Good News on Equal Pay

I have made a deep commitment to gender equality at Edelman. I said in 2011 that my goal was to have women in half the leadership roles of the firm by 2016. I had to recommit to the goal last year and acknowledge that it was taking longer to achieve than I had planned. I also said that we would ensure that women would get equal pay for their work at Edelman.

So, on Equal Pay Day, I can announce with pride that a just completed external global gender pay analysis shows that Edelman pays women 99 percent of what their male counterparts are paid for similar job functions, experience and geographies. That is a significant improvement over our situation in 2011.  

While I am at it, here are other statistics on gender at Edelman:

  1. Women comprise 69 percent of our total work force. This is quite consistent across regions.
  2. Women now hold 47 percent of Level 5 jobs and above at Edelman. This is Executive Vice President and above.
  3. Women account for 53 percent of our global client leaders.
  4. Forty percent of our offices are now run by women, including our largest one, New York.
  5. Women run our Canada and EMEA regions, and three of four regional CFOs are women. 
  6. Thirty-eight percent of our practice and sector leaders are women.
  7. Thirty percent of Executive Committee members are women.

There are areas for improvement, such as more senior women in our creative community and in office general management in Asia. In every search for a senior person, we require a gender diverse slate of candidates. Our 900-person Global Women’s Executive Network executes mentorship initiatives such as Lean In Circles, while advocating for family-friendly policies such as improved maternity leave, family rooms and flexible time.

This family-owned company will move into the third generation at some point. Two of my daughters, Margot and Tory, are in the company, learning the ropes the same way I did, through work on clients, experiencing the same ups and downs as their 6,000 colleagues around the world. The company that I leave them, and my other daughter Amanda, who is currently working for an NGO and may join the firm one day, will be proudly gender neutral and deeply committed to merit-based promotion. That is the best legacy for them to maintain and perpetuate.

Richard Edelman is president and CEO.

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