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Coffee Talk

#42 - Would joint leadership work for you?

​​Among the practices that helped earn BMW its gold medal for universal fair pay leadership, the company allows joint leadership for some leadership positions. In this coffee talk, Margrét and Henrike discuss this practice: when can it be helpful to allow one full-time position to be filled by two part-time workers instead?

In Germany, Henrike has had an exciting week presenting the Universal Fair Pay Check Awards. Many companies were recognized, with a gold medal for universal fair pay leadership going to BMW.

So in this week’s coffee talk, Henrike and Margrét talk about what drives BMW’s fair pay achievements. For one thing, Henrike points out, they have multiple measurements associated with pay equity. More importantly, they learned which of these measures are simply informative and which are truly associated with shrinking the pay gap.

Second, BMW (like some other companies in Germany) has adopted the practice of joint leadership. This means that instead of one full-time employee, two part-time employees can work together to share responsibility for one job.

Joint leadership can end up being a little costly for the employer. However, it supports employees who would otherwise struggle to work full-time. It also addresses the common problem of part-time status and leadership roles being mutually exclusive, so people can’t advance unless they work full-time.

Based on what Henrike has heard, shared leadership teams “tend to be really good when they are matched well” – and matching the two employees sharing a position is of the utmost importance.  

If a company is thinking about joint leadership, says Henrike, they may want to start by identifying the positions it would be easiest to share and then doing a “trial run.” If the experiment works out, joint leadership might prevent employees from walking away from the company due to burnout, overwork, or putting in too many long hours.

Friday Coffee Talk from Planet Fair is a podcast/videocast series co-hosted by PayAnalytics founder Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Henrike Von Platen, founder and CEO of the FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab in Berlin. It is available through all podcast platforms as well as on YouTube as a videocast.

#58 - Introducing Structured Pay Equity Analysis

Systematic bias is stubborn. Demographic pay gaps can still remain, even after companies do a pay equity analysis and give raises to underpaid employees. But based on recent research by Margrét and her co-authors, there’s a better way to close the gap: structured pay equity analysis. Margrét and Henrike discuss in this week’s coffee talk.

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