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Blue Engine Defines Compensation Philosophy to Promote Equitable Pay

Blue Engine optimizes the power of team teaching, the approach of having multiple teachers work together in a classroom in service of a shared outcome for students. They partner with teachers, schools, districts, and education organizations to ensure that educators can effectively collaborate and individualize instruction for every learner—regardless of race, income level, or learning style.

Challenge: Blue Engine lacked a formalized philosophy that reflected its commitment to equity to inform compensation decisions

Blue Engine had been operating similarly to a start-up, without a codified framework to help guide decision-making around salaries. They wanted to understand whether their current salary structure was competitive across teams, job levels, and demographic groups to demonstrate their commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). 

“We wanted to ensure that we were doing right by our employees. As an organization actively working to dismantle unjust systems, we needed to make sure we were living out our commitment to equity internally as well, which is why we reached out to Edgility,” shared Seth Miran, Vice President of Talent and Operations at Blue Engine.   

Solution: Edgility conducted a compensation study with an equity lens 

Edgility connected with the Blue Engine staff to incorporate the perspective of employees on the receiving end of policies. These candid conversations helped Edgilty to identify existing problems and avoid creating new problems with “well-intentioned” solutions.

After clarifying the strengths and needs, Edgility built a guiding philosophy with the help of an advisory task force that represented voices of staff from all levels. This allowed the organization to identify its core values around compensation and translate them into tailor-made policies and practices specific to its organizational structure. Edgility also coached the leadership team to leverage the task force’s perspectives when building transparent compensation policies.

During a market analysis, Edgility clarified whether wage competitiveness differed across roles and identities. They counseled Blue Engine to make wage adjustments that align with their new philosophy, policies, and salary structure. This new framework helped Blue Engine improve salary decisions in the hiring process and beyond. 

“When staff know the decision guidance is followed consistently, it reinforces a sense of trust in the leadership team and the organization. People spend less time advocating for themselves because the system no longer requires it, and instead, they can shift their advocacy to focus on the stakeholders they serve,” shared Travonnie Mackey, Associate Partner at Edgility.

Result: Blue Engine implements structures to ensure equitable pay

Blue Engine is now on track to compensate its employees equitably and in alignment with their values. There is clarity in how salary decisions are made and a roadmap to ensure their staff feels valued. Additionally, staff have been trained to ensure consistency, increase transparency, and offer support.

“Implementation and a new way of operating take time, so it is important to be transparent about what’s happening right now. We equipped our managers to understand our methodology and explained it to staff. We’ve deepened the alignment between decision-making and our values, and we have been able to course correct since working with Edgility,” stated Miran.

Building off of the success of this program, Blue Engine kicked off a new project with Edgility in March. In addition to equitable compensation, they are eager to revise their performance management and career pathways policies. These underlying systems that affect compensation will leave staff feeling set up for success and continue to foster an increased sense of transparency and clarity of expectations across the organization.

Meet the expert:

Travonnie Mackey

Associate Partner
  • Performance Management & Career Pathways
  • Organizational Structure
  • DEI Strategic Planning
  • Compensation Studies

“I love working with mission-driven organizations. You’ve never met a more passionate group of individuals. I love helping them figure out what it takes to keep passionate people on their teams so that they can be about the work and remove barriers to equity and inclusion.”

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Put your values to work. Act on equity.

We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.

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