There’s no time like the present to conduct a pay equity audit for monitoring and evaluation specialists. This year, employers in the monitoring and evaluation industry face historic competition to recruit and retain talents. With continued pressure to increase DE&I efforts and a wave of new pay equity laws, a pay equity audit can be just the formula to keep the momentum moving in the right direction.
What is a pay equity audit? #
A pay equity audit is conducted when an organization is looking to find differences in compensation such as base pay, total cash compensation, variable pay, benefits, and other perquisites where those differences aren’t the result of job-related factors. Also critical to the process is for the organization to be committed to do something about what they uncover.
Reasons to do pay equity audit for M&E roles #
The following are some of the reasons to consider doing a pay equity audit for monitoring and evaluation roles:
- Beat Back the Great Resignation. While employers are stretching budgets to raise salaries to recruit new M&E specialists, retention is also important. Traditional market analysis reveals whether pay is competitive with outside employers, but a pay equity audit identifies potential internal gaps that can lead employees to feel underappreciated and look elsewhere.
- Edge Out the Competition. Companies in the monitoring and evaluation industry are increasingly asking vendors to show their cards when it comes to meeting certain DE&I benchmarks. An internal pay equity audit shows a company is serious about addressing and remedying wage gaps to improve equity among employees—and companies can highlight these efforts in RFP responses.
- Practice What You Preach. If your company asks vendors to meet DE&I benchmarks, advertises its DE&I efforts, or is certified as a woman- or minority-owned business, a pay equity audit shows that you hold yourself to the same standards.
- Prepare for Pay Transparency Laws. With lawmakers across the country passing legislation requiring employers to disclose salary ranges for posted positions, employers are knocking out two birds with one stone: pulling wage data for job postings and pay equity audits. The pay equity audit serves as a helpful benchmark when making decisions about posted salary ranges and job offers.
- Mitigate Risk. To proactively identify and address wage gaps that could result in liability under the Equal Pay Act or equivalent state law.
Conducting a pay equity audit #
The first step in creating a more fair and inclusive workplace, and subsequently ensuring pay equity compliance is to conduct a pay equity audit.
Before beginning the pay equity audit, you should compile and analyze workforce data from your various human capital management platforms. Since this data is often stored in disconnected systems, it can be difficult to get your data cleaned and prepped for the audit.
Best practices include partnering with a pay equity expert that specializes in data quality, legislation, and software. The expert can provide a clear picture of apparent pay gaps across groups of M&E specialists, at every worker level within an organization. The SaaS solution analyzes compensation data at the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity so that you can truly understand equity.
Why should an attorney be involved? #
- Employment attorneys understand the assignment when it comes to pay equity audits. They have the knowledge and wherewithal to help monitoring and evaluation specialists bargain good paycheck.
- You need to maintain the confidentiality of the pay equity audit process and results: Another reason to consider an attorney is that they will help you maintain the confidentiality of the process and results.
- Bad fixes make pay-gap problems worse: Your attorney can help you prevent making small and seemingly straight-forward solutions into bigger problems.
- Your attorneys are there to help and protect the organization: Attorneys understand what it takes to run an organization. As such, they will do everything possible to protect your organization and M&E professionals.
Key Takeaways #
A pay equity audit starts with workforce data, so one of the first steps in performing the analysis is to ensure data accuracy. Pay equity audits provide compensation recommendations and if the data is inaccurate, it can have devastating effects, including creating more pay inequities.
Ultimately, a pay equity audit should create real change within your organization. The goal is to improve the quality of the workplace, as well as protect, and boost, an organization’s bottom line.
If you choose to partner with an expert to assist with pay equity, ensure they offer a solution that validates data quality, as that data will need to be used to perform advanced analytics that provide customized guidance and remediation.