MAKERS Equal Pay Day Panel Discussion
Our goal is simple: MAKERS never wants to “celebrate” this day again. So we are bringing together women who are making it their mission to achieve pay parity in their companies for a live panel discussion on how to implement real change.
[MUSIC PLAYING] ELLA BELL SMITH: I didn't expect parity to be in my lifetime. But not in my granddaughters lifetime? That's unacceptable.
RACHEL THOMAS: We used to be 86 years away from closing the gap. We are now 100.
SHERYL SANDBERG: Pretending it's not happening, and it's not happening in your company is often the root of the problem.
KATE JURAN: We've pledged this year to reach global pay parity between women and men.
IJE-ENU NWOSU: Who establish gender equity as a strategic objective.
LYNN LEWIS: We will double the number of women of color across our organization.
DONIEL SUTTON: To maintain global pay parity between men and women.
CELESTE BURGOYNE: By April 2018, we will have 100% pay equity.
YOKO MIYASHITA: And it's not a zero sum game. Everybody wins when we're more equal.
SHELLEY ZALIS: And that's how we will start achieving equality. Equal pay for equal opportunity. Thank you.
Hi, welcome to Makers Equal Pay Day, now live Q&A here on Twitter. My name is Michelle Tan, I'm the Editorial Director here at Makers. And as you saw in the video, Happy Equal Pay Day. But we're not going to get to pay parity until 2059, and quite frankly, Maker finds that unacceptable. In fact, we think you're being a little lazy, America, if we're being perfectly honest. So what we've done is we've assembled three women here today who are working to achieve parity in their companies and nation nationwide this year. We're so proud to welcome them.
First, we have Susan Gelinas. She is the Senior Vice President of People and Culture at the lululemon, which is one of our Makers@ partners. And they have some exciting news to break this morning that we're going to be talking about today. Next, we have Rosemary Arriada-Keiper. She is the Vice President of Total rewards at Adobe, another Makers@ partner, who pledge to achieve pay parity in 2018 at our Makers conference.
And finally, we also have Vicky Shabo, who is the Vice President for Workplace Policies and Strategies at the National Partnership for Women and Families. You've been working very closely with the Adobe, and you've also worked with Starbucks, who also achieved racial and gender pay equity recently.
And finally, we have all of you out there in the Twitterverse and some people here in the audience. Please join our conversation by using the #GirlsJustWannaGetPaid. Susan, let's start with you. You had some incredible news this morning. I would love to start off with you just kind of announcing the news again, because I honestly cannot hear it enough.
SUSAN GELINAS: So as of April 2, we will have closed our pay gap. All across the world.
MICHELLE TAN: So great. Everybody, totally worth the applause.
SUSAN GELINAS: We're thrilled. And it's been a journey. So our journey started last year on International Women's Day 2017. Actually, who was on the video you just saw, our head of our American business, Celeste Burgoyne, made a commitment. And it was a guest facing commitment on International Women's Day, that every guest who walked in got a discount equal to the differential between men's and women's pay that was in the world.
And with making that statement, we also knew that that was something we wanted to turn internal, and make a commitment to closing our pay gap internally. At the time, we didn't really know where we were, like, know deeply where we were. And it's been a journey over the last little while to get there, and to close faster than we expected. So we were about nine months ahead of schedule, which we're really proud of.
MICHELLE TAN: Oh my gosh. Again, let's just hear a round of applause. There's so much there. Again, I'm not quite sure why we're waiting to 2059 when you were able to not only achieve it in 2018, but ahead of schedule. But let's even jump back a little bit. In terms of pay parity, what is the breakdown for lululemon in terms of men versus women across the board, and also, in your executive level?
SUSAN GELINAS: So if we go even into our stores, which is really the heart of our business, our store leaders are around 90% female. If you look across the whole organization, just over three quarters. And then if you even go up into our leadership levels, director and above, it's roughly 50%. And then you go to our senior leaders in our organization-- so we have three leaders, two of them are female that are leading our organization.
MICHELLE TAN: So that's incredible. And obviously, you have built a business out of supporting women, literally and figuratively, top to bottom. And so what's interesting though is that you made this bold choice without even knowing exactly what pay gap might exist. Can you talk a little bit about that process, and also, how you were able to accelerate your process to make it happen in 13 months?
SUSAN GELINAS: So we knew at one level, and we didn't know deeply enough, that we were really getting to the root of the issue. So what we did is we partnered with an external firm. We brought people on who were best in the world at doing this to get even deeper and to dig underneath. And to look at things like performance, experience, and looking by job level to really understand what our true pay gap was.
So once we had that, we knew. And then the question was, how quickly could we close it. And then the quick closure-- we had our year end just recently, so just combining it with our regular year end pay processes, and having the pre-merit, and then the merit conversation was on top of that.
So it was really understanding where we were. And then when we saw where we were, we had to start peeling back the layers as well. But then looking by geography, looking by the employee groups, across our stores, our distribution centers, our store support center, which is our head office-- and when we looked underneath of it, our store support center, it had offices where we had a gap that needed to be closed. And that's what we've been in the work of.
MICHELLE TAN: That's interesting. Can you frame it in terms of was it a large gap, was it a small gap. How big are we talking?
SUSAN GELINAS: It wasn't a huge gap, but it was a gap. And it was a gap nonetheless that we said, any gap is too big of a gap, and we want to close it.
MICHELLE TAN: So here's a company who was able to do it in 2018, Vicky. And you've been working at companies who have been trying to do it throughout year. Starbucks obviously had a 10 year process. What is it that's slowing companies down, and why are we waiting till 2059? Or why is that the year that people are talking about?
VICKY SHABO: So the 2059 year is the year at which the pay gap is project to close if we don't take any action at all. And obviously, we can take action. These companies are setting an example by taking action. There are states that are taking action in terms of public policies. And the reason this is important is that overall, in the US today, if you're looking across the board at women versus men, who work full time year round, we're looking at a typical median pay gap of $0.20 on the dollar.
So typically, women are paid $0.80 for every dollar paid to men. For women of color, it's much worse. So black women are paid $0.63 compared to white men. Latina women are paid $0.54 compared to wait non-Hispanic men. White women are paid $0.79 for every dollar paid to white men. And for some subgroups of Asians, folks who are working in nail salons, and other low wage jobs, it's much, much worse.
And so we need to take action. Part of the reason it's taken so long is that you know for a long time, the pay gap was really seen as sort of a side issue, or just a women's issue. And yeah, it was about equality, but maybe equality is not that important, or people talked you know about women's choices, and about different tracks. But this is really unacceptable. What this means is a loss that the wage gap means a loss of opportunity, and a loss of security for women and for their families.
And that's not just today. That's not just about you know the additional more than a year of food you can put on your table, or the more than a year of childcare that you can buy with the difference in wages. But it's really about how you save for the future, whether you're able to afford college for your child, whether you're able to save for your own retirement. This is an economic issue, it's a family issue. And it's time for more companies to make change, and it's time for policymakers to make change as well.
MICHELLE TAN: 100%. And I think that's where we're losing sight of it, right? Is that this pay gap, it compounds, and it builds over time. But what is amazing is during our interview when we were talking about this session, what you said was that women stand to lose $9 billion?
VICKY SHABO: $900 billion in women in the US together, the wage gap aggregated. $900 billion a year. That's a big number.
MICHELLE TAN: That is a huge number.
VICKY SHABO: That's a huge loss to the economy. What it means over a woman's lifetime, on average, more than $400,000 for a typical woman in her lifetime. And again, if you're looking at women of color, for black women, it's more than $800,000. For Latinas, it's more than a million dollars in her lifetime lost to the wage gap. That's huge.
MICHELLE TAN: And so what's fascinating though, again, is that is if we take no action at all. And so what you've been doing is you've been working with the Adobe, another company a Makers@ partner, who decided that in 2018, pay parity was going to happen because those statistics were just not acceptable. So can you talk to us a little bit about where you are in that pledge, and how far Adobe is it into 2018, and what sort of runway you have to get to your goal?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Sure, happy to share our story. So we embarked on our journey, probably starting in, I would say, the latter half of 2016. And essentially, what we did was we started to focus in on the US and India. So right now, we've achieved parity in US and India. So that's roughly about 80% of our population. We have, I would say, about 19,000 employees globally. So we've committed to a big chunk of that. For the balance of this year, we're really going to focus on the balance of countries, the other 20%, and trying to get them to pay parity.
For us, it was really a three step approach in terms of the journey that we took. The very first thing that we had to do was define as a company what it was that we meant when we said pay parity. And for us, we wanted to ensure that we were doing a apples to apples comparison. So we wanted to make sure we were comparing individuals in the same roles with the same level of scope.
So we had to embark on a lot of work that was driven by the compensation team around just ensuring that people were appropriately matched to the right jobs. And so it was really a redesign of our job architecture, and really ensuring that the roles and scope of responsibilities individuals have were reflected in the job descriptions that they had.
MICHELLE TAN: Rosemary, what you're really talking about is a real infrastructure overhaul, is what happened. And that takes a lot of work, and a lot of commitment.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: It did, it did. And it was a lot of work in terms of reaching out to our senior management, and our line management to really understand what it was other employees were doing, and ensure that we had them appropriately mapped to the right jobs. Because all of the analysis we do is founded on what are people mapped into. What are the roles that they're in. And if you don't have that right, then the analysis that you're doing is not going to be accurate.
MICHELLE TAN: And it's not fair to anybody.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: And it's not fair to anybody. So we went through that rigor, and when we got to a point where we felt like we had really cleaned that up-- and by the way, for Adobe, it meant introducing a lot of job families that we had not traditionally used.
MICHELLE TAN: Again, a whole infrastructure overhaul that's happening.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Exactly.
MICHELLE TAN: But you had the support of senior leadership to do this. It wasn't like you were fighting those CEOs and the top level executives to get to this role.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Exactly. And I would say that is something that companies need to think about as kind of they're embarking on this. For us, I think having the support of the executive leadership made it an easier exercise. We had a hypothesis around this. We suspected that there was a wage gap. We had a hypothesis around how much we thought that was going to be. And we had commitment from leadership that they were willing to, at any cost, go ahead and make the adjustment. But we didn't quite know what that was.
So in 2017, for the US and for India, we went ahead and did the analysis. And what we found was in the US, we were at $0.98. So not a huge gap relative to some other folks that had shared their information, but a gap nonetheless.
MICHELLE TAN: Just like Susan said at lululemon, it's just not acceptable.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: It was not acceptable. And so we went ahead and decided we were going to close that. And so for us, it really meant sitting down, identifying those individuals that had the gap, and making these adjustments. And we were very transparent about it. We had to have conversations and training sessions with the managers, because we really wanted the discussion points to come from the managers. And so we spent a lot of time equipping them, and helping enable them so that they could have these conversations.
And you know, I think it was really great. It was interesting because some of the reactions that we had from some of the managers were, wait a minute, I just hired somebody recently into this role. I kind of followed what HR told me to do in terms of the position. Why is it that we're not paying competitively, or why are they not getting paid fairly? And what we had to kind of educate them on is the competitive market and pay parity are two different things, right?
The market is based on supply and demand, and able to dictate a certain kind of range for the services that you're going to provide. But pay parity is all about how are you being paid relative to others that are doing the same role.
MICHELLE TAN: Within the same time company. So how did that conversation go when you were talking to these hiring managers? Being a hiring manager myself, I think hearing that, I realize I have a role. I have a role in how pay parity is adjusted within my company, and also, how I can advocate to make sure that pay parity doesn't happen. How did both of you actually talk to your managers about maintaining that now that you're on the way to making pay parity happen, or you have already achieved it?
SUSAN GELINAS: Yeah, for us-- it's funny even as I say this, because holding both the role of being in the work, and also the role of being a leader, and being able to be in some of these conversations, they were really well received. But to also help the leaders understand, how did you do this, how did you approach it, and to give them some insights into the analysis, and what it took to get there.
And then also, where we are right now is we've closed, but what does it look like to maintain that closure. So continuing with our systems, our analysis, how do we maintain this so we don't get to a place of saying, there's a gap. Because it's dynamic. It's never actually static, so how do we always know that we're maintaining that closure.
MICHELLE TAN: And I think that's an interesting point to make too. And Vicky, you know about this. Pay parity is not an end goal, it is almost a standard you have to maintain, right? And so how do companies, when you talk to them, how do they even talk about maintaining that standard, and making sure they're not slipping or going back into old habits?
VICKY SHABO: Yeah, I think some of it is revisiting, understanding both the role of new hires coming in, and the promotion, and raise process. But so often-- I just want to say that these folks, and some of the others like Starbucks are really the exception right now. And what we need to do is figure out both how to incentivize the companies that are taking the lead to do it, to publicize their data, to talk about best practices.
We also need to change the landscape so that it doesn't have to be this hard. So we need to think about ways to improve work family policies. So the way that we've worked with Adobe is around paid family and medical leave, where they're also really exceptional. And advocating not just for their own policies or sharing their own policies, but also advocating for public policy, In that space.
Similar, raising the wage would help to close the wage gap. Providing women and all workers the ability to not face retaliation on their jobs when they're asking about wages. Not considering prior salary in applying for or being considered for a job, or getting your pay set for a job. These are all the kinds of innovations that we're seeing in some states, and in some cities, but ultimately, that needs to be scaled up to the national level to create a baseline. So then it's easier, even, for companies like these to then take the next step, and figure out how to do their pay analysis.
MICHELLE TAN: Right. So basically creating a national standard, like you're saying, and so that way, the onus is not always just on the company or individually. That way, we're all talking the same language, and we're all reaching the same goal, and making that standard universal across.
VICKY SHABO: Right. And so we're providing more protections and more supports to workers around pay issues, as well as to all of us in terms of how we're living our lives and navigating jobs and families that so often take women, especially, out of the workforce, and then make it very hard for them to catch up later on.
MICHELLE TAN: And Rosemary, going back to what you were talking about when you talk to the managers. And again, what would you tell them in terms of how to maintain some of the work that you're already doing when they're hiring new people. Because as a hiring manager, you pick a salary that you think is just and right within a certain salary range, and then to find out that actually, there is a little bit more work on my end as a hiring manager that needs to happen. What are some of those tools that we can tell us and people out there who are sort of facing the same deal as they're building their teams?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Yeah, I think the reality is this is a relatively new phenomenon in the market. I think a lot of the transparency and the legislation that's falling behind this now is starting to take some momentum. As a result, there's not really products or solutions available out on the market today to really help.
Some of the things that we're doing are adopting some of the best practices that Vicky alluded to. So as a recruiting organization and as a management team, they're being educated on the fact that you know it's not appropriate to ask for prior year history, because you don't want to carry over some of the inequities that may have existed for prior companies. So that's kind of a change in terms of the process.
We are working with firms. Because there are no solutions out there, we're kind of pushing the market to say who's willing to partner with us to develop something. What I would envision for Adobe-- and we've put it out there to partners in the market to see if they can find a solution around this-- is we want a mechanism to equip both our recruiting teams who help managers, and managers with determining, when they make an offer, is this going to disrupt the pay parity within a company.
And so they are not pay parity analysts. We don't expect them to be doing the analysis. And today, it's somewhat of a reactive exercise that happens. Different companies have different periods of time that they have to kind of go through this exercise to ensure that they're staying on top of it.
But to get more proactive, what we envision is a solution with a few inputs. What is this person doing. What is the level that they're going to be operating at. Where are they located, right? They could foreseeably plug in a recommendation in terms of what they want to give this person, and then it would give them a red flag to say, oh no, this is a problem, you need to increase it. Or hey, this is fine, you're good to go. That's ultimately what we want to get to. We're exploring some partnerships with firms out there to try to build something like that, but it doesn't exist today.
MICHELLE TAN: Until that exists though, it sounds as though there's a lot of sort of research that has to go from the hiring manager's point in terms of talking to people out in the market, and hearing what people are making, and actually engaging a little bit more with the HR side of things to understand that, if that makes sense.
And just in general, what does it look like when you actually give out pay parity? Is it just you're just giving out checks left and right, and just saying, you get more, and you get more, like Oprah? Or how did that work for you guys in terms of actually announcing it, and what was that reaction internally?
SUSAN GELINAS: Ours was a multi-phase that started International Women's Day 2017. And then we were an organization of goal setters. So everyone who joins us, they'll set a vision for their life, they'll set goals. And just like they do for each other in the organization, they're like, can we go faster. So there's a lot of encouragement.
And then it came February, where we do our annual kickoff.
MICHELLE TAN: And where you guys were at Makers Conference, and you announced--
SUSAN GELINAS: We were at Makers. So we announced just before the Makers event to all of our leaders across the organization that we were ahead of schedule. And then we also told them at that time it was going to be April with year end. So how the conversations looked like for us was the one on one with the individual at their year, the manager sharing with them, hey, here is the pay adjustment that was related to the pay equity work, and here is your merit that's also on top of that. So two separate conversations, two different messages and detail beneath them. But all--
MICHELLE TAN: One really happy employee. Right?
SUSAN GELINAS: Happy employees, some in tears about what it meant for them. Even as a leader, and seeing that come to life, it was an incredible moment for organization.
MICHELLE TAN: And what about for you? I mean, it must been the same thing when you achieve that both here, and also in India. What was that like for you having those conversations?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Yeah, I think it was a very similar journey for us. We started with very public statements from our leadership saying we were going to address this, and we were going to do it by a certain date. And then we completed the analysis, and when we did, we had public statements, again, that we had achieved the pay parity. And then what we started to do is as we started to reach out directly to individuals, managers, and to start to educate them on what we had done, the process that we had gone through.
I think slightly different than what lululemon did was we chose to separate the conversation. So we did not want the conversation around people's performance to be mashed with the exercise that we were doing around pay parity. And so they were within a few months of each other in terms of the exercise, but we lead with the pay parity adjustments.
And we were super transparent. So we told managers exactly why we were doing this, how we came to the conclusions that we did. We gave them an opportunity to review the data. We're an engineering organization, so--
MICHELLE TAN: Everything is the data. Gotta have the data behind it.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Very data driven. And got them comfortable with it. And then when it got to the employees, we also had you know very direct conversations with them as well, and specifically told them what this was related to. So we were very open.
I would say generally, the feedback was very, very positive. People were appreciative. Though you know, surprisingly, we did have certain individuals where they questioned, so have I not been paid fairly for a period of time, and help me understand why this was. So again, it was that education around the fact that Adobe pays competitively, and you have been paid fairly from a market perspective, but the way in which we look at pay parity is very different. It looks at individuals in the same roles, not relative to the salary range. And so that was just an education that we had to do.
But overall, it was really well received. We've gotten lots of kudos, personal emails. And like Susan, I think for me as a leader, to finally be able to see you know all of this work you know come to fruition, and then see the reaction, and the momentum that it's building, I think, is amazing.
MICHELLE TAN: Well, we hope we're only building more momentum here with this conversation. And so I want to know for the women out there who don't have the same sort of corporate culture perhaps, or just aren't getting the same messaging, how can they advocate for themselves with their manager to broach the subject without putting anybody off, or maybe that's even the wrong way of even phrasing it. How do we even just broach the subject with a manager, with HR, and advocate not only for yourself, but for the other women, and for everybody, really, in the company?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: So I'll go first. I think not being able afraid to ask the question is kind of the starting point. And if you're advocating for yourself individually, it becomes more of a one on one conversation with your manager. And it's questions around you know not being afraid to ask, so what is my salary range. Why am I positioned where I am. How am I positioned relative to other folks in this role.
And I think there's a way in asking those questions that you can approach it in a manner that is not threatening, and that's more inquisitive, right? And so I think just having that open dialogue. And oftentimes, what you'll find is in many instances, managers don't have the answers to that. And so what they'll do is they'll pull in their HR partners, and so it starts to broaden the conversation.
But really starting at the manager level, to get them to just understand why you have the questions that you do, that can kind of permeate into HR then looking at some equipping sessions for managers. And it just starts the dialogue.
I think if there's momentum within a company already, and there's some traction, then I think really trying to find a direct line into some of those decision makers that have some passion around this can also help.
MICHELLE TAN: And don't do it like in the lunch line or in the elevator, per se. Just Make sure you're doing it at the right time.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: At the right time, yeah. And finding the right individuals. There's a number of networks, as an example within Adobe, that touch on these issues. And so there's avenues I think that people can approach to kind of start, again, the dialogue. And if you come from the perspective of I'm just trying to understand, and I'm trying to get some context versus demanding, it tends to be a more positive outcomes.
MICHELLE TAN: What have you see that it's been really effective, Vicky?
VICKY SHABO: Yeah, I think in great workplaces, where working people have this sense that it's OK to ask, to ask inquisitively, to ask in whatever appropriate way, these are all great suggestions. I think where I you know tend to get worried, and as a policy advocate, tend to think a lot, is about workers that don't have any bargaining power in their workplace. The folks who are among the 40% or so of workers who say that they can't talk about their pay at work or they'll be retaliated against, or that it's in their contracts that they can't ask about somebody else's salary.
And hopefully, we're starting to see that go. I mean, the trend should be against that. We're starting to see large states pass laws prohibiting retaliation, prohibiting asking about salary. But feeling safe, and feeling empowered to be able to ask without thinking that you're going to face retribution has to be fundamentally important and at the core of the rights and protections that folks have in the workplace.
MICHELLE TAN: And are there places where somebody can go to sort of get that type of support, or to at least get some sort of tools to really advocate for themselves within those situations?
VICKY SHABO: Sure. I mean, there are great resources out there for employees around negotiation and training. So AUW is one of our partners, has a great resource. There's an organization called New York Power here in New York that has great tools around training. Department of Labor has some good resources as well. But again, making sure that you feel safe enough in your workplace, that you aren't going to jeopardize your job or your livelihood, or the way that your manager perceives you, or the shifts that you get, or the hours that you get-- that has to be fundamental before we can even think about this.
MICHELLE TAN: Absolutely. Taking away that fear. Making sure you do feel empowered, and you do feel you have a right to bring up that conversation.
VICKY SHABO: Yeah. But if you're know if you're a minimum wage or a low wage worker, and you're dependent on your manager to give you the shifts that you need to be able to feed your family, to give you the hours that you need to be able to know that you can meet your rent, it's pretty hard to feel like it's safe for you to ask those questions without some protections or guarantees. Or a workplace culture that tells you it's OK to ask.
MICHELLE TAN: Right, which is so important, again, to establish those nationwide sort of standards of conduct. That way, we all understand that, and make that a public policy. I guess at lululemon, what's interesting, again, you're so predominantly female, and yet, to bring up that conversation, what would you tell women at your company or at companies that are predominantly women, how to broach that subject as well in terms of pay parity? Because there could be some executives who say, but we're all women, we're for women, and just drop the subject and move on.
SUSAN GELINAS: Yeah, sort of just chiming on what's been said, there's a place of just not having fear around raising the conversation. And in our culture, we talk a lot about feedback, and feedback truly being a gift. Because there may be something that the manager doesn't see or doesn't understand. So if you come at it from a place like, seek to understand, and seek to know more, then I think it can lead to a really powerful dialogue.
And then also, I think for people to raise the conversation around what are we doing at an organization level is a question. What are we up to, where are we in this journey is, I think, a question to know and understand.
MICHELLE TAN: And a perfectly valid question to bring up at any time. Absolutely. What is next? What's next with the two of you in terms of now that you've achieved gender pay parity-- you are at 80%, and you're getting towards gender parity in 2018-- what are the next goals? What are we thinking? You're going to just keep tackling goals left and right, because you're lululemon, and that's what happens. So what's coming up?
SUSAN GELINAS: You know, honestly, we're in a moment right now like, wow. Like, [INAUDIBLE] a little bit [INAUDIBLE].
MICHELLE TAN: OK, fine. You can revel in this a little bit. But when start back up again.
SUSAN GELINAS: Yeah. We talk about setting big goals, and we're like, what is that next stretch goal for us, and we're still in the process of figuring out what that is. Honestly, our focus right now is really shifting on the space of leadership and culture. We do a lot in the realm of personal and leadership development, and we're putting a lot of energy there at this point.
MICHELLE TAN: And lifting up women within the organization.
SUSAN GELINAS: Absolutely. Because ultimately, what we stand for is developing leaders for the world. So we'll tell you as soon as we're ready for that next stretch goal for us.
MICHELLE TAN: That sounds great. We're listening, we're waiting. How about you? What's next for Adobe?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: I think similar. I think we have the balance of the 20% of the employee population that we've committed to addressing by the end of this year. So that's an immediate focus for us. I also think we're very much focused on how do we not take all of this great work that's been done, and continue to propagate the issues. We want to mitigate them. And so, what are the tools and resources that we can do to avoid having to go through these very reactive exercises of adjustments. So I think that's going to be kind of a big focus area for us.
And then I would say similarly, Donna's got a lot of passion around diversity and inclusion at Adobe. And it's all about developing people, and creating an inclusive environment. And so we've got some focus areas around that. Gender is very important to us, but so are many other things. And so I think we're going to take a look at opportunities to kind of enhance overall diversity, and inclusive initiatives that we have.
MICHELLE TAN: And what do you think is next up for us, again, to accelerate to eliminate this 2059 year? Because I just think it's just BS at this point because we have two people who are doing it in 2018.
VICKY SHABO: We can do it. I mean, I think the examples and the best practices that are being developed by companies, using them and more conversations with other companies who maybe aren't thinking, or aren't sort of already attuned to this. Showing the bottom line impact of this. Using this evidence as well to help pursue public policies.
And to use corporate leadership in the public policy debate. So often, public policy conversations, whether it's about wages, or leave, or equal pay, or nondiscrimination pit sort of companies against workers. And the evidence tells us that it's all the same. That all of this, if we can work together, creates a healthier environment, a healthier economy, stronger families, and that's going to be good for everyone.
So when we're thinking about the causes of the wage gap, we're thinking about enforcement, of course, but we're also thinking about pipelines. We're thinking about STEM, we're thinking about apprenticeships, getting women into nontraditional jobs. Valuing care work more so that care workers, who are disproportionately women, are paid more. And thinking about work family policies so that both women and men can take better care of their families. And raising wages so people have what they need to get by and to continue to thrive.
MICHELLE TAN: Everything you just said-- praise hands for everything you just said. And in the vein of our hashtag, #GirlsJustWannaGetPaid, we want to leave everybody with tools in terms of how to advocate for yourself. So what are some things you tell people are the best practice to ask for more in terms of a raise, and what is the absolute worst scenario that you've ever encountered when somebody came to you and said, by the way, I need bucket of money?
SUSAN GELINAS: I think it's a lot of what we've been sharing around not being afraid, and broaching the conversation, and have that be part of the dialogue with your leader, whoever that is. The other thing is also thinking about the people who may not be raising the conversation, as a leader, just being present to like, do I understand where my people are, where they're paid within the ranges. Just understanding that as a leader for your organization is also another piece. So it's also the people who are bringing it, and the people who may not be raising it.
MICHELLE TAN: And anybody, just the worst example in terms of how to ask for a raise? Does any example come to mind?
SUSAN GELINAS: Oh gosh.
MICHELLE TAN: So many. Just flooded.
SUSAN GELINAS: I think what's most important is having it come from a place of, I want to understand the facts. So the ones that I see haven't gone so well or the ones that feel like it's coming from a different place of like, seek to understand. And then as a leader, to help bring the analysis to show them, OK, here's what I need you need to understand in this conversation, as opposed to a place of in a lunch line. Or it's finding the one on one space that you have with your team to have a real back and forth dialogue about it.
MICHELLE TAN: Right. How about for you, Rosemary?
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Yeah, I think it's very similar. You know, it's kind of a fine line. Because on the one hand, we're telling people you need to be demanding, you need to be aggressive in your negotiations. But it really comes in the delivery and the way that you approach that, right? I think if you immediately come off as very adversarial, it doesn't oftentimes lead to a positive outcome. So really, it's striking that balance around really trying to understand why you're getting paid the way that you are, declaring what you think is fair for the work that you're doing, and why.
MICHELLE TAN: That's so important. Bringing to the table what you feel you are worth.
ROSEMARY ARRIADA-KEIPER: Yeah, what you feel you're worth, and what your expectations are around pay. Because I think so often, women don't do that. And then to the extent possible, holding your manager accountable to say, OK, if there's mutual agreement here that an increase is warranted, and that we want to get there, putting together a timetable or a path around how will we get there, right?
MICHELLE TAN: An action plan, which you're very good at, clearly, with setting this 2018 example. And one last one, Vicky.
VICKY SHABO: Yeah, I think it's asking. So often, we know from study after study, women especially don't try to negotiate, and don't ask. And sometimes, the salary range is posted, and the companies are moving in that direction so that there isn't a lot of guesswork. Because so often, women especially, undervalue what they're worth. So having a posted salary range, but not being afraid to ask sort of where do I fall in that range, and why not here.
MICHELLE TAN: Right. Well, thank you, ladies, so much for making the bold moves within your company, the bold moves nationwide, and helping all of us. Girls just want to get paid, we all just want equal pay now. Thank you everybody for joining us, and having this conversation with Makers. Happy Equal Pay Day. And we will see you next time.