“Pay equity literally means “pay fairness.”  The concept of equity implies that one receives proportionally fair outcomes in return for what one invests in a relationship or situation, when comparisons are made with appropriate others (Adams, 1965). When applied to jobs, the term “pay equity” refers to a particular strategy for reducing or eliminating the wage gap between or among groups such as women and men, or various ethnic groups.  This strategy involves the use of compensation policies that assign wages after a careful determination of the content of jobs, such as the skill or effort required, the burden of responsibility, or the job’s working conditions.” (Hays-Thomas)

Hays-Thomas, R. (2006). Pay equity, a Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia entry. Retrieved May 10, 2007, from the Sloan Work and Family Research Network website: