Transparency is key to pay parity

Justice in action

At the Medical College of Wisconsin, executives use a statistical methodology to ensure that everyone is paid fairly based on experience, performance, and responsibility that meet compensation benchmarks.

For over a decade, the college has been working towards achieving gender pay parity, producing an annual compliance report and fair market value analysis, receiving staffing support with new hires, conducting budget discussions with the dean’s office, and implementing corrective actions that have been meticulous,” Kevin said. Eide, associate vice president of general remuneration and HR analytics at the medical school.

Eide said more than 1,600 employees were included in the college’s latest pay parity survey, and less than 3% had any pay differential.

Of the 43 people whose wages have been reviewed, only 16 have requested wage action, he said.

The organization uses fair market value benchmarks and provides allowances based on staff clinical performance, value-based work effort, and research or teaching work.

Every part of the remuneration process, whether it’s hiring, bonuses, status changes or annual promotions, is also reviewed for approval by the institutional remuneration committee, Eide said.

“We want to act when a decision is made, rather than trying to revise it a year later and then fix it,” he said.

Each year, the college works with its departments to offer guidance and guidance to help them budget in line with its principles of equity.

The college shares pay parity data with its departments and a group called Advancing Women in Science and Medicine, Eide said. The institution’s staff website reveals how the salary benchmarking process works.

Eide said that while health systems will always face challenges in figuring out how funding goes to different specialties and in bridging the gap between academic medical centers and nonprofits, working with as much transparency as possible is a solid starting point.

Organizations should involve employees in troubleshooting, be sure to use reliable data that takes into account rank, specialty, merit and years of service.

As health systems learn how to do this job, health systems can also look to each other for guidance and example, Eide said.

While more work is being done on these issues, he says, it’s never really finished. “You need to build it into your process, do it all the time, every year, make it part of your culture. I think this is the key to success.”

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