WEEK 7 - Upgrade Your People Practices
Before You Get Started
You are doing great! Week 7 is all about making sure we are treating our employees equally and fairly.
Below is your teaching video on Best Practice #7 and your challenge for this week.
We are praying for you!
Video Seven - Upgrade Your People Practices
This Week's Challenge & Discussion Questions...
- Is your church guilty of not offering equal pay or benefits for the same work? What underlying philosophy informed this decision?
- Do the titles in your team or church accurately describe the responsibilities and authority given to each person? Are you seeing any unintended consequences when these don’t match?
- Whose pay and benefits on your staff need to be investigated further? Who will do that and by when?
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Video - Tracy Robinson
Tracy is the Kids Ministry Director at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Overview - Week 7
Did you know that before 1963 it was legal to pay a woman less than a man for equal work? At the time, women were paid only 41% of what a man earned for doing the same job. Think about that. If the average income is $60k for a man, a woman who is doing the same job is earning less than $25,000 a year. FOR THE SAME WORK.
Now, I’d like to report that pay discrepancy is not longer an issue, especially in churches. But, unfortunately, I can’t. In fact, churches are actually worse offenders than our marketplace counterparts.
In America, women earn approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work. For women who work in ministry, she earns just 78% of what a man earns for the same work. In fact, National “Equal Pay Day” is April 4 because that’s how many days into the new year it takes for women to work to match what her male counterpart earned last year.
We all come from different backgrounds and theological perspectives that might influence the roles or titles we offer to women on our teams. But, when it comes to two people doing the exact same job, we inherently know that it is not only illegal, but WRONG to pay them differently.
Check out this video of an experiment in which even kids know right and wrong on this issue.
Unfortunately, many of us have inherited human resource systems and “ways of doing things” that oftentimes automatically pay women less. In many churches, they are still operating under the practice of paying people based on their life situation rather than the work and level of responsibility they are taking on. For example, let’s say we have two youth directors who serve at different campuses. Their role, title, level of education and years of experience are the same. However, she is single while he is married with 3 kids. It can seem like it is loving and pastoral to pay him more money and insurance benefits than the single woman. But it is quite unfair and illegal. I outline several areas that you can look at in your personnel records to double-check your human resource practices and make sure you are being equitable to all of your employees.
But healthy employee practices go beyond simple pay rates. In one of my interviews, a high level and very talented female leader recalled early in her career where she was overlooked for a promotion because she was pregnant. When she asked about it later, her male leaders explained that they didn’t want to overwhelm her with a baby on the way. Now, I appreciate the sentiment, but to hold back an opportunity from someone without even talking it through with her is wrong on several levels. First, it was a missed opportunity for this leader to know that her gifts and abilities were recognized and worthy of being rewarded. Second, her leaders assumed that she wouldn’t be interested or that she SHOULDN’T be interested. And there is some wisdom there to be considered, but the mistake was in assuming instead of talking it through with her. This was an opportunity to affirm and pastor this leader toward the best decision for her, her family and her calling but instead, she was left out of the process, overlooked for a promotion, and received the opposite message from what her leaders wanted to communicate.
Have any questions about this masterclass? Please contact Kate Lincoln on our support team. She’ll be happy to assist!