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  • Ingeborg van Harten

Fair pay for all: A guide to equal pay for equal work in the modern workplace

If you are reading this, chances are high that you work in People & Culture or recruitment - or at least have some sort of influence over people’s pay in your organization. If this is the case, we believe you probably love the concept of fair pay just as much as we do.

First of all, why is Fair Pay still a theme in this day and age? Is there an actual issue here? Unfortunately, the answer is a big fat yes. Equal pay has been a basic human right since 1963, this means offering unequal pay for work of equal value is a violation of the Dutch Civil Code. And yet, women on average in The Netherlands earn 36% less than men. This is mainly because they work in lower-paid jobs. But even when they work in the same role, for the same company, women still earn +/- 5% less.

Hard data

You might be surprised if you do some digging into your own pay data. Most companies think they don’t have an issue, but only 5% can prove they pay fairly. There is a serious and very positive business case for fair pay. It contributes to employee engagement, well-being, diversity, and inclusion. Fair pay is attractive to new hires and it contributes to trust and lower turnover among employees. Basically any company would benefit from it

The good news!

Most companies don’t purposely pay unfairly. Most leaders would love to see this addressed and would be proud to say they pay fair. But where do you start?

Because there are so many different factors that influence the gender pay gap, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem.

A few things you can do:

Internal benchmarking Base salaries on the role level and on what internal peers are earning, do not base an offer on someone's previous salary.

Pay transparency Base salaries on the role level and on what internal peers are earning, do not base an offer on someone's previous salary.

Salary frameworks Implement a salary leveling framework (if you don’t have one already) as this helps with determining someone’s worth based on role level and not on gender.

Part time leaders Consider part-time employees for leadership roles, as women tend to be promoted less once they have children and work reduced hours.

Pay disparities Fix pay disparities. You can take multiple steps to get there over time… but acknowledging the disparities and actively solving them is always the way to go.

Taking action today

Awareness is nothing without action. This is why we recently hosted an event: Closing the Gap: Creating Irresistible Organizations with Fair Pay for All.

At the event we learned from Sophie van Gool why unequal pay exists in the first place, and were inspired by Ingrid Tappin on what the impact of fairness is on our brain. The SCARF model was new to us and we loved reading more about it on Mindtools: SCARF model.

Powered with extra facts, tips, and tools, let’s work towards pay equality ✊🏽✊🏻✊🏿


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