This is the third installment in a three-part series that explores what the data from the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey tells us about Pay Equity in the architectural profession. Article 1 “Pay Equity Overview” and Article 2 “From ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ to Pay Equity” provide a useful context for understanding this article.
By Annelise Pitts, Assoc AIA, Equity by Design Research Chair
Over the last two weeks, we’ve published data that illustrates just how far our industry has to go in order to close the wage gap. There are, however, steps that each of us can take to work towards more equitable compensation practices. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at policies, behaviors, and practices that the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey indicates are associated with higher wages, and discuss the roles that individuals and firms can play in adopting these equitable practices.
This article isn’t intended to provide a comprehensive guide of all of the best ways to close the pay gap or promote pay equity. There are a number of firm-led behaviors practices, like pay audits, that won’t be covered in today’s article because we didn’t collect data on these policies. We recommend looking at additional resources like Parlour’s “Pay Equity” guide before deciding on the best ways to tackle pay equity in your firm or career.
Policies, Practices, and Earnings
Data from the survey shows that there are both firm-led and individually-led behaviors that are strongly correlated with earnings. Certain kinds of personalized attention and feedback from senior firm leaders, whether through mentorship or sponsorship, or through addressing particular topics in performance reviews, were strongly correlated with increased earnings. Meanwhile, individuals’ work schedules and knowledge of the review process were most strongly correlated with earnings.
A respondent’s history of negotiation was another important predictor of wages. The survey data shows that male and female respondents who had been unsatisfied with their salaries in the past were roughly equally likely to have negotiated their offers. However, male negotiators were slightly more likely to have success at the negotiation table, and earned more than female negotiators. Negotiators of both genders, however, earned more, on average, than those who had never negotiated their salary, suggesting that negotiation is an important tool!