The depressing day after International Women’s Day

Scrolling through the various socials yesterday – it was awash with inspirational quotes on women supporting each other, lifting each other up, making a difference in the world. The day after International Women’s Day and it all seems just a bit depressing.

I read a Linkedin post this morning which went something along the lines of – “I’ve never seen pay inequality in my 20+ years of being in management, so it must not exist.” Various other corresponders then chimed in to agree with the original poster.

Here’s the thing… Just because you haven’t experienced it- doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because you believe wage equality has occurred – does not mean it has. 

The numbers do not lie.

Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap (the difference between men and women’s wages) is now sitting at 22.4%. That is, men working full time receive $26,527 per year more than women working full time.

There are lots of reasons for this gap – many social and historical.   Many are being addressed.  And in fact, the gender pay gap is reducing year on year, down from 24.7% in 2013-4.

And importantly, this figure does not compare like for like roles.


Wage Inequality

This is where a man and a woman undertake the SAME job and do NOT receive the same remuneration.  This is the area where many of the ranting Linkedin posts occur: “I get paid the same as the women I work with“.

The reality is that wage equality is just NOT true for many many women.

Many women do EXACTLY the same job, with EXACTLY the same (or more) qualifications and experience, and receive LESS remuneration.

The numbers do not lie.

What can we do about it

  • Firstly, we can stop denying that it’s an issue.
  • We can educate ourselves.  Here’s the 2016/17 Gender Equality Scorecard which is a great place to start.
  • We can analyse the actual situation in OUR organisations and then decide whether we are courageous enough to face up to the reality and do something about it. The WGEA has some very helpful resources to undertake proper analysis.
  • And if our organisation is one that does have wage equality, we can provide powerful leadership to help enable those organisations who are finding this hard.
  • We can call out Linkedin posts that diminish the issue.

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