Editor's Note - Joanne Hilferty is President and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries in Boston and a member of the AIM Board of Directors.
Massachusetts employers say they are committed to accelerating the modest progress they have made to close the gender pay gap.
Scores of business leaders shared challenges and success stories recently at the third annual Boston Women’s Workforce Council (BWWC) Best Practices Conference at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston. Associated Industries of Massachusetts is a signatory to the Boston 100 Percent Talent Compact developed by the Council, Boston University and the City of Boston to ensure that men and women enjoy equal compensation opportunities in the work force.
Several prominent members of AIM have also signed the document, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital, Eastern Bank, Eversource, Harvard Pilgrim, MassMutual, MORE Advertising, National Grid, Putnam Investments, Staples and State Street Corporation. I am proud to say that the organization I lead, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, is also a signatory.
Companies that sign the compact commit to reviewing their compensation practices to ensure fairness. These companies provide compensation data anonymously to researchers at Boston University who use it to develop a broad assessment of wage equality in Massachusetts.
“AIM signed the Compact because Massachusetts employers operate in a competitive, talent-driven economy in which companies that reward skilled workers equally will come out on top,” said Rick Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.
“Wage equity will ultimately be driven by the marketplace, which is desperately short of the employees needed to drive economic growth in the next decade.”
The 2017 Best Practices Conference drew more than 220 participants.
Business leaders noted that companies looking at signing the compact have expressed concern about the need to guarantee the confidentiality of any compensation data they provide to the project. Council executives say they can guarantee confidentiality but need to better communicate that point to employers.
The conference also provided an opportunity for the BWWC’s Co-Chairs, Cathy Minehan and Evelyn Murphy, to share the highlights from the 2017 data analysis, the full results of which will be published in the organization’s 2017 report, out later this year. The key takeaway was that there has been some progress – albeit limited – in addressing the wage gap.
Governor Charlie Baker last year signed a compromise pay-equity law that is intended to promote salary transparency while recognizing legitimate market forces such as performance and the competitive landscape for certain skills that cause pay differences among employees. AIM supported the compromise.