Recently it was revealed that female employees in Dow Jones only get paid only 86.8% as much as their male colleague, and there is also a minority pay gap among employees. Dow Jones CEO William Lewis said they will deal with the issues immediately and he has asked executive leadership team to review the current hiring process. Gerard Baker, the editor of The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Dow Jones, also expressed his concern about this issue.
As far as I am concerned, they haven’t dealt with this issue effectively enough. Firstly, they mainly discussed this issue in staff email, which was not informal enough and seemed casual and not determined. Secondly, they only “pledge to deal with this issue”, but lack detailed plan to redesign the payment system. For example, when would they reform the current payment system? How much would they raise for female and minority employees? Would the Asian female employees and black female employees get the same salaries after the reform? These practical issues should be discussed thoroughly to ensure female and minority employees get equally paid after immediate action. Thirdly, they should provide a more in-depth reflection on the causes of such a situation, which may be more important for the whole company. For example, is there systematic discrimination against female employees and minority while pay gap is just only one of the representations? Is there any gap in the recruitment and promotion? Only by systematically reviewing the whole institution could the company deal with this issue thoroughly.
In this case, the executive leadership team in Dow Jones wanted to communicate with their employees and their potential readers, the businessmen and financial practitioners in U.S. They tried to convey the messages that they will protect the employee’s rights and they are still a trusted financial media company.
For the former targeted audience, they need to convey the message that they have discovered the unequal payment discrepancy and they would deal with them right now, and therefore the employee’s rights would be protected and they should continue to work without worry and anger. For the latter targeted audience, they want to assure them of their credibility and value. Because Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal are both considered as important financial information sources, they should always care for their credibility. The revelation of pay gap may raise readers’ questions about whether the media can represent equality and justice and whether they consider the diversity and rights of employees, which may reduce media’s credibility. By using this message, they can try to ensure the readers that they are still a trusted media and able to provide diverse and reliable news to the readers to help them understand the financial world and make reasonable decisions.