Publication Date

Fall 2016


Studies show that the ratio of average female to male pay for full-time workers in U.S. has been reduced since the late 1950s and is hovering around 77 to 79 percent today. (Appendix A) However while only 15.6 percent of HR professionals think a gender pay gap exists within their own organizations, 83.3 percent think a gender pay gap exists in other companies. (Appendix B) Although there is considerable common ground on the reality of gender pay inequity, there is no standard measure for companies to assess its presence. This highlights the complexity of achieving gender pay equity and the associated challenges for those companies attempting to frame policies.3 That being said, female-friendly companies have an edge in attracting and retaining the best talent, especially as women have increasingly easy access to tools that help them seek out the cultures that best suit them.4(Appendix C) This phenomenon, coupled with heightened regulations involving equal pay, encourages companies to ensure their pay practices are equitable.


Suggested Citation
Murphy, T., & Zheng, H. (2016). What is the definition of gender pay equity? Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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Copyright held by the authors.