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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Equal Pay for Equal Work 2008

Whitney M. Duck

It is hard to believe that in the year 2008, women still do not get the same amount of pay in working wages as men do. Simply, women still earn less then men in the workplace.

It is hard to believe that in this day and age, women still lag behind in job compensation. The hard facts are that many women are the soul support of their families and just as their male counterparts, have to work to support their family. Wages and benefits are vital job benefits and it pains me to know that women are still behind the power curve!

What is really striking to me is that many younger women do not get or see this divide occurring! It does not occur to them that this gap exists! I hate to break it to them, but it does and if you let it, it will affect you too! Do not be fooled by wage ranges! You know the ones that start at $8.00 and end at $12.00! This is the range Human Resources Departments use to hire within to fit the current Department of Labor standards for this line of work.

Many managers will try to hire someone at the lowest pay grade, whether or not they are male or female! Men just do not have to negotiate as much as women do. There is still the automatic stereotype that a man must take care of the family and therefore need higher wages.

Women must bargain on their skills and abilities and not a perceived need. Plus, women still fall into the "this is not Ladylike" mode when it comes to standing up for oneself! I know many have heard of the story of the brave intelligent woman who went into a job interview and demanded the higher salary and by gosh she got it! But, this is not the case for most women out there in the real world. Women still earn less then men do! No matter that both sexes pay the same amount for gas, food, and shelter, women still earn less!

How can this change? It is too easy to say that women should demand their fair share in the workplace! We have been asking for that for over 30 years and we have managed to narrow the gap but not enough! Young women should get mad!! Do not let anyone sell your skills short!! So many women crumple in front of the hiring boss. Let's face it, jobs are hard to come by now and making waves at the interview point might not be the smartest idea, but why not? Every man out there wants and asks for the high range of pay, why not women??

Maybe it takes a bit longer to find the right fit but no one should sell themselves short in the salary end of the deal. I have done it myself and lived to regret it! Sisters, flaunt your college degree! Give yourself high praise for your past experience! Do not left anyone, male or female, sell you short!


Anonymous said...

I do not think that one can account for the lack of equal pay between men and women solely because of actions by the employees. I think a lot of this is employer bias, simply believing that men are worth more. This is a free market and if employers are paying me more, then on some level they believe men are worth more. Why else pay women and men doing the same exact job at different pay rates.

Anonymous said...

Equal pay is one thing holding women back, but I also think it's a struggling balance with work and family. There are still companies, the ones that do not have to abide by the FMLA, that are not all that accomodating when a child is sick or a daycare provider is sick. It leaves a lot of families struggling on doing the best for the family while trying to hold onto that job.

The other thing is women have yet to branch out in more non-traditional female professions. Men still outnumber women in leadership positions. There's still a ways to go.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment - we experienced a software glitch over the last 24 hrs.

Interestingly, as a male administrator for county government 30 years ago, I advocated that day care be provided by larger employers and government agencies on site. I also felt this should be offered as a employee benefit. This could also be easily be done at Malls and Shopping Centers where all the merchants could co-sponsor a child care provider on site. This would obviously benefit the worker but would also aid the employer in recruitment of quality staff and help in the retention of employees. I still feel this should be encouraged.