For Red Hat, diversity, equity and inclusion are core tenets of our culture and the foundation of the company that we strive to be. And as part of that, one area we have been focused on for several years is pay equity. In recognition of Equal Pay Day, taking place in the U.S. today and in the spirit of transparency, I wanted to share the steps and tools that have worked for us — many of them we consider to be essential for businesses wishing to commit to closing the pay gap.

Equal Pay Day is not a day for celebration, rather it is a day to bring awareness to pay inequities. It symbolizes how far into the year the average woman must work in order to earn what the average man earned in the previous year. Red Hat is built on open principles including transparency. I firmly believe that the only way we will break down the barriers that have allowed inequities to exist is to understand where we are, where we need to go, and how we’ll get there, and to engage in an open conversation on our journey. We started a company-wide conversation five years ago about our pay equity status and our commitment to taking proactive steps to help ensure that when two people with similar experience and skills are in comparable roles, their compensation will be similar regardless of gender. 

Since then, we have made significant progress in this area though there is much yet to do. We regularly conduct pay equity analysis and use that data to influence changes in our compensation practices. I’m very pleased to report that due to the actions we took last year, we were able to close our existing global gender pay equity gap.

In 2021, we rolled out several new initiatives to address pay equity:

  • Salary adjustments: We recognized that making small adjustments within salary cycles was not progressing us forward as quickly as we wanted. In order to close the pay equity gap we were experiencing (looking at pay differences between men and women after accounting for appropriate factors such as job and experience), we made additional investments to address differences, which enabled us to close our existing pay equity gap.

  • Access to data: We developed a "target pay" dashboard that provides visibility into the average pay of all associates within the same job code and location across the company. This increased access to data allows managers, talent acquisition teams, and HR to make more equitable pay decisions. 

  • Manager training: We launched a new training workshop for managers focused on making sure they have a solid understanding of general pay equity concepts. Our goal was to empower all managers to understand the importance of pay equity, and to feel comfortable and equipped to have open conversations about pay with their associates.

While Equal Pay Day was originally created to address pay equity between men and women, these issues stretch into all demographics. When it comes to how we approach pay equity, we know that these issues go beyond gender and are compounded by intersectionalities of race, gender, and other historically marginalized groups. One initiative that we undertook this year was expanding our data analysis efforts to encompass race and ethnicity in the U.S. While this study showed that our pay equity efforts have positioned Red hat well in this area, we are committed to continuing to evaluate our race and ethnicity pay equity outcomes, and to look for other ways to expand our data set globally as well. 

However, even when the results of our pay equity analysis indicate associates in comparable roles are paid equitably, we can not assume that career opportunities are also equitable. We must also continue to examine our talent practices including the promotions process and access to opportunities for mentorship and training and make adjustments where needed so all associates have equitable career and earnings potential. 

While I am proud of the work we did in 2021, this is not a one-time fix. It takes continued work expanding these initiatives and implementing new ones so that we can fully live into our commitment to pay equity. This is something we must focus on not just today, but every day.


About the author

Jennifer Dudeck is Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Red Hat. In this role, she leads the team responsible for global human resources. She has more than 25 years of human resources experience, including leading enterprise learning and leadership development efforts.

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