Take Sex Out of the Gender Wage Gap Equation

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The gender pay gap, a.k.a. wage gap, is the difference between the amount of money paid to women and men, often for doing the same work.

This subject is important because it’s time both men and women put an end to the wage gap. The issue of the gender wage gap and equal pay came up at the Women’s Leadership Center‘s Connect, Learn, & Thrive Professional Women’s Event held March 7 in New York. There, I served as a panelist and felt compelled to share my opinion. My answer when someone suggests she is not being paid fairly is to advocate for yourself, now.

Being your own spokesperson is not as hard as you think. Learn how to negotiate better pay wherever you work and regardless of your gender.

Take Your Sex Out of the Equation

We often approach equal pay as a woman’s issue. Yes, it’s true that a wage gap continues to exist. In fact, women earned 23.7 percent less than men in 2016, according to Pay Scale. Research suggests a number of reasons for this, including the types of jobs and industries women enter, the amount of additional work they do in their households, and social norms about how women should behave in the workplace.

Sites, such as Pay Scale, Indeed, and Glassdoor are great places to seek answers. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act requires U.S. publicly traded firms must now share their median employee pay and CEO pay, according to a recent story reported by the Wall Street Journal. More than 50 major companies have complied.

Search and read this kind of content, especially the salary curves. Write a report of your findings and print out the salary curves for your current position and the next two levels. Keep in mind geography. In other words, try to find salary curves that are comparable to the part of the country in which you work. Make sure you thoroughly research pay figures, so you will have proof for comparison handy

Let’s face it, many women are not given the best education in negotiating or voicing injustice.

However, there are plenty of men, who feel underpaid, too. This is not a gender issue. It does not really matter if you’re a man or woman. This advice applies to anyone who wants to be paid fairly for his or her work.

Research Pay Figures

The first step is to take to Google and search median and average salaries for people doing the same job as you. Sites, such as Pay Scale, are great places to seek answers.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act requires U.S. publicly traded firms must now share their median employee pay and CEO pay. More than 50 major companies have complied. For instance, we learned Humana Inc.’s median employee pay was $57,385 compared to the CEO’s pay of $19.8 million as reported by WSJ. There is a robust conversation about this data on LinkedIn.

Search and read this kind of content. Write a report of your findings or print out reports already available online. Keep in mind geography. In other words, try to find salary curves that are comparable to the part of the country in which you work because cost of living does play a role. Make sure you thoroughly research pay figures, so you will have proof for comparison handy.

Demonstrate Your Worth

What is most important is proving your worth to your boss. You have to demonstrate your contributions to the company. Write down your achievements, so you can point to them when you talk to your manager and others in the company. Show – and not just say – what you are doing and what you’re contributing to the team. For example, share stats, such as how much money your sale brought into the company last year. List any awards or recognition you have received for your work. Talk about your dedication to customers, colleagues and the company. This is the time to bring up the positive reviews co-workers and supervisors have given to you. Basically, be ready to toot your own horn and remind your boss of strengths you bring to the team.

Make Your Case

Schedule an appointment to speak with your boss (or whoever determines your salary). Present the facts beginning with the research on typical pay for your job function. Then, describe what you’ve brought to the table as an employee. Finally, be prepared to ask for what you want and negotiate accordingly. If you haven’t taken a negotiations course, you should at least read up on how to do it. Be firm but polite. Don’t back down. If you have prepared well by conducting thorough research and outlining all your contributions, you should be able to debate your way to a raise.

Follow Up

This is not a one-time meeting. Plan regular meetings with your manager. Make sure you and your manager are aligned with your career goals to ensure your salary is on par with others in the industry and at your company. These meetings are also a great time to find out what your managers expect of you and how the company needs are changing. Remember to always advocate for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.

Read more about negotiating your compensation package on Medium .

Michaeline Daboul

President, CEO, Co-founder of MMIS, Inc.

A mother, wife, sister, friend, mentor, and entrepreneur, I'm passionate about building a successful company with people who are humble, hungry, and smart. I would enjoy hearing from you and hope you find inspiration and value from this site.

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