AMN Healthcare: positive symptoms
Gender pay inequality is an issue across professions, seniority and regions – but one sector we’ve been focusing on is healthcare. There is substantial evidence of significant pay differences across professions in this sector between men and women, from male nurses earning more than female nurses by 10% despite being outnumbered by 10:1, or a near-40% gap among physicians.
But the gender pay gap doesn’t tell the whole story of income inequality: companies need to extend their scrutiny to the ethnicity pay gap. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, black women in the US are paid 61 cents for every dollar made by a white, non-Hispanic male – that’s a loss of more than $23,000 each year. To ensure the world of work is fair for all, companies must tackle structural and inbuilt biases in their workplaces.
To help bridge the gender pay gap, one company we have been engaging with is AMN Healthcare. It is the largest healthcare-employee supplier in the US, providing temporary and permanent staffing and workforce solutions to healthcare providers throughout the country.
Since 2018, we have spoken with the company’s Chief Executive on multiple occasions while also speaking with the Chair, Chief Financial Officer, Head of Investor Relations and other individuals through the business. We have been delighted by the response of AMN’s leadership team since we began to engage with them on the topic of gender pay inequality in the US healthcare industry.
AMN has been proactive in drawing attention to the scale of the problem since the early days of the engagement. Merritt Hawkins, a subsidiary of AMN, conducted research on the scale of pay inequality in the state of Maryland and evidenced that even when controlled for the number of hours worked, female physicians still earned 37% less than their male counterparts. The company’s public commitment within its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility report, published last year, to “lead the healthcare industry on this issue” is further evidence of its laudable intention to both shine a light on this area of inequality and take action to address it.
AMN is also advocating action at the industry level through the American Staffing Association and its individual businesses to promote evidence of the benefits of diversity. It is also escalating this topic with customers in a bid to overcome challenges, such as unconscious bias. Looking forward, the intention is to pilot measures to define inclusive hiring practices while developing initiatives to support female healthcare workers develop their careers.
- Will Pomroy, Lead Engager, SDG Engagement and Small & Mid Cap Equities