Bright Spot: Hillel International’s Salary Band Work
This "Bright Spot" shares a point of progress, as part of Leading Edge's Gender Equity in Leadership Project.
In 2017, Hillel International began working to define and standardize titles and salary bands across the Hillel ecosystem. For years, individual Hillels had been reaching out to the umbrella organization for ad hoc guidance: what roles should go with what titles? What salaries were appropriate for what roles? Across the continent, there seemed to be little consistency between Hillels in these title and pay decisions, and professionals and lay leaders alike were often confused.
As they embarked on a listening tour to come to grips with this problem, Hillel International staff discovered that the costs of ad hoc compensation decisions were higher than confusion alone. One Hillel director reported needing to take side jobs to get by. Another leader left a Hillel leadership position due to low pay, even though she loved the work. And in an ecosystem without clear data or guidance on pay, it stands to reason that hidden and unintended biases may have been affecting compensation. From what we know of workforce biases in general, women in the Hillel workforce were likely to be disproportionately negatively affected.
Hillel International first worked to gather data on the current reality. They then consulted external benchmarks, worked with the full range of internal stakeholders, and set a standard template of roles, titles, and salary bands. For the past few years they have worked with individual Hillels to support them in transitioning toward it. This work is ongoing, but the vast majority of Hillel professionals now have titles and salaries aligned with the standard. This regime of rational and transparent guidelines will help boards, leaders, and employees of individual Hillels reach decisions more easily, trust the system, receive fair compensation, and be more likely to remain working and thriving in the Hillel field. Hillel International, and professional and lay leaders of individual chapters, can also more clearly and easily verify that leaders and employees of all genders receive compensation determined by fair and relevant factors.