Hot on the heels of two gender wage gap bills passing the House and heading to the Senate and just in time for today's hearing of a HB0178 Prospective employees - salary history in House Corporations comes this research from Harvard: Research: Gender Pay Gaps Shrink When Companies Are Required to Disclose Them.
We do love a title that gets straight to the point.
The researchers utilized data from firms in Denmark, where a 2006 law mandated that businesses track and report their gender wage gaps. (If you want to read the original research rather than the digestible summary, you can check it out right here.) Ultimately, the research helps to demonstrate exactly why legislation is an essential tool in the effort to close the gender wage gap and ensure women's economic security.
According to the research, here are some things that improved: the pay gap, women's wages, profitability for the businesses. Here are some things that did not improve: men's wages, productivity. Plus, there is an added bonus for women: firms with more transparency hired more women. We wouldn't say that the results are perfect, but we would say that they are an improvement for women and for business.
Or, as the report's authors state, "Our research suggests that governments’ efforts to address these disparities through transparency can be effective — and beneficial to firms as well as to their female employees."