Why are we reporting data?

When signing onto 100% Talent: The Boston Women’s Compact, Signers commit to taking concrete, measurable steps to close the gender wage gap, including reporting employee data to the BWWC. This year’s analysis will serve as a baseline for Signers. This snapshot will show a quick picture of what is happening within Signer companies at an aggregate level, and its name describes the point-in-time nature of the design.

Additionally, this is the first time in the United States that data of this nature has been collected. While data regarding employee positions, gender, and race are widely available and are reported annually to the federal government by some companies, compensation data is not collected in conjunction. As a result, this publication will take an unprecedented step on measuring and eliminating wage inequity, with our Signer organizations at the forefront of the efforts.


What data are you asking for?

The data to be reported is demographic and compensation information about full-time employees working in locations in the Greater Boston area. To collect this information, the BWWC has been working off of existing reporting forms, in order to increase ease of reporting for Signer organizations who already report. Using the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission’s EEO-1 form as a foundation, the Council is asking for numbers of employees of each race, gender, and job category, defined by the EEOC. In addition, the Council is also asking for detail about salary, cash bonus, and employees’ length of service in the organization. 


How will the data be collected to ensure privacy and care?

The BWWC's first commitment is to ensure privacy and security of the Signatory organization's data. As a result, the BWWC is taking multiple measures to ensure this occurs:

Aggregate data. The BWWC chose to collect data in the aggregate, as opposed to collecting data about individual employees. This means that the data will be submitted in totals of employee information. For example, compensation data is submitted in "Total Annual Compensation" for selected employees, as opposed to each individual employee's annual compensation. As Signatory information is collected, all of these totals will be added together, and the analysis will be completed with the total of all Signatory employee information.

Created a new software program. Over the past two years, the BWWC has consulted global experts in human resources, technology, data security, computer science, and corporate law in order to create a collection system that guarantees anonymity and security of the companies and their information. 

Encryption Method. In creating the software program, the staff and programmers are employing an encryption method that ensures the privacy and security of employee information. The program will immediately disguise any submitted information with what is called a "pad"-- very large random numbers will disguise any values that are submitted. These pads will be discarded when all the information is totaled, effectively erasing any trace of where the data originated but leaving all totaled Signatory data for analysis. 

Signatory Pool. The results of the analysis will be completely anonymous for Signatory companies. Since the data will be collected in the aggregate, the analysis will be written about Signatory organizations as as subset of companies within Boston.