Op-Ed: Pay Equity in Architecture Is Just a Math Problem

Unlike other measures of value, writes Jeanne Gang, pay is a number. And that should make it easy for architecture firms to address any existing wage gaps.
July 26, 2018, 1pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Sebastiaan ter Burg

Citing the architectural profession's lack of diversity as well as its record of gender discrimination, Jeanne Gang asks: "What can we do, immediately, to promote gender equality?"

"It's obvious," she goes on. "We can start by looking to the fundamental issue of respect in the workplace—pay. Unlike other measures of value, pay is a number. It's tangible and objective."

Gang argues that tackling the gender pay gap is a simple matter of arithmetic, and tools already exist to help firms determine if they have a problem and how to address it. In her own firm, she says, "What we discovered was that, despite our ideological commitment to equality [...], a small pay gap nevertheless existed between the women and men in my office. We fixed that with this year's raises and now have no wage gap as an organization."

Although it often takes ideological commitment to address the pay gap in concrete ways, Gang also points to a pragmatic rationale. "In fields dedicated to creative problem-solving, it is critical to bring diverse people and ideas to the table and create a supportive environment in which varied skills and voices can develop."

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Published on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 in Fast Company
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