young professional woman

Hired Presents "Women, Work and the State of Wage Inequality"

Just under three months ago, I joined Hired as senior vice president of people. After spending the last 15 years working in people operations at a variety of tech companies, it felt particularly motivating to join a company whose mission and product align with my professional interests on both a philosophical and operational level. Said differently: there’s something very cool about being the head of people at a company whose business is all about… people. And because of the nature of our product, it’s given me many opportunities to speak out about important people-related issues in a way that extends beyond Hired’s walls. One such issue the gender pay gap.

Given that I am a woman and that part of my role is to oversee my company’s compensation policies, this is something I feel particularly passionate about. One of the reasons I was drawn to Hired in the first place is its commitment to injecting transparency into the compensation process in a way that levels the playing field for all candidates.

Today, in honor of Equal Pay Day 2016, and as women’s earnings continue to trail men’s by an average of more than 20%, it feels particularly important not only to take a stand on this issue, but also to leverage our data to shed light on how it’s playing out in the tech industry.

To that end, I’m excited to share an exciting campaign we’ve been working on called “Women, Work and The State of Wage Inequality.” As part of the campaign, we’ll be hosting an event this evening in San Francisco where I’ll be speaking alongside amazing women from The Wall Street Journal, Netflix, Equal Rights Advocates and Aspect Ventures on the topic of equal pay and equal opportunities for women. We’re also releasing the results of an in-depth analysis of our salary data across gender, role, years of experience and company type.

The analysis, which looked at more than 100,000 offers across 3,000 companies and 15,000 job seekers, provides unprecedented visibility into the salaries that men and women ask for and what companies, in turn, offer them. Some of the most surprising insights include:

Companies offer women an average of 3% less than men for the same roles, with some companies offering as low as 30% less. In fact, our data shows that 69% of the time, men receive higher salary offers than women for the same job title at the same company.

The average woman on our platform sets her expected salary at $14k less per year than the average man on our platform. Interestingly, when we compare women and men in the same job category, we found the gap is bigger for roles that are typically dominated by men. So for example, male-dominated software engineering roles have double the expectation gap of design roles.

Smaller companies (pre-Series A) tend to have a smaller wage gap. This could be because there is more wage transparency when the team is smaller, ultimately negating some of the gender disparity that occurs later on.

There are, however, some positive signs that the expectation gap could be closing. Women on our platform with under two years of experience — many of whom are on the cusp of Millennial and Generation Z cohorts — are asking for an average 2% more compensation than men.

What’s perhaps most encouraging about that last stat is that we find that these women are actually getting what they ask for. We’re particularly excited to be able to share this kind of insight, as it’s information that no one, to my knowledge, has ever been able to share previously.

It’s important to note that we don’t see this as a one-time event, but rather the start of a dialogue that we hope will continue over the long term. We’ve only just started to track demographic data and to be able to quantify the problem of the gap itself and how it plays out on Hired, but we already have several initiatives in place that we think will help address the issue of gender bias moving forward.

In addition to providing compensation transparency through our platform, our Talent Advocates encourage our candidates to set their preferred salaries based on the market rate for their skills and experience. This is a particularly effective approach for closing the wage gap, as it ensures that women aren’t asking for compensation based on a previous salary that could have been negatively affected by bias. We are also working to educate job seekers more generally on the market rate for their skills through initiatives like our State of Salaries report, and our salary calculator.

Lastly, our product team has been hard at work on features that will help the companies on our platform eliminate bias from their interview processes, both towards women and all underrepresented groups more generally. In that vein, we recently unveiled features that give our clients the option of hiding candidate photos and/or names when they are performing searches on our platform.

My hope is that all of these initiatives will help address the gender gap in two ways. First, by providing insight into the issue of gender bias in the workforce, we want to encourage companies to investigate their compensation policies to ensure they don’t perpetuate patterns of inequality. And second, by arming women with information about this phenomenon and also with data about their market worth, we hope to empower them throughout their own career searches.

I know I speak for the whole team at Hired when I say that we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this important conversation, and hopefully, to be a catalyst for change. Please stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for updates on future initiatives related to reducing the gender wage gap.