High Gender Equity Standards Are Good For Business

Posted in Personal


Women work. At FINE, they pretty much keep us running. Or at least, majority-wise; 60 percent of our staff is female. Of those, 40 percent hold leadership roles.

We believe in paying people what they’re worth in the market (like, regardless of their gender). But we know many women out there still earn on average 78 cents to every dollar men earn, according to PayScale. They’re also confronted by gender bias when it comes to promotion or growth opportunities, and are met with restricted access to high-profile roles compared to men.

This discrepancy usually begins during the interview process, which is why we never ask candidates to share their salary history; there’s no knowing whether past salaries were an honest reflection of the work or role or whether we’re simply perpetuating imbalance. Instead, we share our target for an open role and ask how our range meets their expectations.

Women at FINE on average make about 3 percent more than men do. Sure, some of this is because we’ve got some long-tenured women — more than a third have been here for more than six years — but considering in Portland, as of 2016, the average woman made 21 percent less than the average male, we’re proud of it.

There’s also more to creating a great and inclusive place to work than just paying people well for the work they do (even if that’s a pretty good place to start). Schedule flexibility can have an especially influential impact on working moms, who’ve historically borne the brunt of childcare responsibilities.

The challenge is usually hardest in the months after having a baby, so we offer parental leave, fully paid after a year of employment for moms, and mostly paid for dads, (the difference being they don’t qualify for short-term disability since they’re not the ones actually having the baby). We also throw in an extra paid week for both parents, because it’s probably the toughest job they’ll ever have.

And understanding the transition back is never easy, or the same, there’s plenty of wiggle room. Whether working from home, taking off early to take care of a sick kid, or just leaving at a reasonable hour, we’re focused on this whole idea of being human.

It’s ultimately pretty simple: we’re in the creative space, and not much helps enhance creativity and drive inspiration better than diverse experiences and perspectives, and well-balanced work lives. So fostering a workspace that values all types of people (and respects the needs they each have) helps us all succeed. Especially all 60% of our people who are women.

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