Hey! Where’s My Raise?

Every employer pays for performance…right? Only believe it when your employer can prove it.

There’s not a boss on this earth who doesn’t think he pays for performance.  But ‘performance’ is often much more of a judgment call than one might think – even for jobs with quantifiable results, such as sales.  Given pervasive cultural factors, men tend to ask for, and get, bigger raises and bonuses. Women tend to assume they are being fairly treated – until they find out they aren’t. By then, women have fallen behind and they often can’t make up the gap in pay or prestige.

It’s time this tiresome cycle stopped. Here’s how.

Clifton Gunderson, a public accounting firm based in suburban Milwaukee, analyzes who gets paid what in the context of who does what.

Sound basic? It’s not. As we parse in the just-released 2011 Accounting MOVE Project Executive Report, many accounting firms don’t apply their own financial analysis skills to pay equity. They might analyze pay by level and office, but many don’t.  That’s why the report showcases firms that do for themselves what they advise their clients to do:  slice pay data by gender, too, to flush out any inadvertent inequities.

Clifton Gunderson goes two steps further:

  • Raises are tied to professional progress – not just major leaps forward. That especially helps working parents who might take longer to earn specialized certifications. And, at Clifton, helping lead the women’s initiative and work-life committees counts as ‘professional development.’
  • Bonuses are analyzed independently to ensure that they are tied to specific business results. That means that bosses have someone double-checking that hefty chunks of discretionary cash goes to those who actually helped haul in the results.  Again….basic fairness that none of us should take for granted.

Is it a coincidence that the firm is headed by Krista McMasters, one of the very few women at the top of the CPA heap? Doubt it. She increased retention 50% when she overhauled the firm’s work-life practices a decade ago. That’s why we expect Clifton to show other accounting firms how equal pay should be.

Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor penywise.


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