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As a horde of newly laid-off workers navigate job listings, there has been a spike in demand for data on employee diversity and pay equity—now more than ever.

"People are actively tracking gender and diversity pay gaps, and are increasingly interested in knowing how diverse candidates rate their employers," said Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Comparably, the developer of an online platform offering compensation data as well as insights into company culture.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, which caters to more than 15 million users annually, saw demand for data on underrepresented employee pay double over the past four months.

And compensation data provider J.Thelander Consulting aims to make compensation data a bit more transparent as well.

On Monday, the firm unveiled its online compensation data platform, Complander, which has information about staff-level positions from employees at more than 5,000 private companies and investment firms across the world.

The data includes specifics on base salaries, bonuses and stock offerings. Users are required to provide demographic details including gender and ethnicity to verify their profile.

"Compensation and equity is confusing, especially for people who are just starting out," said Jody Thelander, founder and CEO of J.Thelander Consulting. "We hope that by arming employees with data from the beginning, we'll help level the playing field for a more diverse and inclusive workforce."

J.Thelander Consulting and PitchBook Data are partners on private company compensation surveys.

Many companies are now increasingly facing pressure to reveal workplace diversity statistics in the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice.

Job seeker searches for the term "diversity" rose about 222% year-over-year, according to July data from employment marketplace provider ZipRecruiter.

"Many [employers] talk the talk but don't walk the walk," said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter.

Pollak explained that it can be challenging for job seekers to evaluate a company's diversity practices because "many of the companies that are most vocal about the topic have the least demographically representative workforces."

Between 2016 and 2018, there was a steady increase in the number of job postings with diversity statements or equal opportunity commitments, but there has been no measurable increase since, Pollak said.

Companies also experience different challenges based on their locations and the roles they're hiring for.

For instance, in Palo Alto, one of the epicenters of Silicon Valley, Black Americans make up 1.6% of the population. So companies looking for a diverse talent pool may have extra difficulty in these startup hubs because they typically have higher housing costs and less diversity, Pollak noted.

But recent shifts to remote work could represent an opportunity to overcome a few barriers that employers might be facing in building a more diverse workforce, she said.

Since private companies aren't required to reveal much of any data about their internal operations, it often leaves many questions about pay equity among startups unanswered. This lack of startup transparency underscores the rise in demand for compensation data.

“There are going to be a lot of folks that are going to be asked to take a reduced salary for the same role for the first time in their career," Nazar said.

Featured image via Zia Soleil/Getty Images

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