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Para Los Niños Moves the Needle Towards Greater Equity

Since it was founded in 1980, Para Los Niños—meaning “for the children”—has responded to the needs of under-served children and families in Los Angeles. Today, the organization supports more than 6,000 children, youth, and families in nine schools.

Challenge: Para Los Niños had a dated compensation structure and misaligned performance management practices

Para Los Niños was long overdue for a compensation study and update to its current performance management policies. Its management chose Edgility as its partner in taking a thoughtful and transparent approach. 

Without existing research-based analysis around pay equity, the organization wanted to prioritize being both externally competitive and internally equitable. It also wanted to be careful to ensure staff understood that not everyone would be getting a pay raise, and why. 

“We’ve created a fair process based on everyone’s experiences and skills, not where they went to school or  who they know,”  said Deena Mangrum, Para Los Niños’ Director of Talent Strategy.

Solution: Edgility provided the necessary data to guide change

In late 2020, Edgility kicked off a two-phase engagement study, beginning with a comprehensive discovery process. By talking with different stakeholders representing various parts of the organization, Edgility learned what motivated staff, how they thought about compensation, and what made them stay at Para Los Niños. It also ran numerous focus groups in both English and Spanish, conducted an employee compensation survey, and facilitated a compensation philosophy workshop to help the nonprofit develop principles reflective of its workforce. 

“Treating people equitably is core to who we are and why we exist,” said Mangrum. “This includes students, parents, and communities we serve, as well as our staff. Based on the feedback from our focus groups with staff, there was a desire among the staff to recognize them as unique individuals rather than just the number of years of experience they have. Salaries may not be identical in every role, but they are equitable and fair for every individual.” 

Edgility created a comprehensive benchmarking process and compensation structure for Para Los Niños that ensured that the staff felt heard. Edgility also guided leadership on how to communicate pay changes. 

Results: Para Los Niños changed its pay structure and codified new systems

Leadership’s steadfast commitment to pay equity led to immediate shifts. Now armed with evidence-based information, HR was able to get the board’s approval to make pay-related changes based on a fair process and fact-based approach. Edgility also helped Para Los Niños’ debunk the myth that compensation should remain private. A more transparent process around how salary decisions are made, compensation structures, and growth opportunities was born. 

“Para Los Niños’ staff represents a breadth of voices and stories and we must remain equitable throughout our entire organization,” said Mangrum. “The tremendous insights we gained from our work with Edgility have strengthened our organization so we can continue to move the needle for even more marginalized children in the Los Angeles area.”  

Treating people equitably is core to who we are and why we exist. The tremendous insights we gained from our work with Edgility have strengthened our organization so we can continue to move the needle for even more marginalized children in the Los Angeles area.
Deena Mangrum
Director of Talent Strategy, Para Los Niños
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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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