July 1, 2018 marked a historic date in Massachusetts: One of the strongest pay equity laws in the country went into effect. The gender wage gap in the U.S. is no secret – it’s even made popular in the speeches of prominent public figures– but just as a reminder, women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations. And unanswered questions remain:
On July 10, 1945, Massachusetts passed the first equal pay law in the United States. Now, nearly 73 years later, we find ourselves fighting the same war to bridge the nation’s wage gap. According to the recent census data, on average, full-time working women earn 82 cents to the dollar of what full-time working men earn in Massachusetts. A portion of that gap can be attributed to gender differences in job choices and time taken off to care for children, but for an estimated 38 percent, this is not the case and can be directly linked to gender stereotyping (Boston Globe).
To help combat that reality, The Boston Women’s Workforce Council has established the 100% Talent Compact, an initiative in which Greater Boston area organizations have agreed to anonymously provide wage data. Joining together with 222 other Boston-based companies, Shorelight Education has helped lead the way in eliminating the visible and invisible barriers to women’s advancement and closing the gender gap. Under the initiative, Boston Area businesses are improving representation in their own organizations, and taking significant strides in making Massachusetts a state where women have an equal opportunity to succeed and earn a living.
Shorelight is honored to be a guiding light in the equal pay conversation. As a mission-driven company committed to successful student outcomes, Shorelight knows that how a company operates is just as important as what the company does to make an impact. With this in mind, Shorelight is working with seasoned external compensation consultants to develop a comprehensive compensation structure that will not only establish Shorelight’s market position, organize jobs by grades, and ensure equity across all positions, but will also create transparency around career levels and paths for advancement. The Talent team will also be introducing software to allow us to manage pay-for-performance in a transparent, equitable fashion. Shorelight is proud to continue to be a voice in the business community in support of equal pay for equal work. With more than half of Shorelight’s workforce located outside the Commonwealth, and one-third outside the U.S., this law will not only make an impact at home but across the globe.