Employing Successful Strategies To Close The Wage Gap

The following strategies have been shown to help encourage women’s participation in the workforce, and to close critical gaps in opportunity and performance. While no one strategy is a panacea, and none are appropriate for all settings, this broad array of remedies is offered as a flexible tool kit for employers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and many employers who sign the Vermont Equal Pay Compact will choose other strategies that are relevant and helpful within their own work environment.

HIRING

1. Advertise open positions in venues likely to reach women

2. Craft recruiting language that is inclusive of women

3. Enlist diverse evaluators in the hiring process

4. Educate evaluators and hiring managers in overcoming bias

5. Create an initial applicant screening process that is gender-blind

6. Evaluate starting salaries for new hires
 

NEGOTIATIONS

7. If a position’s salary is negotiable, state this explicitly in the job posting

8. Sponsor negotiations training for high school and college students and young women professionals
 

WAGE TRANSPARENCY

9. Publish salary ranges by level in accessible formats

10. Standardize compensation, particularly discretionary compensation such as bonuses
 

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

11. Conduct comparative professional reviews and promotions

12. Publish and gain commitment for employee performance criteria

13. Provide feedback to employees rejected for promotion to help them understand how to improve
 

WORKPLACE CULTURE

14. Evaluate causes of attrition among women, including mothers and non-mothers

15. Offer onsite or subsidized child care

16. Offer child care referral or back up child care services

17. Offer paid family leave

18. Offer paid sick days, allowing their use to care for sick family members

19. Create programs that enable employee schedule control, such as flex time, job sharing, and telecommuting

20. Train managers to manage a flexible workforce

21. Support mentoring programs for women
 

COMPENSATION AND PROMOTION

22. Survey employee pay regularly to detect discrepancies between job level/skills and pay

23. Conduct an internal audit of employee compensation to detect any gender inequities

24. Create clear procedures for promotion and advancement opportunities

25. Provide structural supports to move women up the talent pipeline
 

SENIOR REPRESENTATION

26. Actively recruit women to executive level and board positions

27. Include women in senior search committees

28. Achieve equitable gender representation on compensation committees
 

EDUCATION

1. Support initiatives that expose girls and young women to high-wage professions, particularly STEM fields

2. Expose young women to female role models in fields where they are underrepresented

3. Increase opportunities for girls to take high school courses in STEM, trades, and other nontraditional fields

4. Expand STEM introductory college courses

5. Recruit female faculty into positions in fields where they are underrepresented

6. Train teachers and youth workers to be aware of unconscious gender bias and stereotype threat
 

CAREER PATH

7. Evaluate female student perceptions of your industry

8. Create recruiting initiatives for women in underrepresented fields

9. Support training programs for women in the trades and other nontraditional fields

10. Create an internship program that focuses on bringing in female students
 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

11. Seek gender diversity among investment partners

12. Showcase successful women entrepreneurs

13. Design incubators and co-working spaces to support entrepreneurs with families

14. Support programs that provide education and resources to women starting businesses

Strategies courtesy of 100% Talent: The Boston Women’s Compact

Link to sign up for the Vermont Equal Pay Compact