One of the big conversation at the Wharton People Analytics Conference was gender pay gap. As a father of two little girls this is an issue I take to heart. Every organization knows that it is an issue, and they are all (hopefully) trying to fix the problem. An interesting insight that I heard at the conference was, that it is not enough to just compare male and female pay who are in the same role. Rather one needs to include analysis into other variables, such as experience, education and other skills to create a fuller picture of the pay gap. Interestingly when an organization includes more variables in their analysis they find that the gap may not be as large as they thought it to be. We need to think critically about the roles all employees play at our organizations and come up with fair conclusions and how they should be compensated.
No organization can invest resources in every idea and program. So when an organization is presented with two different program ideas, how should they proceed? I recently read about the method that the Robin Hood Foundation, whose mission is to fight poverty in New York City, uses, which is the benefit-cost ratio: they assign a dollar amount for the outcome and divide that by the amount they invest in order to achieve that outcome. For example: an organization invests $1000/person to help people in recovery. The outcome from the investment is that these people end up leading healthy and fulfilling lives. The dollar amount assigned to the outcome is $10,000. So the ratio for this program would be 10:1, a pretty good investment. Organizations must have methods to quantify their programs, not only because donors usually ask for it but, because it is beneficial for the organization.