Survey Finds Pay Inequities Are Driven in Part by Senior Leadership

Apr 7, 2022 10:02 AM ET

New York City (April 7, 2022) – When it comes to perpetuating pay inequities in the workplace, one contributing factor may be the very function responsible for leading DEI efforts in most organizations: senior management. That’s according to human resources professionals at 322 US employers who responded to XpertHR’s 2022 Survey on Pay Equity.

The survey underscored the complex nature of the business world’s pay inequity problem, identifying several potential causes that contribute to its persistence.  Of the companies surveyed that self-reported pay inequities within their organizations:

  • 53% said senior leadership and individual pay decisions have a high impact on driving pay disparities within their workforce
  • 42% attributed pay inequities to talent management; and
  • 40% cited individuals’ salary histories or organizational structure.


“The survey results show that senior executives still have great responsibility to lead the change in pay equity in the workplace,” said Zara Nanu, CEO of Gapsquare, an XpertHR company. “Now is the time for company leaders to hold themselves accountable and engage in bold strategies that create real change.”

XpertHR’s survey also investigated effective solutions for ensuring pay equity, asking respondents to identify “somewhat effective” or “very effective” methods. These efforts are broadly categorized as:

  • Data-centered: This includes pay equity audits, using analytics to make pay decisions, benchmarking pay equity trends, and conducting employee surveys.
  • Training-focused: This includes training managers and others who may be in a position to influence employee pay, as well as providing employees with development opportunities to move into higher-paying roles.
  • Transparency- and communication-driven: This includes providing pay ranges in job positing and informing employees of the pay range for their position.


Results also indicated an opportunity to address policies and procedures that could achieve pay equity. Short-term actions such as one-time pay adjustments (90%) and annual incentive program revisions (87%) were cited as effective means for ensuring pay equity. Hiring manager training (82%) and development opportunities for employees (79%) were identified as longer-term strategies for eliminating barriers to equal pay.

However, although many measures were highly rated for their perceived effectiveness, the use of these methods varied widely between responding organizations. For instance, while 93% of respondents endorsed using analytics for making pay decisions, just 38% actually did so.

“Data is a powerful resource that employers can use to hold themselves accountable and uncover the truth of what they are doing to address pay equity,” Nanu continued. “When paired with other key measures related to internal and industry-wide policy changes, elevated accountability and flexibility, businesses can enact genuine, meaningful change and work toward achieving transformational pay equity.”

XpertHR’s Survey on Pay Equity 2022 was conducted from Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2022. The survey includes the responses from 322 US employers from various industries and workforce sizes. The total number of employees of responding organizations is 829,374. The survey addressed several topics including drivers of pay inequity, measures used to ensure pay equity and their effectiveness, what function leads pay equity efforts, and more.

About XpertHR:

XpertHR has been providing HR solutions since 2002, empowering organizations across the globe to build successful workforces and create a purposeful workplace for all. The platform delivers expert insight, trusted resources, data analysis and practical tools to help achieve greater efficiency, reduce risk, and increase employee engagement. XpertHR is developing smarter data analysis tools and cutting-edge technology to support future demands on HR in an increasingly digital world. To learn more visit

About Gapsquare:

Gapsquare is at the forefront of pay equity and wage analytics. Its innovative software Gapsquare™ Pro provides businesses with instant insights into wage gaps across various demographics, such as gender, race/ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation. Gapsquare’s mission is to create a fairer world of work: one where work is inclusive, where pay meets value and diverse talent thrives. To learn more visit

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