I totally believe that women should receive equal pay for equal work and I think most people do too. However, there is a gender wage gap. That is why I am so pleased to welcome Bettina Bush to talk about this issue today. She is editor-at-large for Working Mother magazine, host of the nationally syndicated radio show Working Mother, public speaker, singer, wife and a mother! Without further ado- here Bettina Bush’s advice on conquering the gender wage inequality issue at your workplace.
Equal pay for an equal day’s work. Doesn’t seem like a big ask, does it? What reasonable American would argue the fairness of that concept? So what’s all the fuss about? Why is gender wage inequality a hot button issue?
According to the Bureau of Labor, in 2012, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 cents for every dollar men were paid. The statistics are worse if you’re a minority female, and slightly better if you don’t have kids. Many argue that the statistics are inflated due to additional determinants such as career choice.
When I listen to the back and forth, my brain feels as though it’s going to implode. What I hear are people arguing about the numbers, the underlying factors for reaching certain statistics, the measurement of just how much discrimination is taking place. What? Last time I checked, the acceptable level for institutionalized discrimination is zero, and I have yet to see one valid study that lands us there.
Let’s not take our eye off the ball, folks. The bottom line is that women historically have not received equal pay for equal work and that needs to stop. The only conversation worth having on this subject centers on working together to achieve one very clear goal. So what can we do to effect real change and move toward overcoming the gender wage gap in our own lives? Here are a few ideas.
5 Tips For Overcoming Gender Wage Inequality
- We’re Americans. Our voices matter and our votes count. If this issue is important to us, we need to figure out which lawmakers care about gender wage equality as much as we do and support them.
- Know your market value. When you’re searching for a job, do your homework. The landscape may have changed since the last time you were in the market, or you may be making a move into something new. Use the Internet, talk to colleagues and friends, consult with recruiters, and find out just what fair pay is for the job you’re seeking.
- Don’t accept the first offer. Easier said than done if you’re feeling desperate for employment, however a study done by Yale University found that the female name on your resume alone might garner you a lower offer than the exact same resume with a male name. If you attempt to negotiate that offer before accepting it, you’re ahead of the game on future incremental raises.
- When asking for a raise, be methodical. Arm yourself with evaluations, list your achievements, measure your value in clear terms for your boss. Emotions or personal struggles that may be prompting your decision to ask have no place in this conversation.
- Keep it professional and concise.
Mentor our future leaders. In all issues of diversity and equality, history teaches us that when the leadership evolves, the policies and the people evolve. If you are in a position to be an example and an inspiration to someone, act on it.
I hope these wage tips for women help you overcome any gender wage gap that exists as your workplace. Do you have wage tips, experience, or advice you want to share?