While new pay transparency laws may help women and people of color negotiate for better salaries, said ECBAWM partner Zoe Salzman, they’re unlikely to solve issues of salary inequity overnight. Salzman, an experienced employment discrimination and civil rights lawyer, was quoted in the recent Law360.com article “Will Pay Transparency Laws Make Salary Negotiations Fairer?” about the potential impact of pay transparency laws on hiring biases.
“I don’t think that that information alone is enough to combat all the difficulties women and women of color in particular face in negotiating for fair compensation,” said Salzman. “We know there are a ton of social and historical biases against women who negotiate aggressively. And those I don’t think are removed completely with pay transparency laws, but I think there’s no question it will help.”
Salzman also noted that how salary negotiations are conducted can reinforce biases and trigger unfair results. “A woman who has high standards is demanding; a man who has high standards is a good manager,” said Salzman. “A woman who aggressively negotiates is difficult; a man who aggressively negotiates is effective. Unfortunately, at least anecdotally, in my own practice, that’s still all too common.”