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European Approaches to the Gender Pay Gap

Growing Up with a Start-Up

In the summer of 1970, a college senior named Paul Orfalea opened a store near the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus. He called it “Kinko’s” after his own nickname, and, with his partners, he sold college school supplies and around-the-clock copying services for students. After twenty-five years, Kinko’s had grown to 1,200 stores and 23,000 employees, and Orfalea privately and lucratively sold it to FedEx.

Over the many years that Orfalea ran his start-up, his business became amazingly profitable, but also imposed enormous stress on him and his founding partners and coworkers. As he put it, “I don’t hide the fact that I have a problem with anger.” Since selling the company, Orfalea has spent many years mending relationships with those who worked most closely with him while he was building it.

What contributed to the tensions Orfalea felt while managing this burgeoning enterprise? Long hours, of course, but also the need he felt to sustain his initial success, to make each year more profitable than the last. Entrepreneurs often believe they are only as successful as their last quarter’s profit and are driven to exceed it. Orfalea also felt that he alone was equipped to call others to account and veto what he felt were bad business ideas. Anger became a chief enemy he battled.

“In my mid- to late-forties,” he said, “I struggled increasingly to manage my own emotional nature. Sometimes I felt I’d created a monster. The monster wasn’t Kinko’s, it was me.” Orfalea acknowledged the anger and resentment that he often felt toward other longtime staff at the company, which overpowered the respect that he knew he owed them. Consequently, he directed comments and actions at his colleagues that he has spent many subsequent years attempting to redress. All in all, he has labored diligently to repair friendships that he admits were frayed by his behavior alone.

copy machine
“02-01-10” by blisschan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

After reflection, Orfalea now offers these recommendations to prospective entrepreneurs:

Do not give way to your anger in the midst of the frustrating turns business inevitably takes.
Do not take that anger home with you, either.
Finally, try to be the person you most genuinely are, both at work and at home.
It took Orfalea time to learn these lessons, but they are worthwhile for any would-be entrepreneur to ponder.

What price would you be willing to pay to pursue an entrepreneurial career?
What price would you demand from your partners in the business?
How long could you let work monopolize your life?
In your opinion, was Orfalea right to manage Kinko’s the way he did as it grew?
Were the worries, anxieties, and bad moods he experienced inevitable? How would you avoid these?
Source: Byers and Stanberry, pg. 270.

Note:

Remember in this discussion forum you should respond with substantial detail to this topic early in week 1 of the module. This will be your “initial post.” For your initial post also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.

Then by week 2 of the module, you are to respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates. Your responses should have depth of critical thought and not simply agree or disagree. For each response also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.

Assignment Expectations

Each post should be about 250-300 words.

Discussion posts will be assessed according to the following criteria on the discussion rubric:

Quality of initial posting (first discussion only): Initial posting reveals a clear understanding of all aspects of the treated discussion question; uses factual and relevant information; and demonstrates full development of concepts.

Quality of Responses to Classmates: Responds to the required number of students and to the professor, if appropriate. Demonstrates analysis of others’ posts; extends meaningful discussions by building on previous peer posts and offers alternative perspectives.

Reference to supporting readings/information literacy: Refers to and properly cites either course and/or outside readings in posts, as required.

Critical thinking: Demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; and conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.

Timeliness: Initial post occurs in a timely manner (1-3 days into module) allowing ample time for classmates to respond and engage.

Discussion: Why Are You Paid More Than I Am?

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Pay Gap sign
Pay Gap by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

European Approaches to the Gender Pay Gap

The policies of other nations can offer some insight into how to address pay inequality. Iceland, for example, has consistently been at the top of the world rankings for workplace gender equality in the World Economic Forum survey. A new Icelandic law went into effect on January 1, 2018, that makes it illegal to pay men more than women, gauged not by specific job category, but rather in all jobs collectively at any employer with twenty-five or more employees, a concept known as an aggregate salary data approach. The burden of proof is on employers to show that men and women are paid equally or they face a fine. The ultimate goal is to eliminate all pay inequities in Iceland by the year 2022. The United Kingdom has taken a first step toward addressing this issue by mandating pay transparency, which requires employers with 250 workers or more to publish details on the gaps in average pay between their male and female employees.

Policies not directly linked to salary can help as well. German children have a legal right to a place in kindergarten from the age of three years, which has allowed one-third of mothers who could not otherwise afford nursery school or kindergarten to join the workforce. In the United Kingdom, the government offers up to thirty hours weekly of free care for three- and four-year-old children, to help mothers get back in the workforce. Laws such as these allow women, who are often the primary caregivers in a household, to experience fewer interruptions in their careers, a factor often blamed for the wage gap in the United States.

The World Economic Forum reports that about 65 percent of all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries have introduced new policies on pay equality, including requiring many employers to publish calculations every year showing the gender pay gap. Steps such as the collection and reporting of aggregate salary data, or some form of early education or subsidized childcare, are positive steps toward eventually achieving the goal of wage equality.

Revised from Byars and Stanberry (2018) pg. 175.

Which of these policies do you think would be the most likely to be implemented in the United States and why?
How would each of the normative theories of ethical behavior (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, and justice ethics) view this issue and these proposed solutions?
You recently became CEO of a company with 400 employees where men made 25% more than women on average across all employees. What actions would you take to reduce this gap to under 10% within two years? Would it be realistic to reduce the gap to 0? Why or why not?
Note:

Remember in this discussion forum you should respond with substantial detail to this topic early in week 1 of the module. This will be your “initial post.” For your initial post, also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.

Then by week 2 of the module, you are to respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates. Your responses should have depth of critical thought and not simply agree or disagree. For each response, also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.

Assignment Expectations

Each post should be about 250-300 words.

Discussion posts will be assessed according to the following criteria on the discussion rubric:

Quality of initial posting (first discussion only): Initial posting reveals a clear understanding of all aspects of the treated discussion question; uses factual and relevant information; and demonstrates full development of concepts.

Quality of Responses to Classmates: Responds to the required number of students and to the professor, if appropriate. Demonstrates analysis of others’ posts; extends meaningful discussions by building on previous peer posts; and offers alternative perspectives.

Reference to supporting readings/information literacy: Refers to and properly cites either course and/or outside readings in posts, as required.

Critical thinking: Demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; and conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.

Timeliness: Initial post occurs in a timely manner (1-3 days into module) allowing ample time for classmates to respond and engage.

MODULE 3
Required:

Readings:

Byars, S. and Stanberry, K. (2018). Business Ethics. Rice University, OpenStax. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/col25722/1.3 pgs. 220-225, 265-289. CC BY 4.0 license

Flitter, E. and Cowley, S. (2019). Wells Fargo says its culture has changed. Some employees disagree. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/09/business/wells-fargo-sales-culture.html

Guebert. A. (March 21, 2019). Costco, Walmart want ag control. Farm and Dairy. Retrieved from https://www.farmanddairy.com/columns/costco-walmart-want-ag-control/542531.html

Videos:

CBS News. (2018, August 3). Wells Fargo whistleblower on fraudulent banking practices [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=309&v=mua-_cQOC5Q.

C-SPAN. (2017, October 3). Sen. Warren to Wells Fargo CEO: “You should be fired.” (C-SPAN) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyVr4qcn8EM.

NBC News. (2018, June 29). The last days of an American dairy farm: “Hard to believe it’s over” | NBC News [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/XEI6HbCZjRQ.

Pope, K. (2017, April). How whistle-blowers shape history [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_richmond_pope_how_whistle_blowers_shape_history.

WatchMojo.com. (2016, September 15). Wells Fargo scandal: 5 things you need to know! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/zLm9c9rdrfQ.

Senator Elizabeth Warren. (2016, September 20). Senator Elizabeth Warren questions Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at Banking Committee hearing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJhkX74D10M.

Optional:

Armstrong, R., and Noonan, L. (2019). Wells Fargo: repairing a damaged brand. FT.Com, Retrieved from ProQuest in the Trident Online Library.

Forbes (2014). 10 simple ways to improve your reputation. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/01/28/10-simple-ways-to-improve-your-reputation/#6cd6373e6b9f

Iraci, J. (2017). The complex process of managing reputation risk. The RMA Journal, 99(10), 40-43. Retrieved from ProQuest database in the Trident Online Library.

MarketingWorks (2014). 6 ways to rebuild reputation with PR after a crisis. Retrieved from https://marketingworks360.com/2014/03/marketing-tips/6-ways-to-rebuild-reputation-with-pr-after-a-crisis/

Mintz, S. (2019). Has Wells Fargo Learned its Lesson? Retrieved from https://www.workplaceethicsadvice.com/2019/04/has-wells-fargo-learned-its-lesson.html

MODULE 4
Required:

Readings:

Bradley, J. (n.d.). Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethical Leadership. Small Business – Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/corporate-social-responsibility-ethical-leadership-64123.html

Byars, S., & Stanberry, K. (2018). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) section of chapter 3.
Business Ethics. Rice University, OpenStax. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/col25722/1.3 pg. 83-88, 325-346. CC BY 4.0 license

Naeini, A.; Dutt, A.; Angus, J. et.al. (June 7, 2015). A shoe for a shoe, and a smile. Business Today. Retrieved from https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/lbs-case-study/toms-shoes-shoes-for-free-cause-marketing-strategy-case-study/story/219444.html

Optional:

Business Ethics: The Magazine of Corporate Responsibility (n.d.). Retrieved from http://business-ethics.com/.

An online magazine published quarterly since 1987 “to promote ethical business practices, to serve that growing community of professionals and individuals striving to work and invest in responsible ways.”

Corporate Responsibility Magazine (2019). 100 best corporate citizens, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.3blassociation.com/files/yMblCg/100BestCorporateCitizens_2019.pdf

Corporate Responsibility Magazine (n.d.). Retrieved from http://thecro.com/.

This online magazine strives to provide corporate responsibility, sustainability and communications professionals a vibrant peer-to-peer network, actionable best practices and thought leadership, effective learning and professional development, and essential resources and tools.

Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethical Leadership (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/corporate-social-responsibility-ethical-leadership-64123.html

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