3) the opportunity to deep-dive and define targeted next steps.

Compliant with (upcoming) legislation

Executing the Equal Pay analysis complies with (upcoming) laws and regulations (EU, CSRD, and EBA), and the results are delivered to be uploaded immediately for reporting purposes.

Cooperation with WOMEN Inc.

WOMEN Inc. has extensive experience advising on possible next steps for equal pay for equal work in organizations. Highberg and WOMEN Inc. have successfully researched equal pay for 30+ organizations.

Equal Pay Certificate

The Equal Pay Certification Mark from Highberg shows that the organization consciously rewards equal work.

Actionable insights

Receive clear and actionable insights into your organization's pay structure. Understand the root causes of pay disparities and access recommendations for remediation, promoting fairness across all levels.

Continuous monitoring

Our solution goes beyond a one-time analysis. Implement continuous monitoring to stay proactive in addressing pay gaps and adapting to changes in your workforce and industry standards.

After conducting an Equal Pay analysis, Highberg can help with working towards pay equity

When a gap is identified, an organization should take alternative actions to decrease the pay gap. The results of the equal pay analysis already help determine where and what actions an organization should take. Moreover, it is possible to run additional analyses on specific remuneration steps, such as hiring new employees, handing out bonuses, etc.

Moreover, Highberg can provide equal pay training, which helps the reward or management team gain insight into the steps and how to decrease the gap.

Get the most important insights on equal pay

Pay gap versus equal pay for equal work

  • Understanding the distinction between the pay gap and equal pay for equal work is key, as each gap asks for a different approach. The pay gap (or the nominal gap) refers to the difference between the average hourly wage of men and women. This calculation adjusts for full-time and part-time work but doesn't consider variations in job levels or experience. Notably, it compares the salaries of individuals in senior positions with those in more operational roles. Addressing the pay gap involves examining the flow and representation of both genders across all organizational levels.
  • On the other hand, equal pay for equal work (or the corrected gap) focuses on remunerating identical tasks fairly. This calculation considers the duties performed, comparing only employees undertaking the same work, possessing equal experience and performance levels. Regardless of gender, these employees should receive identical pay. When employees are not equally compensated for the same work, investigating potential biases in the reward system is imperative, and any unexplained differences must be resolved promptly.

Rake method

  • Within Equal Pay research, there are two approaches: regression and weighing, also known as the Rake method. While regression requires less pre-processing of the data and the possibility to include incomplete data, it also requires a very large population to conduct this analysis. In many cases, this condition is not met when running regression.
  • This is why Highberg is using weighing (or Rake). While it requires the data to be aggregated, the Rake method stands out because of the extra insights it will give to help understand the gap and determine the next steps in solving it. Keeping track of the gap is one thing, acting upon it, is another. Moreover, transparency and the ability to explain the analysis are becoming increasingly important in data science. Since the Rake method could (theoretically) be done by hand, it is possible to understand and explain the process step-by-step.

EU Directive Pay Transparency

  • The EU Directive Pay Transparency is approved by the European Parliament in May 2023. This directive operates on two fronts. Firstly, transparency on salaries and pay differences is mandatory. Companies with over 100 employees must report average salaries and potential gaps. Additionally, the burden of proof shifts. If employees suspect that the principle of equal pay is not being followed, the employer must prove otherwise.
  • Secondly, organizations with a pay difference of 5% or more in specific employee groups must conduct a pay evaluation and develop an action plan to narrow the gap. Moreover, fines can be imposed on employers who violate these rules.

Equal Pay Certification

The Equal Pay Certificate from Highberg (former AnalitiQs) demonstrates that your organization is consciously committed to equal pay for equal work. With the Equal Pay Certificate:

  • You gain trust by your employees that any pay disparities have been thoroughly assessed.
  • You showcase to potential employees that the organization prioritizes equal compensation.
  • You demonstrate that an independent, experienced party (AnalitiQs|Highberg) has conducted this investigation.
  • You indicate compliance with current and future legal changes and guidelines.

Highberg conducts a comprehensive Equal Pay - Equal Work investigation to qualify for the Equal Pay Certificate. This study examines the nominal and corrected pay gap between men and women. After completing the investigation and presenting the results, the organization receives the certificate, proving its commitment to independent, thorough research on compensation disparities.

Our clients

  • Van Lanschot Kempen
  • ProRail
  • Oxfam Novib
  • Gemeente Enschede
  • Aegon Nederland
  • KIT – Royal Tropical Institute

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