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Breaking the Glass Ceiling with Data Analytics

It’s not new information that women earn just 79 cents for every dollar that a man earns or that only 14% of the S&P 500’s top executives are women. When considering ethnicity in addition to gender, the imbalance gets worse. Compared to the earnings of Caucasian men, African American women net 59% and Latin American women bring home just 54%. With today’s focus on diversity and inclusion, many HR pros are all too familiar with this mounting problem—but few understand how to correct it.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

In this informational age, Big Data and data mining techniques aren’t just for market research and microtargeting. Organizations with established human capital management (HCM) practices are collecting massive amounts of people data that hold the potential to identify demographic disparity. Many times this information is readily available, but evaluating it is a low priority—or the HR department lacks the analytical skills to put the data to use.

Sadly, progress is slow regardless of information accessibility. For example, media coverage of Equal Pay Day earlier this year highlighted companies with equal pay policies, such as Facebook and Microsoft, rather than calling out those that don’t offer equal opportunities and pay. This serves as another reminder that equality remains the exception rather than the norm.

Companies that analyze people data in the right context have the potential to pinpoint inequality and implement strategic talent processes to begin to remedy the problem. Providing equal opportunity and compensation isn’t just fair and the right thing to do, but studies reveal that the global economy would substantially benefit and increase the GDP worldwide. Companies that want to attract and retain top talent and remain competitive need to move women and minorities into leadership roles and level compensation. It’s time to pay attention and learn what interviews and observations don’t tell us and transition baseless practices to data-backed strategies.

SumTotal provides visibility into the data organizations need to ensure that they’re offering fair compensation plans and equal advancement opportunities to all their employees. Being able to see the composition of your workforce can help you quickly identify areas where you may need to adjust your hiring, advancement or pay strategies. We’ve designed our solutions to help ensure fair and accurate compensation by basing merit increases and bonuses on an objective and transparent process that aligns with employee performance.

Equal opportunities and compensation for women and minorities benefit economies, companies, communities, families and individuals. The revolution for parity is too good to let pass. Your data has a lot to say. Are you tracking and analyzing the intelligence? Comment below and let me know how your company has gained by taking active measures to break the glass ceiling.

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