Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #537
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Exploring the Topic of Pay-Equity, Including the Discussion of Strategies at Micro and Macro Levels
Monday, May 30, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156A
Area: CSS/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joshua Garner (The Behavioral Education Research Initiative)
CE Instructor: Douglas A. Johnson, Ph.D.

Recent publications have yielded concerns of gender- and race-based pay gaps and potential pay inequities within the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA; Li et al., 2019; Vance & Saini, under review). Equipped with a unique understanding of behavior-change processes, behavioral practitioners are well-suited to challenge organizational practices that may be contributing to pay inequities. A progressive response may involve identifying interventions that help to diagnose pay equity issues, mitigate their impacts, and prevent escalation of inequities. Therefore, the purpose of the symposium is to conceptualize the topic of pay-equity as well as introduce and discuss micro and macro-level interventions. The status of such interventions within ABA will be reviewed in addition to future action items on this topic. Collectively, the authors of this symposium hope to empower its audience members, generate discussion about pay practices within the field and set the occasion for enhanced equity processes in ABA.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): "pay audit", "pay-equity", "social justice", "unionization"
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define pay-equity; (2) identify at least 3 strategies that may promote equitable pay practices; and (3) categorize these strategies based on who should enact them (i.e., individuals, organizations, or larger systems).
Diversity submission Using an Organizational Behavior Management Framework to Better Understand Promotion and Compensation Practices as Part of a Strategy to Address Equity Concerns
DOUGLAS A. JOHNSON (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: A familiar pattern continues to play out across time and organizations, where organizational representatives and PR departments pledge to bring about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Unfortunately, such vows are easily made and then superficially fulfilled with minor changes in policy statements. New challenges arise and attention is shifted to the next challenge, but the needs of diversity, equity, and inclusion remain unfulfilled at a more meaningful level, thus the past becomes destined to repeat in the future. To break such a cycle of social injustice, a comprehensive and lasting strategy is needed to do business differently. This is particularly important when it comes to the allocation of resources, such as hiring decisions, promotion, and pay. Although such change is difficult and painful, Organizational Behavior Management has several tools and techniques that can help guide the transformation, including pinpointing what equity actually looks like, creating executive training to lead fundamental changes, developing meaningful compensation systems, providing coaching and support for the important but neglected parts of an organization, and building feedback systems for the retention of diverse talent. This talk will outline some of the issues with typical organizational practices and provide guidance for new approaches.
Diversity submission Behavioral Health Practitioner Perceptions of Micro-Level Pay Equity Strategies
(Applied Research)
HANNA E. VANCE (Brock University), Valdeep Saini (Brock University), Emily Guertin (Brock University)
Abstract: In a field where behavior-change processes are highly accessible, behavior analysts are truly capable of impacting pay practices. This very idea prompted the initiation of the current study which involved defining pay-equity strategies in terms of succinct, behavioral actions, that both individuals and organizations can engage in to enhance pay-equity practices. Further, the study involved the collection of social validity data across behavioral health practitioners more broadly, on the perceived willingness to engage in these strategies, and the perceived effectiveness of each. Such survey data indicated that all presented strategies were rated favorably by all behavioral health practitioners in both willingness to participate (range of M = 5.21 to 6,01; Table 1), and anticipated effectiveness (range of M = 4.88 to 5.85; Table 2).
Diversity submission Unionization and Worker Cooperatives: The Power of the People
JOSHUA GARNER (The Behavioral Education Research Initiative)
Abstract: According to Marx (1867), achieving liberty, equality, and democracy in society requires the removal of all economically exploitative relationships. This is not easily achieved, as it is difficult to foster system-level changes while acting as an individual. However, acting in solidarity with other members can have significant impacts on workers in the field of behavior analysis. Specifically, unions and worker cooperatives can help behavior-analytic workers experience greater degrees of freedom (Goldiamond, 1965, 1974, & 1976), while also removing inequities in the workplace. This presentation will provide an overview of unions and worker cooperatives as well as the advantages these organizational structures offer.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh