Closing the Gender Wage Gap - Alicia Procello Maddox

Unless you've been living under a rock for the better part of the last two decades, you’ve likely heard of the fight for equal pay in the workplace across genders. For years people have argued its validity and claimed that the problem was behind us, but the numbers simply don’t lie – women are paid 80% as much as men, for the same jobs, with the same level of experience or expertise. Obviously, there are exceptions, like the President of the Avery Dennison Foundation, Alicia Procello Maddox – who has for the better part of her corporate career been a pioneering force in the fight for equal pay, and fair treatment overall, across genders. As she has a powerful position, and thus a valuable platform, Alicia Procello Maddox must be applauded for her vast efforts and how she has used her platform to help implement change. In her position as the president of the foundation wing of a large international corporation, Alicia Procello Maddox has been a part of a number of different charitable ventures across the world. And from helping with the world’s sustainability crisis, and deforestation, to providing resources for education, and of course the hot button issue of women’s equality – in every facet of society. One of her most valuable messages has by far been her discussing the role of corporations and how they can implement change in our societies, having so much control, and access to vast quantities of resources – financial and otherwise.

Corporate responsibility plays a huge role in the fight for women’s equality in society; when corporations begin to pay women fairly and equal to men, their position and thus their “value” increases. Society is extremely fickle, and individuals will often care more about the numbers and dollar signs than what it truly beneath the surface. Alicia Procello Maddox hasn’t just offered up a purely one-sided argument in her quest for wage equality either, she has clearly laid out a number of benefits for women, the corporations, as well as society as a whole. When unfair pay exists in the workplace, things like moral and jealousy can cloud employees thinking – hurting productivity, and thus your product. Also, it protects corporations from lawsuits – something that has become rampant in recent years and hurting much of the corporations and their bottom lines. This also causes society to lose trust in these corporations again, hurting their products and their bottom line. Other corporate minds like Alicia Procello Maddox have offered the following simple solutions to helping improve trust and relations between corporations, their employees, and society as a whole.

Transparency in Wages

While corporations have traditionally kept wages and salary information private, this is the main means of how wage inequality can exist and can even thrive. For employees to know what each other make allows them to enter negotiations with the necessary information to be fairly compensated. It also helps corporations gain more trust from society and their employees, while they essentially have put a responsibility on themselves to offer fair wage and equal wages. Of course some may be opposed to having their salary information be publicized, maybe it can be only for higher ranking employees or executive positions. Executives like Alicia Procello Maddox often have their salary and contract details made public and this is why there is more equality in the higher ranking executive positions where females tend to make close to or as much as men.

Less Salary Negotiations

In the current corporate structure raises and salaries are often given to those who have the most power in negotiations, this leaves women and minorities at a stark disadvantage as they are given far less chances overall in society. Rather than making salaries and raises and promotions based on who can negotiate the best, maybe set out a clear set of benchmarks, or requirements for certain salary tiers and those that reach those benchmarks or tiers are paid a commiserate salary.

Better Analytics of Wages

Executives like Alicia Procello Maddox have argued that one issue that prevents equal pay is the fact that many employers and HR departments simply don’t keep statistics based on how much individuals are paid, when taking things like race, and gender into account. While some may feel keeping such statistics are against the basis of equality, the fact is that once we admit there is an issue there is little sense in ignoring it. The best way to keep track and truly record how unequal wages are is by having concrete stats about it.


The Basics

Alicia Procello Maddox
Corporate Responsibility Manager
Nike, Inc
Pasadena, CA

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