At the end of 2019, we shared an ambitious goal with our teams, fully aligned with our values: to close the gender pay gap between women and men over the next two years. Nothing to brag about, simply paying employees fairly regardless of gender — equal pay for equal work. How do we end up with gender pay gaps? How to measure these gaps? How to fix this? How to build a solid system to maintain equity once fixed? We thought it might be worth sharing our journey, our wins, mistakes, and takeaways.
Dailymotion is the leading global video destination that connects over 350 million consumers to their daily fix of the most compelling content, with offices in Paris, Montpellier, New York, Singapore, and Seoul. So we operate in a highly competitive global tech industry, fighting an intense talent war. Over time, gaps were created, due to hiring negotiations, internal promotions, the market value of specific skills at a given time and, let’s be honest, due to a lack of process to anticipate the gaps rather than acknowledging them when it’s already too late.
Why we don’t hire “rockstars”, “gurus”, “Jedi Knights” or “ninjas” at Dailymotion
“We’re looking for a rockstar-ninja programmer who can develop in every language 10 times faster than anyone else”…
Equal pay for equal work
We started by clarifying what “equal pay for equal work” means. How can we measure equal work in an international company with 350 employees and over 200 different job titles when we cannot afford the services of a consulting firm? By defining equal work as “equal responsibilities”. We used our internal career framework, breaking down our jobs into larger occupational categories and a ladder from junior to senior VP, each level coming with a skillset and a salary band for each country.
This framework was already in place for talent acquisitions and promotions. What was missing was the gender* analysis to challenge the fairness of our decisions. We made sure to communicate and explain this framework, in an effort to empower women when asking for a raise or salary assessment. So at the end of 2019, we measured that women earned on average 6% less than men. We allocated 0.4% of our gross wages to close the gender pay gap. With this budget, we were able to lower the gap to 4%. Looking at the trajectory, we were confident in our ability to reach our goal within the next 22 months.
*In most of the countries we operate in, employment law has a binary understanding of gender, especially in France where we have our HQ. So we started with a cis-gendered and binary-oriented analysis of the gender pay gap, but we are working to figure out how to implement the full spectrum of gender diversity. We are also working on implementing more Diversity KPIs to guarantee the opportunity equity of our decisions (for example age, family status, ethnicity, different ability…).
The assumption was wrong…
Because of our attrition rate — Dailymotion is paying the price for the talent war — new hirings and regular promotions, when assessing the required budget at the end of 2020, we were frustrated to find out that despite our efforts, the gender pay gap had slightly increased.
So what were we supposed to do in this kind of a situation? Give up? Not an option. Here are the main takeaways from our next course of action:
- Analyze the impact for each hiring, promotion, or termination
- For any event impacting the gender pay gap negatively, immediately identify the necessary budget to offset it as soon as possible
- And of course deal with the root cause: plan trainings about unconscious bias, challenge and improve recruitment and promotion processes… and collect data!
It’s a long road getting there
In 2021, we doubled the budget allocated to gender pay equity, hence deciding to lower the budget assigned to performance increases. Placing equity before performance was a conscious choice because, in the long run, our values matter more.
Are you ready to take action?
We wanted our employees to feel valued, to live in an inspiring work environment and to be empowered so that we can all…
To leaders who want to reach gender equity in their organization and don’t know where to start: yes, it can be a frustrating journey because there is no recipe book (yet?). But it is also extremely motivating and rewarding to write this chapter of history: together with our diversity of approaches and methods, we have no doubt that we will close the gender pay gap. Our work at Dailymotion is not complete yet but our commitment remains unchanged.
“Life doesn’t always give us what we deserve, but rather, what we demand. And so you must continue to push harder than any other person in the room.” — Wadi Ben-Hirki
Of course, we are open to feedback and to open-source our approach. We would be happy to share our work with any organization interested. And if you’re looking for a job, we’re hiring. Join Dailymotion and change the world through video!