Roses Are Red. Violets Are Blue. We like Equal Pay: How about You?

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Equal Pay Day is a meaningful day observed annually to raise awareness about the gender pay gap and to advocate for equal pay for equal work. The gender pay gap is a persistent issue that affects women across the globe. As a German company, we have to ask -  how is the gender gap nationally in Germany? According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the average gender pay gap in Germany was around 21% in 2020. This means that, on average, women in Germany earned 21% less than men for doing the same job. The pay gap is particularly pronounced in certain industries, such as finance, engineering, and technology. Now as a tech company, we love numbers, so let's dive a bit deeper into some stats: according to a 2021 study by the German Institute for Economic Research, women working in the tech industry earn 16 percent less than men and this disparity is even larger at 24 percent for women with children. Why is the gender pay gap a persistent issue?

The reasons for the gender pay gap in Germany are similar to those in other countries. Women are underrepresented in high-paying technical and leadership roles while they are overrepresented in administrative and support roles. At the same time, women are less likely to negotiate their salaries than men, immediately resulting in lower salary growth over time. Biases and stereotypes about women's abilities exist and this can unconsciously or consciously be reflected in companies’ hiring and promotion process. Furthermore, women often end up working part-time or need to take long periods of time off due to lack of support available for maternity leave or family matters. Finally, companies may not be transparent about their pay scale and therefore employees may not understand if they are being paid unfairly. 

Pay scales - how do they work?

The fight for equal pay continues. Governments, advocacy organizations, and employers are taking steps to close the gender pay gap and ensure that women are paid fairly for their work. One step towards equality is having a fair, transparent, and established pay scale.

Equal pay - picture of weighing scales with stack of coins on it

Companies should be transparent about how their pay scale functions because employees have the right to know the work they are doing equates to how much they are earning.  A pay scale is a fixed system employers create and use to determine an employee’s salary based on their skills, expertise, experience, education, and work. There is no universal pay scale, in fact, pay scales vary depending on the industry, occupation, and even agreements with labor unions or regionally where a person or company is located. Here are some examples of different pay scales: 

  1. Broadband: This pay scale uses fewer pay grades with a wider salary range. It identifies the minimum amount you can expect to make and the maximum amount you can expect to earn for a given role within a company. 
  2. Traditional: This pay structure has more pay grades which are narrower in scope than in other types of structures.
  3. Market-based: Companies base their salary ranges and pay grades on a current market analysis of comparable positions and salaries from various companies. 
  4. Step pay: The pay increases often result from time with the company and adequate performance. 
  5. Collective bargaining agreements: Often negotiated between unions and employers, there is a set minimum and maximum salary for different occupations and work experience. 
  6. Performance-based pay: This pay scale rewards employees based on their individual performance or team performance. 
  7. Minimum wage: Regardless of industry or occupation, employees are guaranteed a national minimum wage. In Germany, as of 2023, the minimum wage is 12 euros per hour. 
  8. Hybrid: companies can have a mix of different pay scales for varying departments, job types, or salary ranges. 

Transparency and communication regarding pay scales is key. We at Seibert Media are no exception. We are taking strides to make sure that regardless of gender, everyone is paid equally and fairly. So, in the name of transparency -  let’s take a look at our own pay scale. 

Seibert Media’s pay scale - is it fair?

In 2020, two of Seibert Media’s employees, Jan and Silke, investigated if the company’s pay scale statistically proved itself gender-neutral. Using the online tool Compensation Partner, the leading digital salary service provider in Germany, and filtering for gender, they found that the median salary for the same job is in fact similar for both men and women at Seibert Media. 

Equal pay - picture of sign for male and female with equals sign between them

Moreover, as a tech company, Jan and Silke had to ask: are we gender-biased in our hiring process? In general, the national gender ratio in the tech industry is around 30-70. Yes, it is a gender gap due to fewer women in the industry. We match the national norm with a 30-70 gender ratio in the company. 

One other major concern of why the gender pay gap exists is because of the lack of resources for employees and their families. Historically, often women tend to take more responsibilities concerning their families, i.e. maternity leave, taking care of elderly family members, etc. However, at Seibert Media, we believe this should never stop or inhibit employees from pursuing their career aspirations. We are a family friendly environment; need to have your kids at work because a nanny or daycare is closed? In the office, we have a ball pool that they can jump into! We also have a lengthy maternity and paternity leave for those wanting to focus on spending time with their new family member. 

The new pay scale - is it also fair?

Jan and Silke investigated the pay scale in 2020, but in fact a new pay scale at Seibert Media was launched at the end of 2022! So how is the new pay scale? Is there a difference in pay based on gender? Well if we didn’t have any gender gaps in 2020, why would we introduce one in 2022?! So nope, that would be silly! We are still focused on equality and fairness regardless of gender when our employees are earning their salaries. In fact, the new pay scale is intended to make salary amounts more regulated and structured. 

At Seibert Media, we calculate salaries not only based on the role, but also on criteria such as an employee’s educational attainment and prior work experience. For example, if you earned your Master’s degree, you also have the equivalent of one year of working experience by us (a win-win situation). Maternity and paternity leave, and of course, gender, do not impact this calculation.

Equal pay - picture of father changing diaper

As you can see, Seibert Media is making strides even in change to continue to make sure we are gender-neutral in our salary calculations, hiring process, and working environment. 

We can’t stop here: progress continues

While progress has been made, there is still a lot of work to do to close the gender pay gap and ensure that women are paid fairly for their work worldwide. This is why we at Seibert Media, continue to write about Equal pay day. Check out more about last year’s commitment from Jan and Silke (in German) here. We will continue to do our part and investigate how we can continue to further combat the gender pay gap. 

Does Seibert Media sound like a company you’d love to work at? If you would like to become a part of an organization that values and ensures gender equality - take a look through our German or English job openings. You can also send us an open application on our job portal in English or German

Cheers to Equal Pay Day!

Further Reading

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