Unbounce launches new initiative to help business leaders prioritize gender pay parity

Women in Tech

Vancouver-based software startup Unbounce has launched Pay Up for Progress, a new initiative that urges Canadian business leaders to prioritize gender pay parity, or equitable pay for men and women within their organizations.

“Pay Up for Progress is our way of sharing what we’ve learned and giving our peers a roadmap to … ultimately achieve and sustain gender pay parity.”

A host of major Canadian tech firms have pledged early support for the initiative, including Traction on Demand, Allocadia, Kiite, Klipfolio, Beanworks, and Thinkific.

Through Pay Up for Progress, leaders must commit to undertaking a compensation analysis in order to identify any potential gender pay gaps within their organizations, outlining a plan of action to address what is found, and resourcing the work required to continually address pay parity over time.

“Having navigated this complex process ourselves and found a pay gap that we were able to close, we understand how daunting this work can be,” said Leslie Collin, vice president of people and culture at Unbounce. “It’s especially difficult for small and medium-sized businesses, which have limited resources and don’t know where to start.”

“Pay Up for Progress is our way of sharing what we’ve learned and giving our peers a roadmap to take those first steps and ultimately achieve and sustain gender pay parity,” Collin added.

According to Statistics Canada, women make $0.92 for every $1 made by a man in Canada, even after adjusting for differences in industries, occupations, and rates of part-time work. Without adjustment, women make $0.87 for every $1 men make in Canada.

Those statistics fall in line with a number of findings on the disparity between men and women in Canada’s tech sector. One report from 2019 noted that women, visible minorities, and Indigenous Peoples in Canada earn less overall than their male, non-minority counterparts.

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Research from the American Society of Employers indicates that when organizations prioritize equal pay, they are 19 percent more likely to exceed industry-average levels of productivity and 54 percent more likely to beat industry-average turnover benchmarks.

Through Pay Up for Progress, Unbounce will provide companies with a compensation toolkit, which the startup says offers a blueprint for how companies can begin to analyze their compensation and do the work to reach gender pay parity.

Over a three month period, companies pledging to Pay Up for Progress will be able to support one another and hold each other accountable through a dedicated Slack community. Companies will also have access to two virtual workshops focused on fair compensation, diversity and inclusion, and advancing women in leadership. The formal portion of Pay Up for Progress will conclude in February 2021.

Strategic advisory partners involved in the initiative include Minerva BC, the Upside Foundation, Shopify, 7Geese, Work at Play, Cicely Blain Consulting, Talent Collective, HR Tech Group, and Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. A spokesperson for Unbounce told BetaKit those partners supported the creation of the compensation toolkit, will be leading sessions during the virtual workshops, and will answer questions on the initiative’s Slack community.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast