We demand equal pay for women and people of color at [Company]

Samantha Demby
Samantha Demby
Template author
Journalist, community organizer, long-time waitress.

Template demand letter

Demand Letters outline the problem you are seeking to address with your campaign. Once demand letters obtain enough signatures, you can use this platform to send them to decision makers at your company, protecting your anonymity.

About the template

Are you facing unequal pay at your workplace? Follow along with experienced organizer Samantha Demby for tips to create your own GetFrank campaign and tackle pay equity in your workplace.

About the author

Samantha Demby is a journalist, community organizer and long-time waitress. She's based between Oaxaca, Mexico and her hometown of Brooklyn, NY. You can find her at her website or on Twitter.

To:[management@company.com]

It’s time for [Company] to invest in a fair future by paying employees based on merit, regardless of racial or gender identity.

Our campaign

[Company] is emerging as a leading innovator in the online apparel market. Increasingly, many of the employees powering this success are women and people of color, reflecting the growing diversity of the industry. Yet [Company] isn’t valuing the contributions of these employees equally.

According to a recent pay audit, women and people of color overwhelmingly occupy the lowest-earning positions at [Company] . On average, these employees earn just 70 cents for every dollar earned by white men performing the same duties. This comes as little surprise, since management approves external hires of white, male candidates far more often than it promotes women and people of color who are performing highly within the company.

We commend [Company] leadership for taking significant steps in the right direction. The workforce has become more diverse, and the company has published strong statements in support of movements for justice and equality, such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. But it’s time for [Company] to put its money where its mouth is and invest in the women and people of color who represent a growing portion of the company’s labor.

The pay discrimination that persists is not only unfair and illegal. It’s also bad for business. Studies show that effective pay equity mechanisms boost employee morale, increase retention and productivity and improve overall performance metrics. In fact, companies in the top quartile for diversity are 25 percent more likely to have financial returns that exceed national industry medians. In contrast, unequal compensation creates a culture of apathy and distrust, stifling the dynamic collaboration that is key to [Company] ’s success. In short, closing the pay gap won’t undermine the employees who have been earning more. On the contrary, it will motivate our entire team to continue growing [Company] ’s brand for years to come.

It’s time for [Company] to invest in a more equitable future that reflects the values of a new generation of customers. It’s time for [Company] to adopt the only right way of compensating employees—according to experience, skills and performance.

Our demands

  • Ensure equal compensation. [Company] must increase compensation for those who are underpaid without reducing the compensation packages of those who are paid fairly.
  • Review compensation policies to reduce bias. [Company] should conduct a thorough review of its policies on salaries, benefits, starting pay, allowable pay differences, bonuses and incentives. These should be based on objective criteria to minimize bias.
  • Review job descriptions and pay grades. [Company] should revise job descriptions and associated pay grades to ensure that employees with comparable duties and qualifications are paid equally.
  • Establish objective metrics for employee recruitment, performance, advancement and compensation. Management should communicate transparently with employees about the metrics and their performance.
  • Hire an independent firm to conduct pay audits. Audits should be conducted annually and made available to all employees.
  • Ban salary history questions in the hiring process. To avoid perpetuating existing pay discrimination, management should determine candidates’ starting pay using an objective calculator tool that accounts for skills and years of experience.
  • Provide training to managers about how to make fair pay decisions.
  • Evaluate the gender and race makeup of succession slates. [Company] should invest in leadership diversity by ensuring that succession slates include women and POC.
  • Evaluate promotion opportunities for women and POC. These should account for work accommodations that can slow pay progress, such as flexible child care arrangements and time off for family leave.
  • Establish career mentoring programs for early-career women and POC.
  • Link executive pay to gender, racial and ethnic diversity goals related to employee recruitment and retention.
  • Prohibit retaliation against employees who raise pay equity issues.

Our actions

We’re ready to grow this campaign until [Company] meets our demands. Here are the steps we’re taking to make it happen:

  1. Spread the word. Let’s have one-on-one conversations with our colleagues to see if they’re on board with our approach. If they are, let’s invite them to join our Frank campaign.
  2. Craft the message. Let’s incorporate all of our voices into a unified message. This message will be the basis for a final letter to management.
  3. Reach solidarity. We’re working to get 75% of [Company] employees to join this campaign
  4. Make our demands. Frank will anonymously send our letter to the CEO and Board of Directors of [Company] . We’re requesting a response within 72 hours.
  5. Defend our rights. If [Company] ignores or rejects any of our demands, we’ll vote on our next course of action.

Resources

Want to learn more about pay equity at your company and beyond? These resources are a great place to start:

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