What Buffer’s Gender Pay Gap Can Tell Us About Unconscious Bias

Pay transparency is supposed to help companies close the gender pay gap. By being open about their compensation philosophy, sometimes to the point of posting employee salaries for everyone to see, decision-makers hope to catch pay inequities before they become entrenched. Buffer, the social media management tool provider, is one of the companies that’s most publicly committed to transparency, publishing not only theirsalary formula, but a public spreadsheet of every salary at the company, from the CEO on down – which is why the company was taken aback to discover that female employees make less than males.

glass ceiling

(Photo Credit: Hernan Pinera/Flickr)

“We were surprised,” Courtney Seiter, who is charge of inclusivity at Buffer, told The Huffington Post. “We’ve had transparent salaries for two and half years, we put out so much data that it never occurred to us to analyze it [for gender] until recently.”

Buffer’s salary formula is:

salary = [job type] X [seniority] X [experience] + [location] (+ $10,000 if salary choice)

Job types have different base pays, so a happiness hero (roughly, customer service) has a $45,000 base pay, while an engineer has a $60,000 base pay. Seniority and experience increase pay, while location will boost pay for those who live in more expensive areas like New York and San Francisco. Employees who choose salary over equity get a $10,000 bump.

Women Earn Less Than Men

The average annual salary for men at Buffer is $98,705. For women, it’s $89,205. There are also fewer female employees than male (29.6 percent vs. 70.4 percent), which is typical for tech companies. PayScale’s research shows that only 30 percent of the tech industry as a whole is female.

Although women out-earn men in customer service roles ($75,064 average for women, compared to $70,875 average for men) men make higher average salaries in development jobs ($106,720 for men, $103,269 for women). The vast majority of Buffer’s engineers, among the highest paying non-executive roles, are men. That’s also pretty typical: PayScale’s report, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, shows that nationwide, in all industries, men tend to have higher-paying roles, while women have lower-paying ones.

[SOURCE :-payscale]

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