Gender and Racial Equity

Late last month, the first-ever national strategy for achieving gender and racial equity was published.

The strategy is part of the Biden administration’s Executive Order 14020, first enacted on International Women’s Day in March of this year. The order created the first-ever White House Gender Policy Council and tasked the group with developing a national strategy to achieve gender and racial equity.

Specifically, Executive Order 14020 aims to “advance gender equity and equality, with sensitivity to the experiences of those who suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community.”

The Council’s strategy makes clear 10 interconnected priorities aimed at strengthening opportunities for historically marginalized people, including:

  • Improving economic security and accelerating economic growth
  • Eliminating gender-based violence
  • Protecting, improving, and expanding access to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive healthcare
  • Ensuring equal opportunity and equity in education
  • Promoting gender equity, fairness in justice, and immigration systems
  • Advancing human rights and gender equality under the law 
  • Elevating gender equality in security and humanitarian relief
  • Promoting gender equity in mitigating and responding to climate change
  • Closing gender gaps in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields
  • Advancing full participation in democracy, representation, and leadership

In addition, the Council is primarily responsible for coordinating the federal government efforts to advance gender equity and address gender-based issues. The Council is also tasked with preparing an annual report for submission to the President on progress made in implementing the Strategy, which will be publicly published. 

The Strategy is the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting the rights and opportunities of women, girls, and LGBTQI+ persons in the U.S. as well as abroad. It’s worth noting that the strategy makes a direct mention to an intersectional approach, which “considers the barriers and challenges faced by those who experience intersecting and compounding forms of discrimination and bias related to gender, race, and other factors, including sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, and socioeconomic status.”

As for applying the aforementioned priorities into practice, the Strategy makes mention of the importance and use of data collection and measurement. Specifically, it says “Adequate collection of gender data is critical to establishing a baseline against which agencies can rigorously measure progress on identified priorities. To ensure rigorous measurement of progress against this strategy, we will embark on a government-wide effort to strengthen data collection and analysis and close gender data gaps.”

This method greatly aligns with the Biden administration’s Executive Order 13985 as well as both the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) to make pay equity a top priority. 

And so, it appears that the pieces for solving the pay equity puzzle are coming together. Organizations should begin preparing for the inevitable national collection of pay data by performing a proactive pay equity audit. This will help ensure compliance with any state, local, or federal laws including any future requirement imposed by the national gender and racial equity strategy. 

Organizations that don’t feel they have the in-house capability to conduct an equal pay audit should consider the data quality management expertise to help conduct the audit. Working with outside vendors like Trusaic that have specific expertise in data cleansing and validation will ensure that the results of your pay audit will be accurate.

Trusaic’s PayParity software focuses on pay equity auditing at the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, age, disability, and more. This holistic approach provides organizations with an accurate, reliable depiction of their pay equity status so that they can confidently tailor their disclosures to employees and stakeholders that they are a fair-pay workplace.

To learn more about developing a pay equity policy that aligns with your organization’s DEI goals, download our white paper Designing a Successful Pay Equity Policy for Your Organization. For information on how leading companies are achieving their DEI goals, download the research report we sponsored, conducted by HBR Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.