Forsman & Bodenfors NY beats U.S. average in pay equity

Today is Equal Pay Day.

Women in America still only make 80.7 cents for every dollar a man earns. But at Forsman & Bodenfors, female employees actually out-earn men by two cents per dollar, significantly outpacing the industry and national average.

Last year, the MDC Partners agency and sibling shop The Media Kitchen took an inaugural pledge with the 3% Movement to commit to pay equity. To put its money where its mouth is, F&B partnered with Syndio Solutions on a comprehensive compensation analysis in New York.

The process, which took about six months, revealed that F&B has 100 percent pay parity – something that typically only happens in the military, where pay is based on rank and tenure.

Michele Prota, global chief talent officer at Forsman & Bodenfors, said the agency decided to assess pay equity (similar pay for similar work) and the pay gap (the average difference in pay between men and women). The agency’s headcount is 206, with 113 women and 96 men.

Prota said that if the U.S. continues on the way it’s going – where women only earn 80.7 cents for every man’s dollar – a similar gap will remain for more than 200 years. F&B’s analysis revealed that women at the company earn $1.02 per every dollar a man takes home.

"The starting salary people receive when they join a company is the No. 1 driver of pay gap. The biggest commitment we can make to maintain pay equity is to ensure that when we hire people - we do it equitably," said Prota.

She added that F&B will assess its pay parity more regularly and report it publicly in order to help hold itself accountable.

The next step, said Prota, is around race equity and the race pay gap, which F&B is also committed to sharing once its research is complete. In the last year alone, nearly half (45 percent) of the agency’s new hires have been underrepresented ethnicities.

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