How Reddit’s fixed salary policy is diversifying its workforce

Ellen Pao onstage with Kara Swisher (left) at the Code Conference in May 2015

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, California — Reddit is taking an unusual measure towards diversifying its workforce: It has stopped negotiating salaries with potential hires.

“Women are one-quarter as likely to negotiate for salary as men are, and when they do, they’re penalized,” Reddit’s interim chief executive Ellen Pao said today at the Code Conference. Also, she said, some managers weren’t as good at negotiating with the people they wanted to hire.

The new approach: Reddit does research to establish what the market rate salary is for every position. When they make an offer, it’s a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. The company will negotiate over the balance of cash versus stock options, but the overall package is fixed.

This has helped increase the diversity of the applicant pool, Pao said.

“We’ve had people apply to Reddit just for that reason,” she said.

It has also standardized salaries across the organization, so they’re more consistent than before.

Pao is the former Kleiner Perkins employee who filed suit against the VC firm alleging sex discrimination. Pao lost that suit in March, and is still considering whether or not to appeal it, she said.

Diversity and gender discrimination was a big part of Pao’s discussion onstage with Re/code founder Kara Swisher today, and it’s one of the major themes of this year’s Code conference.

Originally published on VentureBeat: http://ift.tt/1GEhlVP

How Reddit’s fixed salary policy is diversifying its workforce