Labour shortages can be addressed through pay transparency, according to advocates
Moms At Work has launched an online job board, which requires all job postings to fully disclose the salary range for the position.
As widespread labour shortages force Canadian companies to re-evaluate their employee recruitment and retention practices, experts say pay transparency is increasingly in the spotlight.
Outside of the public sector and unionized shops, salaries in North America have long been considered a private matter between employer and employee. Job postings generally don’t disclose compensation, and the issue of money usually doesn’t come up until the interview stage or even later.
But a growing number of advocates say that needs to change, in part to address problems of gender and racial equity, but also to keep talented employees in the workforce.
“I have every intention of telling my kids years from now that there was once a time when you’d apply for a job and have no idea what it paid,” said Allison Venditti, founder of Moms at Work, a Canadian-based organization that advocates for women in the workforce. “And they will think that’s ridiculous.”
Moms At Work has launched an online job board, which requires all job postings to fully disclose the salary range for the position. Venditti said the job board is needed because pay transparency is one way to address society’s wage gap problem.
“Women and people of colour are underpaid substantially. We know this,” Venditti said. “We’ve been talking about the wage gap since forever and a day, and this is one of the fastest ways to help fix that.”
Some jurisdictions are getting on board the pay transparency bandwagon. The state of Colorado already has a law that requires employers to clearly state salary ranges in all open job postings. A similar mandate will come into effect in New York City this spring.
Last year, the Canadian government passed the Pay Equity Act, which will eventually require all federally regulated workplaces with 100 employees or more to publicly disclose wage gap data for women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.
“It is something companies are going to have to start preparing for,” said Laura Machan, recruitment partner at the Toronto office of LHH, a global human resources firm. “Partly because governments, both federal and provincial, are starting to require it and partly because it’s part of their ESG goals with their board, to be a better corporate citizen.”