Ariane Hegewisch, program director for employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, D.C., said it’s relatively common to find that companies advocating change are still in need of improvement internally.
“I think if you look at companies who are doing good things, they’re often the ones who were caught doing something [bad],” she said. “Not in terms of ‘we were so bad and we want to be good now,’ but in knowing that these kinds of factors affect their reputations and who they can recruit.”
State Street’s settlement was based on a federal audit of 2010 and 2011 employee compensation data, and Hegewisch noted that finance is one of many industries with a history of gender-based wage gaps. The key to recruiting the best new talent, she said, is showing that your company is working to resolve these issues for both the future and the present. “As long as they are improving things and making sure discrimination doesn’t continue,” she said, “that’s great.”