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Medicine (and Compensation) Matters: Part 2: Salary Equity Analysis

This is the second installment in a series of blog posts to begin a conversation about compensation in earnest. I appreciate your engagement in this process. If you haven’t read my introductory post, please take a few minutes and click here.

In order to have a successful future compensation model, I believe it’s critical to engage in a self-study of our current salaries to ensure there is consistency and fairness. One critical principle to guide this process is equal pay for equal work.  Equal pay for equal work means that faculty engaged in the same activities, with the same seniority should expect similar pay regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation.  In contrast, equal pay for equal work does not suspend market realities that dictate different salaries across various specialties and subspecialties. There are external compensation benchmarks that can help serve as a reference point for these market differences. Based on these benchmarks, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board has called for a goal of reaching the 25th percentile for compensation nationally, and I am committed to working with your division directors to develop strategies to move us toward this target.

For the past several weeks, Diane Becker, Dhananjay (Jay) Vaida and Lisa Yanek have volunteered their time to analyze our salaries and determine the variables that have the greatest impact on compensation, and importantly if the variables of gender or race have an impact.  The School of Medicine has done a similar analysis in the past though ours differed from previous analyses as we did not exclude higher earning divisions or leadership positions and because, with the help of division directors and service line leaders, we were able to drill down to develop a more detailed cohort analysis (e.g. by specialty, interventional, ambulatory, international, seniority).  These data are being refined and the initial findings will soon be under review by members of the Women’s Task Force, the Diversity Council and the Department of Medicine administrative team.  Once the initial high level analysis is complete, I am planning to provide information to division directors with the expectation that potential cases of salary inequity be evaluated and corrected.

There is no doubt we will have long term issues to tackle such as developing clear pipelines and strong mentorship to elevate women to higher ranks and leadership positions, but this is an important first step. I am committed to repeating this analysis year over year. The variables we are able to measure will get more robust each year and allow us will track changes as a result of our new comprehensive model.

The development and implementation of the Department’s compensation will not automatically increase everyone’s salary, but it should create a more transparent system to match compensation with overall productivity.


Please check back next week (5/15) for Part 3: Clincal FTE


Mark Anderson