Equal pay for remote workers no matter where they’re located

Once I based Pipeline Fairness in 2017, one in all my first priorities was discovering the proper individuals for the proper positions. Geography wasn’t going to restrict my search, so I made a decision we might change into a remote-friendly firm. At present, we’re 100% remote with workers spanning six time zones. They reside in city facilities, small cities, and suburbs. You’ll find them on the East Coast, West Coast, and all over the place in between. And no matter their geography, they earn equal pay for equal work. At Pipeline Fairness, we consider pay is a perform of worth. As such, individuals ought to obtain wages based mostly on the worth they supply to the group, not based mostly on their bodily location or time spent within the workplace. Right here’s why. 

Information workers deserve equal pay for equal work, no matter location

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. What does it imply to pay somebody truthful and equitable wages? Many organizations battle to reply this query, and we all know that as a result of we see it within the knowledge. 


Lately, on August 3, we acknowledged Black Girls’s Equal Pay Day. It represents the additional seven months and three days into the 2021 calendar 12 months that Black ladies needed to work to earn what non-Hispanic white males earned in 2020. They make 63 cents on the greenback. Latinas expertise even better pay inequity. This 12 months their Equal Pay Day, which falls on October 21, which means they earn simply 55 cents on the non-Hispanic white man’s greenback.

Breadwinner mothers (who assist 40% of U.S. households with youngsters underneath the age of 18) face among the deepest intersectional pay gaps. The truth is, my analysis discovered that Black breadwinner mothers have the most important gender pay hole of any ladies within the U.S. They earn 44 cents for each greenback earned by white breadwinner dads.

If we preserve digging, we discover proof of pay fairness throughout all education levels. Regardless of making up 50.2% of the college-educated workforce, ladies obtain a mean of 26% much less pay than their male counterparts in comparable jobs. As academic attainment ranges rise, so too does the severity of intersectional pay inequity. Girls with bachelor’s levels earn 71.4% of what males with bachelor’s levels earn, whereas ladies with graduate levels earn 69.1% of what males with graduate levels earn. 

Should you suppose you’re not affected by pay inequity, suppose once more. Pay inequity is greater than a person subject of equity. When corporations don’t pay equitable wages, they stifle financial progress and enterprise efficiency. 

Pay fairness stifles financial progress for all 

Intersectional pay inequity prices the U.S. financial system $512 billion. And that’s not all as a result of wages have each supply-side and demand-side results. 

Wages decide every thing from the extent of healthcare you obtain to the standard of meals, training, and housing you could have entry to. It impacts your capacity to save lots of for retirement, pay down scholar loans, open a enterprise, and run for political workplace. 

These family points stream again into the bigger financial system. Our financial system takes successful when individuals don’t obtain the earnings they deserve. Along with strengthening the U.S. financial system by $512 billion, closing the intersectional gender pay hole would: 


  • Elevate 50% extra working ladies out of poverty. 
  • Minimize the Social Safety shortfall by 35%, or $4.7 trillion. Increased wages earned throughout working years put extra money in ladies’s retirement accounts. 
  • Scale back dependence on social welfare applications. Girls head 72.9% of households enrolled in Medicaid as a result of their decrease wages inhibit their capacity to afford healthcare.
  • Scale back scholar mortgage debt. Girls make up 57% of undergraduates but maintain 67% of all scholar debt. 
  • Strengthen the center class. The share of breadwinner mother households has elevated by 166% since 1970. Center-class households rely on the wages of breadwinner mothers.

Enterprise efficiency suffers from pay inequity

And let’s not neglect that shopper spending drives 70% of the U.S. financial system. Companies depend on wholesome wallets to hit efficiency targets. Plus, from a labor provide perspective, it’s advantageous for companies to pay workers equitable wages. 

In spite of everything, ladies are probably the most educated cohort within the labor power, and 72% of them mentioned they might not apply to work at an organization where a gender pay hole exists. Furthermore, “sluggish wage progress” was the third most common motive ladies gave for leaving a profession in STEM. (In first place was “lack of profession progress.”) Firms danger alienating not less than half the expertise base by failing to pay equitable wages. 

Which brings us full circle. What does it imply to pay individuals equitable wages? It means paying individuals based mostly on the worth they carry to the group. Not their gender. Not their race, ethnicity, or age. Not their proximity to management. And definitely not their zip code.

Location-based compensation opens a Pandora’s field 

By paying workers no matter their location, corporations can scale back the quantity of floor space for bias to creep into compensation selections. They’ll additionally scale back the quantity of complexity that goes into making these compensation selections.

As an illustration, how do you measure the price of dwelling? We’d like a typical, equitable system for calculating the price of dwelling—not one based mostly on the whims of exclusionary indexes. Moreover, individuals don’t allocate their budgets identically. 

Some individuals take pleasure in eating at high-end eating places. Others respect home-cooked meals. Some individuals spend cash on luxurious automobiles. Others are content material with public transportation or ride-sharing. And what in regards to the variety of dependents somebody has? An worker with 4 youngsters will spend extra money on training than an worker with no youngsters. How does that issue into the price of dwelling? 

What if somebody strikes from a excessive cost-of-living location to a low cost-of-living location? Should they take a pay lower? And what if some workers need to work remotely whereas others don’t? Will those that determine to remain remote see their earnings drop because of selecting what’s greatest for them?  Already it seems Google workers who select to earn a living from home completely may face a 15% to 25% wage discount. 

Paying individuals based mostly on the worth they ship to the corporate—not geography—is the equitable and simpler method to go. 

Pay fairness for remote workers is win-win, not a zero-sum

As extra corporations undertake remote and hybrid work preparations, it’s vital to underscore the monetary upside of giving workers the autonomy to work from wherever. In some of the complete studies carried out on the subject, World Office Analytics discovered that the common U.S. firm can save $11,000 per 12 months for each remote-hybrid worker. 

For a corporation with 1,000 workers working remotely, that’s over $1 million in financial savings per 12 months. These huge financial savings stem from a mixture of elevated productiveness, elevated enterprise continuity, decreased workplace prices, decreased absenteeism, and decreased turnover. 

Staff can save upwards of $6,400 per 12 months by not having to allocate finances on transportation, work garments, or meals. Plus, 73% of workers say they’re very profitable working from residence and report better well-being underneath these preparations. 


Permitting data workers to work remotely—and paying them equitably for doing so—is smart. It’s time we reimagine what work and compensation appear to be within the digital financial system. Geographic location shouldn’t decide an worker’s value. 

Katica Roy is the CEO and founding father of Pipeline Equity