EVANSTON, Ill. --- Experts from Northwestern University are available to discuss gender pay discrimination at individual companies and at a broader economic level.

Ned Smith studies the effects of social structure on the behavior and decision making of individuals and organizations. Smith is an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, an associate professor of sociology in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty affiliate of the Northwestern Institute for Complexity.

Quote from Professor Smith

“Aside from the specifics of the Google case, which will be assessed in due time, there is a broader good from having high-profile companies in the media for such issues. These events make other companies reflect on their own policies and practices regarding pay.

However, there remains a system-level problem. In brief, companies often base a candidate’s compensation package on their ‘market value’ or other offers that candidate has received. That means if there is a firm with less stringent policies around equity, or worse, a company that blatantly discriminates, these inequities have a way of infecting even non-discriminatory firms by affecting what those firms are forced to pay to hire a given candidate.”

Professor Smith can be reached at 847-467-4907 and [email protected].

Nicholas Pearce, a clinical associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, is a leading scholar, lecturer and trusted strategic adviser on values-driven leadership, collaboration and change in organizations. Pearce’s executive advisory clients are as diverse as Google, McDonald’s, NASA and Chicago Public Schools, and he also serves on the boards of organizations including the Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Community Trust’s African American Legacy Fund.

Quote from Professor Pearce:

“Many companies, including many in Silicon Valley, have been talking about diversity and inclusion and lamenting their own lack of progress for years. Many strides have been made with countless unconscious bias trainings offered, chief diversity officers appointed and public manifestos signed, but the failure to embed diversity and inclusion into the organization's DNA and hold leaders truly accountable will continue to result in revelations like the one currently facing Google. The days of plausible deniability are over, and leaders can no longer afford to think of diversity and inclusion as a non-central business matter.” 

Professor Pearce can be reached at 847-467-3468 and [email protected].

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