Our Voices

Shared sacrifice in times of economic challenge

Written by Jeffrey Siminoff

In 1965, the average CEO to employee pay ratio was 20:1. For more than 20 years, it’s been around 300:1.

Controlling costs is one thing, and doing so may be a necessary business decision. But employers send signals with their decisions, and when employee earnings are deflated while CEO and executive team pay and benefits soar, trust by employees that they are truly valued as stakeholders can crater. This, especially without inclusive cultures and strong investments in career growth and skill development, then impacts employee engagement, retention and productivity and, especially for the lowest paid workers, undermines their economic dignity.

Shared sacrifice in times of economic challenge needs to be shared fairly, not unduly borne by those most vulnerable to the consequences of depressed wages and benefits. And when rebounds inevitably occur, the rewards must likewise be fairly shared, too.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

(And grateful for the related thinking from Donna Hicks and Ryan MacInnis, here)

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal here.