Tracksuit eliminates like-for-like gender pay gap with transparency practices

Tech startup shares how discussing salary helped achieve this coveted milestone

Tracksuit eliminates like-for-like gender pay gap with transparency practices

Tracksuit, an Auckland-based tech start-up founded in 2021 by Matt Herbert and Connor Archbold, has set a new benchmark in the industry by achieving a 0% like-for-like gender pay gap.

This milestone, according to a report from stuff.co.nz, means that employees in the same role receive equal pay, regardless of gender, age, or background.

The key to Tracksuit’s success lies in its policy of radical salary transparency, a practice the company has maintained since its inception.

“We have 100% pay transparency across our entire team, and in the past two years, no one has requested to opt out,” said Christine van Hoffen, Tracksuit’s people lead.

The tech startup noted this openness has been pivotal in creating a truly equal and gender-blind salary structure.

Despite the tech industry’s reputation for being male-dominated, Tracksuit has made concerted efforts to recruit young women, resulting in many early-stage roles being filled by female employees, according to stuff.co.nz. This focus initially led to an unadjusted pay gap of 19.5%. However, the company has made significant progress.

In May 2022, the gap was 29.4%. By March 2023, it had narrowed to 19.5%, with expectations of further reduction as women advanced to senior positions.

Working towards achieving pay equity

Tracksuit’s approach is notably different from the norm, according to stuff.co.nz. Research from recruitment firm Robert Walters indicates that 88% of workplaces discourage salary discussions. Van Hoffen believes that regular conversations about salary have been crucial for Tracksuit’s achievements.

“By making conversations around salary an everyday topic, rather than a battle you need to psych yourself up for, we’ve fostered an environment where the team feels empowered to engage in healthy discussions about money,” she said.

The transparency policy, while successful, has not been without challenges, according to the stuff.co.nz article. New employees often struggle with the idea that salary equates to personal worth.

“As we’ve been brought up to intrinsically link a person’s worth with money, it can feel uncomfortable knowing your team knows what you earn,” van Hoffen explained. However, she asserts that transparency helps separate these concepts, promoting a healthier work environment.

Another challenge is the tendency for employees to compare themselves to others, which can lead to feelings of unfairness, according to the stuff.co.nz article. Tracksuit noted that they address this by encouraging employees to focus on career planning and goal-setting.

 “As long as salaries have been correctly benchmarked and differences are justifiable, our team is encouraged to shift their mindset to career planning,” van Hoffen said.

“Throughout the year, we emphasise the importance of having conversations with managers to discuss their goals, and how they can reach their personal career objectives.“

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