Celebrating Equal Pay Day
15 months. That’s how long it takes women on average to earn what men earned in the previous year. As we recognize Equal Pay Day today we are proud to share that for the 3rd year in a row females continue to make slightly more than men in the same role. As a marketing agency working on the frontlines of advocacy and social justice movements, it’s important for us to revisit our commitment and share our learnings along the way.
Our internal commitments to gender pay equity focuses on 3 core areas:
1. Taking the 3% agency pledge for pay equity and commitment to its 3 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 Male to Female pay. After 3 years into our pledge and audit commitments, females at Media Cause are now making 108% above the middle of the range while males are at 106%, an inverse difference of 2%.
While we continue to struggle as a small company (of 65) of representing data the most accurately (calculating based on % under or over ave. salary for each role remains the fairest) 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 also did this year was complete a salary range analysis of similar orgs in our space and are in the process of adjusting our salary ranges to remain competitive in our space. We’re also continually committed to having complete competencies and expectations per role/level and believe having this foundation is integral in maintaining an equitable review and promotions process to better support merit-based career progression opportunities for all. Over the last year, 44% of eligible females were promoted compared to 24% of males, and 50% of our leadership team (internally defined as department/discipline heads) is also female.
3. Championing a family-first culture that is supportive of females’ personal + family lives: As an agency, we’ve always supported a family-first environment and want to officially recognize this as a core area that supports gender pay equity in the long term. Over their careers, women on average earn around $700,000 less than what men do (this gap is even wider for women of color). Compounding this we know Covid has also disproportionately forced women out of the full-time workforce as they took on the bulk of the child-care and domestic duties. As an employer, we at all times strive to support a flexible working environment where anyone (parent, partner, daughter, friend) knows they have the flexibility to take the time they need during the day to tend to their non-work lives and never feel they have to choose between work and family. This year we’ve also officially increased some of our benefits which include a fully paid 16-week parental leave for new mothers (with a slower ramp back to work period) and a monthly wellness stipend that is inclusive of any child care or family expenses. Our hope (and what we encourage all other orgs to do) is that we’re creating a work environment where women don’t have to make that tough personal decision to leave the workforce and fall even further behind.
While we’re proud of our continued commitment and strides in equal pay over the last year we know the work is never done. While we’ve rolled out a lot of initiatives over the last year to prioritize a work environment that is equitable and encourages women to stay in the long term we know there’s plenty more to test out, and we’re excited to do so! We’re happy to share our learnings along the way and encourage others in our space to similarly share learnings and initiatives as we all hope to shift the pendulum further.