Equal Pay

If you are a man (or at least a man who might want to make a home with a woman someday) who is still not sure why equal pay isn’t a woman’s issue, consider this: Let’s say you found out that many of your co-workers in the same role, and peers at other companies, were making more than you.  Let’s narrow the comps further to exclude people with a lot more experience or degrees or whatever is the currency of your chosen field.  Note that this still leaves people who may have less experience, qualifications, etc.  Maybe let’s filter out people who produce significantly more, if that can be measured objectively (which it can’t always).  Now let’s add on that, compared to most of these peers, many tasks that are non-billable and yet truly move the work and the team forward fall to you.  Maybe you are asked, maybe it’s because you’re just so good at this collaboration/communication/teamwork stuff that your counterparts simply aren’t able to handle.  Or maybe nobody else will do it but you know it’s needed to make the project successful (a.k.a. leadership).  Then you go home and the situation is mostly similar.  Or you have to pass up opportunities that would help you get ahead because you don’t have a wife at home.* So you try to look for a new job, perhaps.  Every time you try to look for another job, rather than paying based on your skills and experience and new role, they ask for your salary history–so you’re still stuck behind everyone who had a head start.

Now imagine that person is your partner, is the other half of your household.  Even if you don’t have joint bank accounts….

*It still sticks in my head, hearing about a friend’s mom getting passed up for promotions because she had to take days off when the kids were sick, or because she needed a flexible schedule to pick up the kids from school, or basically to do the things required of being a parent because–unlike her male colleagues–she didn’t have a wife at home.  She had a husband.

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