Women still earn 81 cents for every dollar a man earns. For non-white women, the gap is larger; Black women are paid 61 cents and Latinas are paid 53 cents. In healthcare, like all industries, this is a real and persistent problem all the way up to the leadership level. There is even an equity issue related to the number of women in leadership roles. Health Affairs reports data that shows women make up 79% of the overall public health workforce but only 36% are in leadership positions. According to the Harvard Business Review, female primary care and specialist physicians make up to 36% less than their male peers. What can healthcare organizations do right now to correct these mistakes?
Start with a compensation analysis.
Over time, organizations can be influenced by internal representation that fails to consider pay equity when establishing pay rates for individuals. When was the last time your organization conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the pay structures of your senior hiring team? Proactively looking inside the organization first, even before launching a search, can provide the baseline you need to move forward with equitable pay representation on your leadership team.
Head off salary disparities during the interview process.
Several states and cities now have pay equity laws that prohibit your hiring team from asking details about the candidate’s current salary rates. They may even prohibit research into publicly available compensation levels before offering the candidate a job. This area of the law is relatively new and ever-changing, so be aware of the rules as you begin the search.
Hire for diversity in the c-suite.
Women make up 65% of hires into the healthcare field but only 30% are in the c-suite and 13% in the CEO seat today. The number goes down further if you incorporate color and ethnicity into the statistics. This is particularly relevant when you consider that in the U.S., women still make the majority of healthcare decisions. There is a huge need for diversity in the healthcare c-suite, particularly in the CEO and CFO spots. Organizations must allow mentoring and promotion to groom women and people of color to improve representation at the top.
Be open and fair in your hiring approach.
Creating transparency around salary expectations and also not basing future salaries on prior experiences will help your organization stay fair and equitable. Talk with the candidate about their compensation expectations including competing offers. Generally, do not ask about what they made in the past, just what their expectations are.
Analyze and benchmark current salaries of non-female, white, members of your organization.
Stay aware of what men in a similar role are making currently, and actively seek to meet those numbers with women who are equally qualified but may have not been equally paid in the past.
Start the conversation with UHC Solutions today. We work with our community health center clients to hire the best talent fairly and fast. We can help your organization meet its hiring goals.