Equal Pay Day 2021

Celebrating Equal Pay Day

It’s been 58 years since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963—and in the United States, women are still only making 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. We recognize Equal Pay Day on March 24th to signify the number of additional days it takes women to earn what men did in 2020 — 82. Or if you’d rather look at it in terms of hourly work, using a 9-5 schedule, women work for free after 2:40pm every day.

While there’s some reason for optimism given in 2019 it took women additional 91 days to catch up in earnings, gender wage gap data over the next year should be seen as a cautionary tale of complicated earning numbers in the Covid era. Current projections for the year by the National Women’s Law Center indicate a continued decrease in the gender wage gap, but we also know Covid has disproportionately forced women out of the workforce, especially in lower-wage jobs, as they took on the bulk of domestic burdens, such as child care, caused by the pandemic. 

As a marketing agency that partners with organizations working on the frontlines of advocacy and social justice movements, we are committed to practicing what we preach by owning our own piece of the larger fight for gender pay equity. For the 2nd year in the row, we’re proud to share that women at Media Cause continue to make slightly more than men in the same role.

Our internal commitments to gender pay equity focus on two core areas:

1. Taking the 3% agency pledge for pay equity and commitment to its three pillars:

      • We have conducted a wage review within the last two years or plan to within the next 12 months
      • We are committing to rectifying like-for-like disparities or will do so following our review
      • We are committed to advancing pay equity through collaboration, communication, and continued identification and promotion of best practices to close the wage gap in the advertising industry

When we first started this pledge there was a 4.4% difference in men’s to women’s pay. After three years into our pledge and audit commitments, women at Media Cause are now making 3% above the middle of the range while males are at 1% below, an inverse difference of 4% (Media Cause strives to eliminate any gap amongst our staff—male or female)

While we continue to struggle as a small company of 42 full-time employees representing data in the most accurate fashion, calculating based on percentage under or over the average salary for each role remains the fairest calculation, we’re still proud of the minimal pay gap at Media Cause.

2. Internal transparency into salary data and internal growth paths: As a company committed to maintaining an equitable and transparent culture we also share salary ranges for all roles and overall financial modeling. Something we’ve been able to also dig deeper into this year is building in-depth competencies for all roles, as well as foundational competencies across each level and aligning levels across departments. With complete competencies and expectations set per role and level, we’re able to further equitize our review and promotions process to better support merit-based career progression for all. Over the last year, 60% of eligible women were promoted compared to 33% of men, and there is now a 50/50 gender split in our internal leadership team. 

What now?

While we’re proud of our continued commitment and strides in equal pay over the last year we ask everyone–ourselves, agencies in our space, and beyond–to continue to think of ways we can test and share learnings as we all strive to shift the pay equity pendulum, especially given all of the new complexities and challenges ahead created by the pandemic. 

Additionally, we’ve also started a Rally Starter campaign to support the Paycheck Fairness Act (reintroduced in Congress in January 2021), which seeks to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by helping to eliminate the gender wage gap and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. We need your help, please take a moment to sign the petition below and contact Congress to make sure your voice is heard!