Pay parity

Demonstrating a commitment to fair pay.

One of the most important ways to show our employees we value them is by ensuring we pay them fairly. We’re proud that after a two-year effort, in October 2018 we achieved global pay parity between employees of both genders. We’ve also attained parity among U.S. white and nonwhite employees, as previously announced.

Many of our industry peers, customers, and partners have asked us how we’ve approached this — and how we plan to maintain pay parity over time. In the spirit of helping other companies advance their own initiatives, we’re happy to share our process and lessons learned.



Adobe’s journey to pay parity.

We started with a definition.
We started with a definition.
To begin, we made a clear declaration of what we meant by pay parity. We defined it as ensuring that employees in the same job and location are paid fairly relative to one another, regardless of their gender or ethnicity.
We took time to define jobs.
Before we could analyze for fair pay, we had to be sure we were making fair comparisons. This wasn’t easy, because we found that many employees who were doing different things and using different skills were grouped in the same job family in our HR system.
To provide greater definition and clarity, we kicked off a job architecture initiative that involved:
  1. Reviewing our job families to determine whether they accurately reflected the roles employees were performing
  2. Where needed, establishing new job families and levels within job families
  3. Realigning employees to the job families and levels that best reflected their work
We reviewed and adjusted pay.
With employees appropriately mapped, we initially focused our efforts to review compensation practices in the U.S. and India, two countries that represent 80% of our employee population. We announced gender pay parity in the U.S. and India in December 2017 and January 2018, respectively.
We moved on to review employees in the nearly 40 countries where the rest of our employees work by looking at our workforce by market segments: Fast-moving and Mature, as defined by the volatility of market compensation rates. And in October 2018, we announced achievement of our goal of global pay parity. All of our global pay adjustments, including those previously made in the U.S. and India, impacted less than 5% of Adobe employees and accounted for less than 0.2% of our global payroll costs.
We reviewed and adjusted pay.
We’re working to maintain parity over time.
We’re working to maintain parity over time.
As our business expands and we add more employees to our global team, we’re innovating to ensure that we continue paying fairly. For example, around the globe, we’ve eliminated the practice of asking job candidates to provide their salary histories to prevent carrying over prior inequities. We also review annual salary increases to ensure fairness, incorporating new acquisitions into our pay review cycles.
Adobe has committed to ensuring pay parity each year. We report on the percent of the workforce impacted and percent of payroll dollars spent to adjust salaries. Our goal is to achieve each year a 1:1 ratio of pay parity between genders and between white and non-white U.S. employees. In October 2018, our pay ratio was 1:1 with less than 5% of the Adobe workforce impacted and adjustments accounting for less than 0.2% of global payroll costs.
Pay parity is an intensive, ongoing effort, but it’s vitally important. Our employees tell us they appreciate the rigor with which we’re addressing the issue, and we’re continuing to refine our practices to ensure a level playing field.
Global pay parity: how we got there
Pay parity spotlight