Q: The pay gap in any company is always a difficult subject. How can I promote more fairness in my company with regard to pay?

A: BetterWorld Telecom is the only nationwide voice and data provider that focuses on serving business, enterprises, and organizations that have social and sustainable missions.

At BetterWorld, the pay scale is not defined by traditional definitions of authority and power. For example, the president of BetterWorld, Matthew Bauer, is not the highest paid employee. All internal data is available to any employee anytime, including salary information. BetterWorld’s salary transparency helps guarantee that the difference between the highest and lowest paid employee remains less than a multiple of four, the maximum allowed by company policy.

BetterWorld embraces other workplace democracy practices. Every Sunday evening, BetterWorld employees, including top management, email their Achievements & Objectives reports to all other staff members. In the report, they share what they accomplished the prior week and their specific goals for the upcoming week. This practice helps provide accountability, transparency, and focus for the team. Then, at the Monday morning all-hands meeting, each team member reports on their top three Achievements and top three Objectives.

BetterWorld determines all major decisions and initiatives through the lens of its triple-bottom-line focus on people, planet, and profits. The company donates 3 percent of company revenues to social and environmental causes, and each employee donates 1.5 days per month during work hours to community causes. In addition, BetterWorld is the first carrier in the U.S. to achieve carbon neutral status. All of these elements combine to provide a simple reference for each employee to make decisions that will affect any of the company's stakeholders.

"BetterWorld Telecom has a unique business model as the only triple bottom line telecom carrier in North America focused on serving organizations with similar missions," says the company's president, Matthew Bauer (pictured left with the rest of the management team). "Corporate democracy is key to everything we do. One of our key elements of success is transparency, breaking down the age-old, hierarchical and insufficient service model in the $1.5 trillion voice and data carrier industry. By not functioning in the traditional, assembly line mode as most other carriers in the world do today, our customers are able to interact with us on a much more meaningful level. We actually help them do what they do best, making it a better world."

Traci Fenton


Traci Fenton

Traci Fenton is the Founder + CEO of WorldBlu, which champions the growth of democratic organizations worldwide. As a leading expert in organizational democracy, she is recognized as one of