Some Cause for Optimism in Hired’s Research on Gender Wage Gap
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the lower percentage of women in Hired’s candidate pool.
In spite of widespread efforts to attract girls into STEM fields including computer science, the percentage of women in the tech workforce is shrinking, according to a report by Accenture and Girls Who Code. Women are twice as likely to leave the tech sector than men, Hired says.
Moving its analysis beyond gender alone, Hired has also looked at the combined effects of race, gender and sexual orientation on salaries.
“There is the type of discrimination you would stereotypically expect,” Kirkpatrick says. White men were offered the highest salaries, followed by Asian and Latino men. White and Asian women came next, followed by black men, Latino women, and then black women.
In a separate comparison based on sexual orientation, straight men earned the most, followed by LGBTQ men, heterosexual women, and lastly, LGBTQ women.
Are Hired’s clients nervous that the hiring platform is using employers’ own data to reveal these patterns of apparent discrimination or unconscious bias?
Kirkpatrick says individual company results are kept confidential; Hired only reports data in an aggregated form. Reporters will ask which company paid an equally qualified woman 80 percent less than a man in the same role—one of Hired’s data points on the far end of the spectrum in its 2016 report. “We’re never going to give that data out,” she says.
Some Hired clients are eager to learn more about their own workforce patterns, Kirkpatrick says.
“Our clients are really actually excited that we are giving them these insights into their hiring,” she says. “We’ll pull more detailed data if they want it.”
Hired itself does a wage gap analysis of its 200-member staff every six months, and adjusts salaries when it finds that certain groups have been disadvantaged, Kirkpatrick says. These imbalances can arise innocently, she says. For example, certain specialties may be in high demand at particular times, resulting in higher pay for a small cohort of hires that has little diversity.
Kirkpatrick says companies should think twice about taking advantage of job candidates who undervalue themselves when they apply, because that may act against the company’s self-interest in the long run. Some companies, in fact, do pay women more than they asked for, she says.
“An organization can say, ‘Don’t try to get a bargain. Don’t play into that,’” Kirkpatrick says. “Ultimately, that [bargain-hunting] doesn’t create an environment where people think it’s fair, and want to stay at that organization.”