How Safe? How Free?

Making the Small Farm Dream a Reality

Office Managers: Start Your Printers

Earth Day Focus: Clean Rivers

Un-Happy Hour For Gender Pay

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathy Spring and Bart Jackson were prepared for

the April 14, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Survival Guide

Top Of Page
How Safe? How Free?

Safety has been the rationale for nearly every restriction of freedom

since government began. Pharaoh Ramses II, in 1350 B.C., claimed

safety as his reason for a preemptive strike on the Philistines.

Joseph Stalin, while gaining control of the young Soviet Union and

bringing an entire nation to heel, employed his infamous "Committee of

Public Safety." And in our own nation, the French, the Chinese, the

Japanese, and now some Middle Eastern people have been arrested and

held in the name of safety.

Our leaders know we want, more than anything, to feel secure. At the

same time, we cherish our freedoms. Where does the balance lie? This

issue is on the tabled at Mercer County Community College Conference

Center’s forum "Civil Liberties vs. National Security," on Friday,

April 16, at 8:30 a.m. Cost: $35. Call Lorna Strang at 609-586-4800,

ext. 3856.

Speakers include Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American

Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey; Kathy Flicker, former assistant

attorney general in charge of the New Jersey office on

Counter-terrorism; Hui Chen, an attorney and second year Princeton

Theological Seminary student; Harold Eickhoff, historian and former

president of the College of New Jersey; Hanad Ahmad Chebli, Imam of

the Central Jersey Islamic Society; and William Atkinson, special

agent for the FBI. Nancy Duff, a professor of Christian ethics at

Princeton Theological Seminary, is the moderator.

ACLU executive director Jacobs states that the Patriots Act I,

Patriots Act II, and a host of covert activities have stepped way over

the line. Born in Washington State, with "two very politically active

parents," she attended Skidmore College, where she obtained a

bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in liberal arts.

She joined the ACLU at age 23 and has crusaded under its banner for

the last 13 years.

Jacobs maintains that the current Patriots Acts and many governmental

security measures are unconstitutional. Others maintain that these

acts are not only justifiable, but are merely formalizing many

existing practices. Issues include:

Covert jailing. One week after the tragedy of September 11, various

governmental agencies profiled some young Islamic males. A number were

arrested and held. The jails would not release their names to anyone.

The ACLU tried to provide lawyers for these people, yet could not get

the names of their clients. They sued New Jersey and Michigan to

obtain the information.

In the federal courts, New Jersey’s non-disclosure was upheld. But in

Michigan, the state lost. The names were turned over to relatives, the

ACLU, and the public, and lawyers were found. This led to the famous

banner line in the Michigan decision: "Democracy dies behind closed

doors."

But arguable issues remained. The FBI claimed that these people,

although profiled, were arrested as illegal aliens, a civil crime for

which the standard Miranda right to an attorney does not apply. Jacobs

argues that many of these people facing deportation faced a threat

worse than any jail sentence served here.

Sneak and peak. In the late l960s, in an effort to control drug

trafficking, many states passed "No-Knock" laws that allowed agents to

break into a suspect’s dwelling without warning. A drug-weary Supreme

Court upheld these laws. But until President Bush’s Patriot Act was

passed, the dwelling’s owner had to be notified. Now he does not –

before or afterward.

Jacobs states that this goes beyond a slippery slope. She sees it as

an outright denial of Constitutional rights. This new right of the

government to spy on its citizens can extend to computer, mail, and

phone communications as well as to planting cameras in public places.

Members of the counter-terrorism task force, however, believe that

these are extraordinary times. By covertly checking a person’s room

and computer, we can uncover not only an individual’s crimes, but also

communications that could lead to the entire terrorist cell. Besides,

enforcement people are quick to point out, each sneak and peak warrant

must be given by a presiding judge.

Patriot Act I & II. The Patriot Act runs 342 pages. Few people have

read it all and former College of New Jersey president Eickhoff is one

of those few. A historian, he makes an interesting comparison. The

first freedom-constricting document passed by the new American nation

came from President John Adams who feared, among other things, French

influence in our affairs. He drew up the Alien and Sedition Acts –

each of which were presented before Congress and passed as a single

page. The Bush tome, Eickhoff notes, "is so much bigger, but

interestingly more vague, giving the president and the government a

very broad range of authority."

Eickhoff has more than an academic’s interest in the matter. Raised in

Kansas, he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree

in government. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri

in American History. From 1979 to 1998, Eickhoff presided over the

College of New Jersey. Upon retirement, he made a dramatic move. He

journeyed to the Arab Emirate and help found Zayhed University — the

first higher learning institution for women in that nation.

"One of the problems we must guard against now is that our governments

are able to investigate our lives so much more thoroughly," Eickhoff

says.

Inconvenience. We wait longer at the airport. We allow invasive

searches of ourselves and our possessions. We are sometimes treated

like criminals.

Unseen, similar problems jam our ports. Incoming goods are held up for

inspection. Companies not only are late in receiving their goods, but

they sometimes have to pay the government for storage. Food importers

fret over spoilage, and prices go up.

We are just beginning to peer into an unknowable future for

perspective. In 10 years, we may say that the security measures were

excessive, or we may fervently wish that they had been 10 times more

rigorous.

– Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Making the Small Farm Dream a Reality

As the world wakes to spring, the daydream grows. Why not trade a

cubicle for fresh air, fragrant soil, and green sprouts? Why not build

a business around supplying upscale restaurants with designer

tomatoes, homeowners with native plants, or organic grocery stores

with the purest goat’s milk?

Earning a living from the soil is still possible, even in

uber-developed New Jersey, and perhaps especially in this densely

populated state. Pam Flory has been doing so for well over a decade.

She knows it can be done, and she also knows just how hard it can be.

Flory, along with Laura Sayre, leads a four-session class, "Exploring

the Small Farm Dream," beginning on Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m.

and continuing through Tuesday, May 11. This is a Mercer County

Community College offering, but classes are held at the Howell Living

History Farm in Hopewell. In addition to the Tuesday evening sessions,

there will be a Saturday tour of area farms on a date to be decided by

the class. Cost: $150. For more information, call 609-586-9446.

Flory grew up in the suburbs, in Massachusetts. Her father owned his

own textile business and her mother was a registered nurse. After a

brief fling with the thought of becoming a veterinarian, she decided

that she wanted to work on a farm. She studied economics at the

University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Class of 1988). Her plan was

to join the Peace Corps and to work in agriculture. To gain the

credentials she needed to pull this assignment, she sought an

internship on a farm. Visiting the Peace Corps recruiting office, she

saw a brochure on the Howell Living Farm, applied for an internship,

and was accepted.

After her stint at the farm, she served in the Peace Corps for two

years. Her posting was to Tonga, a tiny island in the South Pacific

that was in the early stages of getting involved in exporting. "They

were just opening into the Japanese markets," she says. "They were

beginning to export watermelon, a lot of taro, and were just starting

with honey."

She worked with the country’s ministry of agriculture doing financial

and economic projections. Quality was a particular concern because

Japanese consumers are unusually demanding. "It was extremely

interesting," she says of work. But it was not what she wanted. "It

was a turning point for me," she says. "I knew I wanted to be on the

production side."

Returning to the United States, Flory settled in New Jersey, and has

worked on farms ever since. Most recently, she managed Spring Hill

Farm, the Hopewell farm owned by the same group that owns Rats, the

gourmet restaurant located on the Grounds for Sculpture. The farm was

producing so much that it sought out other clients, including Brothers

Moon in Hopewell and Small World Coffee in Princeton.

Before working at Spring Hill, Flory had rented one acre of land from

the North Slope Farm in Lambertville. "I started my own cut flower

business," she says. She supplied farmers’ markets and weddings.

Business was good, and the farm asked if she would be interested in

coming on board as an employee, managing a cut flower business as a

complement to its vegetable business.

Fourteen months ago, Flory and her husband, Rob Flory, director of the

intern program at Howell Living Farm, had a baby. "I had a grand idea

of strapping him on my back and going out into the fields," she says

with a laugh. The plan didn’t work. She took a season off and then

decided that she didn’t want to work full time. She is now managing

flower production at Hopeview Farm in Hopewell.

Flory has found that New Jersey, bursting as it is with roads, houses,

and businesses, is also bursting with opportunities for those who want

to lead a farmer’s life. A plethora of upscale restaurants, a growing

number of farmers’ markets, and millions of sophisticated,

health-conscious consumers have created any number of opportunities.

Still, there are many factors to consider before hopping onto a

tractor:

Markets. Not only do would-be farmers’ have to put the cart before the

horse, but they also have to put the cart’s destination before the

horse. Before buying a single seed, let alone a stead, a farmer has to

know where he will sell his crops.

"You need a market before you grow it!" Flory exclaims. "Almost

anybody can grow, but it’s hard to sell." Using the cut flower

business as an example, she says "You will cut 25 buckets of flowers

every third day. What are you going to do with them?"

Answer the question before quitting your day job.

Land and equipment. Flory already had contacts in the farm community

when she started her cut flower business. She was able to rent land

for a nominal cost, and also got a great deal on the use of a

greenhouse and equipment. The new farmer has to figure all of these

elements into his start-up costs. None are inexpensive, but at the

same time, not all need to be purchased.

"You don’t have to have a greenhouse," says Flory. "You can buy your

seedlings." Flipping that around, someone with a greenhouse does not

necessarily need acres of land or a shed full of tractors. He could

make a business of selling those seedlings.

Health and zoning codes. One of Flory’s students had planned to

produce and sell goat’s cheese. She found out, however, that the

health code requirements she would have to satisfy were just too

onerous and too expensive. But she did not let the information plow

under her farm dream. She decided to use goat’s milk to make and sell

soap, a newly hot specialty niche.

Towns have a number of ordinances governing the use of land,

especially as it pertains to raising animals. Check them thoroughly

before building pig pens or ordering a truckload of exotic chickens.

Marketing. When Flory started her cut flower business, she targeted

both brides and farmers’ markets. She got in contact with high-end

wedding planners, but got no business from them. All of her wedding

business came from the farmers’ markets, where brides who admired her

flowers asked her to do their weddings.

In yet another flip, the marketing tool turned out to be incompatible

with the business it generated. "It’s a lot of work," says Flory of

the business of supplying flowers to brides. "It’s a big day," she

says. "People want a specific thing." The mark-ups were good, but the

clients needed so much attention that she realized that serving them,

and at the same time tending her fields and selling at farmers’

markets, was impossible.

She dropped most of her wedding business to concentrate on growing and

on selling at farmers’ markets.

Still, a farmers market – a wonderfully relaxed, very personal setting

– is a good place to promote a farm. Brochures giving directions and

touting shares in the farm’s crops or highlighting special events find

an usually receptive audience.

Trend spotting. "If there are chartreuse petunias on the cover of

Martha Stewart Living, that’s what people want," Flory says. The

domestic doyenne may be headed for a prison cell, but, at least so

far, her followers continue to hang on her every pronouncement. If

shriven of Stewart, they will find another style guru. Farmers, who

sometimes get into the field as a way to do their own thing far away

from the materialism of Madison Avenue, need to be aware of the

public’s changing whims.

Whether it be snow white tomatoes or organic soap, if consumers must

have it, successful farmers must pay attention.

People skills. The farmer growing soy beans on 1,000 acres doesn’t

have to worry about chatting up his customers. The New Jersey farmer

selling at farmers’ markets does. Flory says that some farmers, after

an initial outing, are prone to exclaim; "What! I have to talk to

these people every week!"

Yes, indeed. farmers market customers are a garrulous bunch. Anyone

with a low tolerance for chit chat would do well to check into

wholesale markets for their products. The margins are smaller, says

Flory, but the work may be much more pleasant for those inclined

toward solitude.

Standard of living. Income from Flory’s cut flower business was enough

to keep her going. But, she says, that was only so because she lived

rent free at the Howell Living Farm in return for doing chores. It

would not be easy to support a family on a farmer’s income.

"In 85 percent of farm families, someone works off the farm," says

Flory. Growing wealthy from selling organic eggs is probably not a

viable goal.

Flory’s class is designed to lead those interested in farming through

an analysis of whether their projected endeavors are realistic.

Completely happy in the agricultural life she has carved out, Flory

realizes that it is not for everyone.

"It’s okay to say no to farming," she says. "If someone goes through

our class and decides it’s not for them, that’s a success too."

Top Of Page
Office Managers: Start Your Printers

When it comes to offering comparisons with competitive products,

salespeople are limited by the size of what they sell. Two vacuum

cleaners – the one being sold and a competitor’s model – can be stowed

in the back of a car. So can two cutlery sets.

But how to compare products side by side if they don’t fit into a

briefcase? Car manufacturers do it by setting up proving grounds for

test racing. Manufacturing companies sometimes set up benchmark labs.

But Xerox is taking it one step further. At a road show on Wednesday,

April 21, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Westin at Forrestal Village, it

will stage a printing race, a competitive roadshow that ends in a

"shootout." It is open to the public; for information, call Michelle

Williams at 609-987-5596.

"We started out bringing customers to our benchmarking lab," says Bob

Davis, "and they liked it so much that we are taking it on the road."

Davis, a marketing manager, works at Xerox headquarters in Rochester,

New York, with the daughter of a U.S. 1 editor, Barbara Fox.

Kevin Reilly is the marketing manager for the tristate area, including

the 80-person regional headquarters at Princeton Overlook. A former

middle line backer for the Philadelphia Eagles, he has been with Xerox

for 28 years, but he also does the Eagle postgame radio shows with

John Miller and Bill Bergey.

Reilly has invited clients who work in a 50-mile radius from

Princeton, everyone from small businesses to the public sector and

major accounts, "anyone who would be interested in seeing how these

machines run," he says. "This year we are going to include scanning

and color printing," says Reilly. "It is interesting to see how the

vendors match up and what they consider to be running time. We fare

well when doing complex jobs."

On display will be five machines with the Xerox brand, and five

competitive models with labels like Canon, Sharp,

Hewlett-Packard/Konica, and Ricoh. They range in price from less than

$1,000 to over $10,000 and all have similar ratings for printed "pages

per minute." Some of the competitive products are even rated faster

than the Xerox versions.

At the start of the show the audience sees six machines being loaded

with a job suite – 15 jobs, eight in color. Audience members get to

press the "start" buttons. Then, thanks to cameras and a giant video

screen split four ways, everyone watches the bins as they fill up.

It’s not a real race, because the people in charge are sure of the

outcome. They’d be fools if they didn’t.

"Everybody knows we will win, but what is amazing is by how much we

win and why," says Davis, who is scheduled to be the April 21

presenter. Davis says he is always surprised by the enthusiasm. "You

can tell by the audience whether it is a good presentation, and this

show keeps them spellbound."

Davis has these suggestions for staging a road show that will feature

your competitor’s products.

Utilize an outside judge. Buyers Laboratory in Hackensack was

commissioned to design a test to reflect a real office environment. It

created a suite of jobs – a variety of files, E-mails, and PDFs. "Any

competitor can create a set of jobs that will display their product in

the best light," says Davis, "but this was an independent test suite

designed to level the playing field and fairly test products from any

manufacturer."

Start small. It costs about $15,000 to stage this show, and Xerox

worked out the kinks in smaller venues last year. This year Princeton

is one of the stops on a big city tour that includes Philadelphia and

Washington, D.C.

Pre-sell the audience. Reilly and Chuck Schweitzer, manager of the

Princeton Overlook office, are responsible for being sure the room is

full of clients and potential clients. They expect about 150 guests in

the morning and from 90 to 120 people in the afternoon.

Tailor your pitch for different subgroups. For instance, the decision

makers in attendance may have information technology, procurement, or

financial jobs, and you should incorporate a message for each of those

specialties. Also in the audience will be those who spend their days

operating the machines. In sales parlance they are known as

"influencers," and you need to rev up their enthusiasm.

Compare yourselves favorably without denigrating the competition. "Of

the competition, we say ‘These are all very good copiers,’" explains

Davis. "Of our product, we say ‘This is a very good copier.’ It should

be – we have been doing it for 45 years. When it comes to printing,

Xerox is a clear cut winner."

Limit the jokes. Davis, who lives in Rochester, New York, often starts

his demonstrations with a weather quip: "We have so much snow up there

and the roads are so full of salt, that what people do for

entertainment is listen to their cars rust in the garage." And then he

gets down to business.

Pace your story like a play. Be like Paul Harvey, says Davis. "Don’t

tell ‘the rest of the story’ at the beginning."

One pacing tactic that Davis uses is to gradually reveal the Xerox

advantage. Competitors may reproduce a single copy as fast or faster

as Xerox machines can, Davis admits, but when it comes to printing

multiple jobs – switching from one job to the other – Xerox is going

to win. That’s because the Xerox machines are engineered with two

processors instead of one. While the printer works on one job, the

extra processor is preparing the second job, and the printer continues

with no lag time.

"Printing on a Xerox machine gives our customers a tremendous

advantage," says Davis. "Our machine, rated at 45 pages per minute,

will do the suite of jobs in two minutes and 38 seconds, and the

competition, rated at 50 pages per minute and above, takes more than

four minutes or even longer. They see it and their jaws drop."

Top Of Page
Earth Day Focus: Clean Rivers

Point source pollution is nasty. It involves chemicals, industrial

by-products, and unsavory waste materials flowing from pipes into

bodies of water. Unpleasant as it is, point source pollution generally

is easy to trace. "Just look for the pipe and follow it," says Noelle

MacKay, deputy director of Stony Brook Millstone Watershed

Association.

Non-point source pollution is more difficult to pin down. It occurs

when fertilizer, pesticides, loose soil, plastic bags, and

light-weight garbage of all kinds moves across macadam and lawns and

slips into streams, lakes, and rivers. Fouling water, killing fish and

birds, and giving birth to algae, non-point source pollution can

degrade drinking water and make fishing, canoeing, and swimming a

whole lot less pleasant.

To cut down on this pollution, Stony Brook has instituted a River

Friendly Business Certification program. On Earth Day, Thursday, April

22, at noon, it awards its first certificate at a ceremony at the

Titusville offices of Janssen Pharmaceutica, the first company to earn

this certification. There will be a tree planting and speeches.

MacKay has been with Stony Brook for eight-and-a-half-years, first as

a volunteer and then as an employee. A native of eastern Canada, she

received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mt. Allison University in

New Brunswick (Class of 1990) and a master’s degree in environmental

studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax. She arrived in New

Jersey in 1994, working as a consultant before joining Stony Brook.

She has been working on the River Friendly Business Certification

program for several years. It has enrolled a number of corporations,

including Bristol-Myers Squibb, ETS, and Johnson & Johnson. It has

also reached out to housing developers, and counts Montgomery Woods

among the organizations working toward certification. There is a

separate golf course certification program, and a number of local

courses have signed up. They include the Tournament Players Club at

Jasna Polana, and the Bedens Brook, Cherry Valley, and Hopewell Valley

country clubs.

The land that drains into the Stony Brook-Millstone River is

distributed across five counties and 26 municipalities. There are, of

course, any number of homes and small businesses in this area, but the

river certification program is aiming to enroll big corporations,

housing developments, and golf courses first. The reason is simple.

The typical corporate campus sits on something like 400 acres – and

sometimes twice that amount of land. Housing developments and golf

courses also sprawl across large areas. Getting these large landowners

to implement environmentally sound practices can make a big

difference.

But, MacKay emphasizes, it is important that small businesses and

folks whose Cape Cod houses sit on a quarter of an acre use the same

river-friendly techniques in tending their property. Requirements for

obtaining the business certification include education. The hope is

that employees will learn from their employer, and will take the

lessons home to their own yards. Some practices that can make a big

difference include:

Keep it wild. Those long, sweeping, oh-so-green corporate lawns are

gorgeous, but they are not, generally speaking, a wise use of the

land. Maintaining a flawless, pure green appearance requires

substantial fertilizing and frequent application of pesticides. When

the rain comes, all of those chemicals move across the lawns and into

the parking lots. From there, it is often just a short trip to the

nearest stream.

Let loose. Plant native plants and grasses instead of lawn.

Corporations that do this, says MacKay, report sharply lower

maintenance costs. They also attract a multitude of song birds and

small animals. Employees out on a noon-time stroll can spot bluebirds,

otters, and diving ducks.

If it is not feasible to let the whole lawn go wild, at least allow a

no-mow, wild buffer near any streams, suggests Mackay.

Think before spraying. Many businesses – and homeowners – spray

automatically, whether they need to or not. "Establish your

tolerance," says MacKay. Maybe a few dandelions are okay. If not,

perhaps pulling them out by hand would be easier, and less expensive,

than spraying the whole lawn with pesticides. Maybe a whole field full

of the yellow flowers could be seen as esthetically pleasing. Maybe

they could just be left alone.

On the other hand, Mackay acknowledges that some pests can indeed

destroy a lawn, and that most landowners want them gone. When that is

the case, she suggests researching the least damaging way of getting

rid of them.

Water only when necessary. Don’t automatically water every evening, or

every other day. Check weather conditions, and only water when

absolutely necessary. Also, realize that brown grass is only playing

dead. It will come back as soon as it rains. And in New Jersey, a good

rain storm is rarely long in coming.

Putting in drought resistant plants and grasses is another good way to

cut down on watering.

Recycle water. Capture rain water and direct it onto flower beds.

Stony Brook has researched rain barrels and sells one that is child

safe, and that keeps mosquitoes out. It costs $125, and Stony Brook

will deliver it.

Practice your rough shots. Golf courses are afraid to offend their

patrons with tall grass or brown spots on the fairways. Golfers who

want to preserve the purity of nearby rivers might lobby for less

aggressive mowing and spraying. Letting roughs get a little rougher,

especially near streams, could be a good thing.

Top Of Page
Un-Happy Hour For Gender Pay

In Lauren Berman’s home the subject of equal pay for women is a hotly

debated topic. "My husband feels that in his office people are paid

equally," she says. A fair-minded person, she concedes that this may

be true, but she has doubts. The nationwide statistics, after all,

show that a woman would have to work well into the new year – until

April 20 this year – to earn as much as the average man made in

calendar 2003.

Equal Pay Day has been created to highlight this disparity. It falls,

naturally enough, on April 20 this year. The Hightstown/East Windsor

Business and Professional Women, in concert with the Trenton chapter

of the organization, is set to celebrate the day. Their "Un-Happy

Hour" takes place on Thursday, April 22, at 5 p.m. at Katmandu. There

is a free buffet, and the first 50 women to arrive receive a free

drink. For more information, call 609-426-4490.

Berman is co-president of the Hightstown/East Windsor chapter of BPW,

which has made equal pay its signature issue. She is a self-employed

graphic artist. Her perceived pay status begins to point up the

complexity of the issue of equal pay for women.

"I suspect that I make less than the men in my field," she says. Like

many women, she knows that her desire to please sometimes causes her

to underbid. "Men play hardball," she says. These differences in style

and personality, whether caused by nature or nurture, contribute to

unequal pay, both for independent contractors and for employees.

But there are other factors as well. Berman’s husband, Skip Berman,

works in the software industry as a consultant. It is a male-dominated

field, and perhaps that is one reason why the women in his office are

not underpaid.

"The biggest issue," says Berman, "is that whenever women are

concentrated in a field, they are lower paid. I point out to my

husband that day care workers make chicken feed, but garbage men make

a lot."

Skilled tradesmen, as a whole, make far more than skilled secretaries.

Elementary teaching and social work, where women make up the bulk of

workers, pay significantly less than construction management or bond

trading, where most workers are men.

The pay disparity stands at about 23 cents an hour, and has hovered at

just about a quarter for 25 years. The national Business and

Professional Women’s group has determined that, while the hourly

difference can be expressed in pennies, the disparity adds up to

$500,000 over the term of a working woman’s life.

And while personality plays a part, and institutionalized patterns

that lead women into lower paying fields is a tough problem to tackle,

there are relatively easy steps that could erase disparity in any

individual company. A corporate motive for doing so could be the

avoidance of an equal pay audit by the Department of Labor. Here is a

10-step guide for the company that wants to make sure it is not

inadvertently undercompensating women:

Recruitment. Make sure that your hiring process is designed with

diversity in mind. Post advertisements with groups where women and

minorities are represented.

Internal compensation. Put in place a method for ensuring consistent

pay for people with substantially similar levels of experience and

education who hold jobs calling for substantially similar degrees of

skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.

Industry competitiveness. Determine the market rate for any given job,

and make sure that market rates are applied consistently. Be confident

that men are not being compensated at or above market rates while

women are compensated at or below market rates.

Job descriptions. In updating job descriptions, establish criteria for

assigning values to skill, effort, responsibility, and working

conditions. Challenge basic assumptions about the value of skills

before assigning points or grades. For example, consider how caring

for sick people, small muscle dexterity in typing, and other such

skills may have been undervalued in jobs that have been traditionally

held by women.

Job scores. Take a look at how long men, women, and minorities stay

within job grades before moving up, and take action to ensure that all

workers have equal opportunity for advancement.

Data on incoming hires. Evaluate at what grades and positions men,

women, and minorities typically enter the company. How does

negotiation affect entry-level salaries? Are men able to negotiate

higher salaries more effectively than women or minorities? Changes may

be needed to ensure that new hires are treated consistently and

incorporated into existing compensation systems on a compatible basis.

Commissions and bonuses. Check to see whether men, women, and

minorities are assigned projects or clients with a high commission

potential on a consistent basis. Do a similar check for bonuses. Are

opportunities to earn them equal?

Raises. When it comes time to award raises, be aware of whether men,

women, and minorities with similar levels of performance are being

given similar raises.

Training, development, and promotion. Time off to pursue an executive

MBA or to attend an industry conference can create opportunities to

move ahead on the pay scale. Are men, women, and minorities given an

equal crack at these experiences?

Changes. After an honest look at parity issues, start in on the work

of change. Some adjustments will be easy, but others, especially as

they apply to institutionalized perceptions of "women’s work," will be

more difficult.


Next Story


Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments