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Celebrating Equal Pay Day at Media Cause

As a marketing agency dedicated to helping good causes accelerate their impact, Media Cause is no stranger to fighting for equality. This year, as we celebrate Equal Pay Day, we decided it wasn’t enough to simply help other organizations with their individual campaigns and promote the hashtag #EqualPayDay on social media. So we’re taking it a step further by practicing what we preach: publishing gender specific company salary data, and calling on more businesses to do the same. 

Our agency is on the frontlines of nonprofit advocacy and social justice. We develop strategies and execute marketing campaigns designed to help our clients fulfill their missions. We understand firsthand that awareness days and educational campaigns like Equal Pay Day are critical for building public awareness, but if there isn’t follow through — real-life actions taken — then nothing changes.

That’s why we’ve decided to make a bigger commitment to achieving equal pay, not just today but every day. Moving forward, we’re going to publish our company’s gender pay comparison on our blog, and share even more pay data with our employees. We’ve also taken the 3% agency pledge for pay equity.

By taking the pledge, we affirm:

  1. We have conducted a wage review within the last two years or plan to within the next 12 months
  2. We are committing to rectifying like-for-like disparities or will do so following our review
  3. We are committed to advancing pay equity through collaboration, communication and continued identification and promotion of best practices to close the wage gap in the advertising industry

We applaud all of the companies and organizations who are already sharing their gender pay data publicly. For small businesses like ours, it’s not an easy process. As a company with around 30 employees, we often have specific roles, even departments, with only one employee – which makes it difficult to benchmark data and share information without exposing any individual employee’s salary. But we understand the importance of transparency as well as accountability toward building a company without pay discrimination. In speaking to other organizations who’ve gone through this process, we learned that most are unaware that a gender pay gap exists at their company. We weren’t sure how our data would turn out either, but without committing to share this information, issues won’t be found and companies won’t be held accountable to investigate their salary setting practices and ultimately, correct any unfair biases that exist.

So what did we learn?

While we’re definitely on the right track toward creating equity, we still have some work to do. By calculating the average salary for all roles our the company, then calculating percentage under or over the midway point for each employee, we found that female employees average 103.4% above the middle of the range, while male employees make 107.8% above the range. We acknowledge that this 4.4% difference is not insignificant. However, when we calculated the gender pay difference for our management team specifically, we found that our female managers average 111% over the median salary for their roles, while male managers averaged 107.5% over the median pay for their positions–a slightly smaller, and inverse gap, of 3.5%.

While we were happy to see a limited pay gap at our company, we know that looking at this data is just the start. There are many factors that go into what salaries we’re able to offer employees. For example, we have not yet proactively measured any potential biases in setting new hires’ starting salaries, or its overall impact on our gender pay comparison. We have always tried to ignore gender when deciding on starting salaries, and aim to give raises based on experience and merit. While those practices have worked well, we believe we can improve by adding gender salary comparisons to this process to ensure we don’t create a pay gap in the future.

Overall, one of the biggest learnings for us in this process is that we need to continue finding ways to be more intentional about equal pay. Signing the 3% pay equity pledge and tracking and sharing this data on a regular basis is a good start, but it’s essential that we learn from our data and put measures into place to correct issues and prevent inequality from happening in the first place. We hope more companies join this growing trend as Equal Pay Day continues to gain momentum. 

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