Thursday, May 12, 2016

Commercial Feminism Watch, #2 In A Series: The Wage Gap Whisperers

I have previously written about "commercial feminism", a locution apparently originated by game developer Chihiro Onitsuka. An enterprising branch seeking sinecures beyond the usual strongholds in academia and the feminist press, the latest efforts focus on shaming progressive-leaning Silicon Valley into more diversity hires, and more importantly, increased bureaucracy. Shanley Kane is on it, of course, as well as those selling software to stockpile psycho, but the field seems ripe for expansion. The veins of guilt infusing white liberals seem to know no limit, and are therefore a resource waiting for the miner's pick. I caught wind of one such scheme today:
Ken Abosch spends his days digging into financial accounts and numbers that most companies don’t want their employees knowing about — namely, how much you get paid compared with your colleagues. But he’s actually part of a team of data-loving whizzes at the consulting firm Aon Hewitt who get multiple calls a week asking for help to fix issues with pay gaps. “It’s like the doctor who sees patients who are mostly ill,” says Abosch, Aon’s North American compensation practice leader, “because the majority of clients we assist do have some issues that need to be addressed.”

Call ’em the salary whisperers of America. While that’s not their official job title, for Abosch and thousands of other internal auditors across the country, it may as well be. Their so-called pay audits have gained in popularity in the past couple of years as more companies — especially those in the tech sector — take financial information that used to be kept secret and make some of it public. We’re talking about revealing pay gaps for women, minority employees and the average worker whose pay slips pale in comparison to their executive bosses. And this trend for exposing salaries has ushered in a new era of transparency, pushing some companies toward a pledge of equal pay.
Feeding as it does the impulses both to atone for success and to parade and reward envy, the major surprise here is that such wizards had not been on the scene earlier. One wonders, of course, who pays the salary of someone with the nebulous title of "Director of Equity Research and Shareholder Engagement", and more importantly, why, especially given the convincing evidence of the wage's gap almost entirely spectral nature, a product of women's own choices. You will seek in vain any mention of actual performance from Arjuna Capital; that, apparently, is not a concern of theirs, which luckily makes their game self-limiting.

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