Sun or Shade?
A few weeks ago, I received a call from a friend of mine who lives out of state. She was just promoted to a new position, and her new role gave her access to payroll. She did not get into the specifics, but she was awed and disappointed in the pay gap between the men and the women who work under her.
There are so many reasons why women don’t get paid the same as men:
1. Men climb to their c-suite positions, while women act as primary caregivers for their families.
2. Women tend to take on careers that get paid less then men.
There are many more reasons and variables, not to mention the businesses and corporations who are grossly biased.
Here’s where we get into the sun or shade…
The good news is that the gap between equally educated men and women who work the same number of hours, for the same position, typically get paid the same amount. But this is only true at the beginning of their careers.
Not surprisingly, the gap is generated when a woman decides to have children. Studies show that after each child is born, the earnings gap grows 7%.
So, what’s the solution?
Women stop having children?
Women stop striving to hit their own career goals?
Women not taking time to spend with her newborns?
NO, NO, NO!
There is a great video with Laura Tyson, an economist and professor at Berkley, stating the problem along with a solution. I know! Finally! Someone not just complaining but providing options to improve.
Paternity leave is one of the most debated policies that can level the playing field for both men and women. This strategy already has some proven success in eliminating the salary gap between men and women.
My opinion? All the above is true. But to have a major effect in company policy and the larger social construct, women need to be their own biggest advocates in the workforce. That requires us to ditch the feeling of being secondary and remind the testosterone-soaked C-suite how much female work impacts the company’s bottom line.