I have good news, ladies and gents! We are making some really big strides in finally closing the gender pay gap! Go ahead and celebrate for a minute, you’ve earned it (equally)!
Ok good, because now I have some less good news…
Despite this awesome progress, according to a Pew research poll, it’s still insanely slow. Like, a True Detective monologue kind of slow.
While young millennial women are closer to pay equality than ever, earning up to 93 cents to every one dollar a man makes, at this rate full pay equity will only be achieved by about…2135.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure at that point everyone will be paid in water and dehydrated food packets.
So in the spirit of hurrying equality along, and lifting each other up, I thought it might be nice to look over some of the biggest myths surrounding pay equality. And maybe try to squash a few.
Here are a few misconceptions about the gender pay gap that deserve a decisive kick in the rear:
WOMEN DON’T ASK
Turns out, women and men negotiate salaries at the same rate, but only 16% of women are given the raise they ask for, whereas about 20% of men do. In a sadder turn of events, a 2007 study found that bosses were less likely to hire women who attempted to negotiate salary, as they were viewed as too ‘demanding’.
So perhaps women are more afraid, at times, of coming across as pushy? Nope.
When asked if they held back in negotiations for fear of being perceived as brash, 14.6% of men answered in the affirmative, versus 12.9% percent of women.
WOMEN TAKE TIME OFF TO HAVE CHILDREN
I’ll admit, I bought into this one. It makes sense, after all, since America is the richest country in the world that doesn’t offer paid family leave, even though a whopping 67% of workers support it. So, I thought, women have no other option but to take unpaid time off, or even quit altogether, right?
Boy, was I wrong.
It turns out, when mothers return to workforce, on average they are docked 5% of their salary per child, which points more towards discrimination than it does to unpaid time off cutting into their overall salary. Uh oh. Work to do here, folks!
MORE WOMEN CHOOSE LOWER-PAYING OCCUPATIONS
Sorry, this is a no-go, too! Although women do tend to work more in lower paying jobs such as care-taking positions, when comparing similar education, years of experience, age, hours worked, and multiple other factors, there still managed to be a 7% wage gap between men and women.
THE JOB MARKET WILL BE OVERSATURATED
News flash, having a young well-educated workforce is good for everyone. As the aging population leaves the workforce there is a worry that there will not be a sufficient number of young talented employees to fill the gaps. Lifting women up to take on those roles helps the economy become stronger for all involved.
Myths aside, we're doing better with pay equality, which is great, but let's strive to be the best! Men and women are allies in this fight, so raise awareness and start a real dialogue about these issues on this #EqualPayDay!