How we reduced the gender pay gap from 15% to 5.5%

The clipboard is built on the belief that transparency builds trust, holds us accountable and can push our industry forward. Our salaries have been transparent since 2013, and for the fifth year in a row we are sharing our transparent salary analysis. In this report, we share the difference between what men and women earn in Buffer.

We have come a long way in the last five years. Far from the ratio of 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women on the team when I first wrote this report, this year we are close to 50/50. At the time of this report, our lead team consisted of eight people, five of whom were women.

Here are all our numbers from our payroll analysis for 2021, along with more about the positive impact that transparency has had on the gender pay gap for us.

Salary analysis 2021

Here’s what the unadjusted gender pay gap looks like in Buffer from March 2021:

Tampon team: 83 people
Women: 39
Men: 44

Average salary for women: $ 123,707
Average salary for men: $ 131,923
Unadjusted percentage gap: 5.46%

Note: We report an unadjusted pay gap comparing earnings between all men and all women in Buffer, regardless of their role or level of experience. An adjusted pay gap would be the difference in earnings between people performing similar roles. We do not have a custom pay gap in Buffer because we use the salary formula for all our salaries.

About numbers

For the second year in a row, our gap has narrowed, and this year it has been significantly reduced compared to last year.

We are tracking the unadjusted gender pay gap on the monthly Buffer since 2019. Here you can see our progress over the past year, where the gap has gradually narrowed from 12.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Compared to previous years
Here is a comparison of all the years in which we conduct this wage analysis. You can read each full report on the following links: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017.

Our gender pay gap has narrowed from 15% to 5% in the last two years – how did that happen?

We have been paying close attention to the gender pay gap at Buffer since we first began sharing transparent wage analyzes and have been committed to reducing our gap.

Transparency has been a critical factor in reducing the gender pay gap.

We made a lot of small moves along the way, but the most important factor for us was transparency. We believe that transparency creates accountability, and it is clear from our example that transparency can have a strong impact on reducing the gender pay gap.

Transparency has led to more learning.

Through transparency, we learned more about the gender pay gap and were able to make changes and adjustments each year. In 2017, when we first ran the report, we didn’t know much about equal pay. We also had a smaller team with fewer teammates who identified as women, and later realized that one high-earning woman on the team narrowed our gap in 2017, so our report was not an accurate reflection of the year for us.

In 2019, we had the largest gender pay gap to date – 15 percent – and that year saw an increase in the number of women on our team.

The correlation we saw is that when we hired more women that year, our gender pay gap widened because many of these women were employed at lower levels of experience. However, we have seen that gap slowly narrow with age as more women join the team and more women progress and earn more overall.

Transparency has paid more attention to this change.

The act of reporting the gender pay gap each year also brought together more teams to focus on how we can improve equal pay in the Buffer. It’s not fun to publish a report that shows that our gender pay gap is widening every year, and several teams are highly motivated to increase this number.

Our finance team began tracking gender payroll data monthly rather than annually, and gave us a clearer picture of the impact of new employment and going on our overall gap.

Our team of people has also played a huge role in diversifying our employment channel over the years to attract more women to higher income positions. The work of our team is especially impressive considering that as a long-term focused company we do not significantly develop our team from year to year. Our team had 72 teammates in 2017, and now it has 83 teammates.

The ratio of teammates identifying as men and women in the Buffer has improved significantly.

When we first started reporting on equal pay, we were 70 percent men and 30 percent women in the Buffer. This meant that any change in the number of women in the buffer had a significant impact on our gender pay gap, and was much more likely to vary when women joined or left the buffer.

Since then, our gender division has become almost 50/50 with 44 men and 39 women on the team, and at the time of this report our leading team at Buffer consisted of eight people, five of whom were women.

We are convinced of this positive downward trend.

Now we can say with certainty that our five percent gap is not the result of one highly earned person on the Buffer team. This consistent reduction of our gap in the last two years is the result of many areas of work and will not change drastically in one month.

What’s next for equal pay at Buffer?

We are proud that our gender pay gap is 5.5 percent, much smaller than the industry average. We will continue to do everything we do and will closely monitor our gender pay gap throughout the year. We will continue to work to ensure that there is no unadjusted gender pay gap and focus on the overall diversity in our employment. We also hope that our trip will help others who want to close the gender pay gap.

If you know of other companies that publicly share their pay gap by gender, or if you want to publicly share yours, send us a tweet. We will be glad to talk!

Want to work in a company with payment transparency? We are hiring, check out our open roles!

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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