Why pay equity should be top of mind during mass layoffs

As the COVID-19 pandemic has settled in across the globe, leaders at companies large and small have watched their business sharply plummet. Many are in the throes of swiftly acting to manage costs and either considering or enacting layoffs, usually as a last resort to keep a company solvent.But while leaders are rightly concerned with…

Why pay equity should be top of mind during mass layoffs

As the COVID-19 pandemic has settled in across the globe, leaders at companies large and small have watched their business sharply plummet. Many are in the throes of swiftly acting to manage costs and either considering or enacting layoffs, usually as a last resort to keep a company solvent.But while leaders are rightly concerned with making sure layoffs are conducted with sensitivity and in a way that ensures business continuity, they are often forgetting about an important unintended consequence: the impact on pay equity.Let’s face it: when the axe falls, it often falls on those who are already disadvantaged. Tough times don’t level the playing field. Tough times exacerbate differences. The impact of hurried layoffs is going to fall disproportionately on women, who are already carrying more than their fair share of the burden in the current “work and school from home” environment.So, as company leaders make these already tough decisions, they need to place importance on doing it fairly. Laying people off is a horrible experience for everyone involved, and is especially taxing when the world is already anxious and the future is so uncertain. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so consider these critical factors to ensure you are promoting equity in your workplace.Layoffs can disproportionately target womenPeople affected by layoffs often fall into one of several groups: low performers, people with duplicative jobs, new hires who have yet to establish themselves, and lower-level roles with limited responsibility in the organization. Given that layoffs are not randomly assigned, there is potential for subjectivity to play a role in who is impa
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