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Closing the Gender Pay Gap

The media’s coverage of International Women’s Day and Equal Pay Day in 2023 was unrelenting in its description of the stubborn gender pay gap, which has barely budged in 20 years. A recent Pew Research analysis showed that in 2022, women in the U.S. made 82 cents at the median for every dollar made by men, compared with 80 cents in 2002. “The gender pay gap has hit a glass ceiling of its own,” The Washington Post intoned.

Abt is steadfast in its commitment to end the gender pay disparity. And we have done so, while ending the racial pay gap too. We take equity and the well-being of our employees seriously. The story of how we reached this achievement offers a model for other companies.

In 2019, Abt advanced our commitment to gender equality with the pursuit achievement of the first level of EDGE Certification. The three-tiered EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) methodology is the global business standard for gender equality. It measures representation, pay equity, effectiveness of policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows, and inclusiveness of the culture as reflected in career development opportunities. We were the first U.S. government implementing partner to achieve EDGE certification. And in 2021, we were the fifth U.S. company to achieve the second level certification—Edge Move – both in the U.S. and on a global level. In doing so, Abt eliminated our gender and racial pay gap. 

Our compensation policy and practices enable us to maintain parity despite staff turnover. Throughout 2022, we used a compensation equity analysis in every employment offer and pay adjustment. We conducted quarterly regression analyses, a best practice for understanding pay differences within the organization, looking for both gender and race pay differences. We considered years of experience, education levels, and other factors to see if race or gender was the only explanation for disparities—and took action if that was the case.

Closing the gaps was the easy part. Maintaining a closed gap is why we systematically monitor pay. In addition to monitoring, Abt uses self-developed tools for addressing ad hoc inequities and evaluating offers to candidates. We base salary offers not on an applicant’s earnings history but on what people in comparable jobs at Abt earn. These efforts are part of our ongoing and evolving process for being equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible.

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