Gender Pay

Whether it’s Hollywood stars speaking out, or new legislation being implemented across the world, gender pay is becoming an increasingly high-profile issue. In public debate, it tends to be treated as a single topic, but there are two separate issues at play. The first is pay equity - the extent to which women are paid less than men for doing work of equal or comparable value. The second issue is the gender pay gap - the difference in average pay for women and men across an organization.


Put simply, pay equity means that pay should be in direct proportion to the size of the job (as measured by job evaluation) - regardless of who is performing it. Jobs should be paid more or less based solely on the complexity of the work and/or the more value it creates for the organization. (Although regulations typically allow for “exceptions” where a purist application of “equal pay for work of equal value” would be harmful to the employer). Pay equity also means ensuring that no bias exists in reward structures. For example, a grade structure can be a source of indirect bias because more traditionally “female” jobs are more prevalent towards the top of each grade.


The gender pay gap addresses the difference in average pay for women and men across an organization, and presents organizations with broader challenges. This pay gap can be a result of bias in reward practices: some reward practices allow lower performance evaluations and bonus payments to be given to women even if their performance is the same as men. But most often the pay gap represents a lack of gender balance across levels and functions of work either because females are under-represented in senior jobs or higher paid functions or because there is a disproportionate number of women in lower paid functions.

We help companies address pay equity and gender gap issues by implementing smart solutions that build working cultures that are truly equal and inclusive. This takes smart leadership, strategic thinking, time commitment, insight, and experience. But the organizational effort invested will ultimately be worth it, because not only is equal pay for equal performance the right thing to do, data has also proven time and again that that it is the diverse and inclusive organizations that consistently outperform their peers.


  • We understand the issues. We know that organizations must succeed in the war for talent as well as comply with regulations – it’s about balancing your obligations. We also know that bias is most likely unintentional, and organizations need help to understand the implications of their practices.
  • Our work measurement methodology is best in class. Korn Ferry use the Hay Group method of job evaluation which categorizes jobs using proven, bias-free criteria. It’s relied upon by more organizations in more countries than any other and used by regulators around the world to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.
  • We have both breadth and depth. Korn Ferry goes beyond compliance to build diverse and inclusive workforces that deliver outstanding performance. We have experts in the core areas that impact pay equity – including job evaluation, culture change, people strategy, talent acquisition, assessment, leadership development, change management and reward.
  • It’s personal to us. We believe that equal pay for work of equal value is a right for all employees. Nobody should be disadvantaged in terms of pay because of their gender, color, race, religion or other protected class – what matters is the work, the person’s performance and ability to do the work and the supply/demand of talent capable of doing the work.
  • We have global scale and local knowledge. You’ll find our experts in 114 offices across 53 countries practicing across all major industry sectors.



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