New information is fueling the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team’s fight for pay equity. Until now, it appeared to be inspired by performance and public support: decisive wins, a record-setting 13 goals in their opening World Cup match, and even a call from former Vice President Joe Biden for equal pay. It didn’t appear that was enough to earn them the same salary as their male counterparts. Things are changing.
In a lawsuit filed in March against the United States Soccer Federation, the women’s team claimed “gender discrimination” stating that despite doing the same job as the U.S. men’s national team, they are not getting paid as well, and are not enjoying the same working conditions.
Here at MorganHR, we’ve been studying pay equity for decades, and we know it’s not just a matter of women’s rights. Determining an individual’s salary is complicated and dependent on a variety of details. In fact, we know there can be as many as 26 compensable factors, including education, years of experience, market data, and performance reviews.
In the case of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, profitability must be considered, but getting a clear picture of the situation is not that simple. Several months ago, a Forbes article reported the men’s team has been paid LESS than the women’s team in terms of percentage of profits. In reference to the 2015 World cup, it reported, “The Women’s World Cup brought in almost $73 million, of which the players got 13%. The 2010 men’s World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.” Fast forward to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal that states the women’s team generated more game revenue than the men’s team in the last three years. It’s a difference of one million dollars, and that fact just might be enough to make their case in their class action lawsuit. These numbers are critical and the court must drill down to sort out the numbers before making a fair ruling.
Figuring out what’s fair is a topic we deal with directly with SimplyMerit, our cloud-based compensation management software. It’s right there in our tagline: making conversations about pay feel fair, relevant, and right. SimplyMerit® gives managers critical and accurate data so they can make better, more informed decisions about compensation. Without relevant data, biases may come into play, and there’s no mechanism to see the impact.
In addition, we generate your Insights Report at the conclusion of a merit and bonus cycle. By using all the data available, we shine a light on pay equity in an organization. For instance, our reports clearly display how an employee’s salary compares to others within a company and across the marketplace as well as how that employee has progressed over time.
Just as is the case with the U.S. Women’s Soccer team, we know it’s critical to consider all of the data, and that takes time and imagination to do the analysis. We help our clients process the numbers so they can get a clear picture of the situation, and if pay equity issues are apparent, MorganHR, Inc. can help resolve them and build a plan for the future.