Kids help us take a fresh look at the world around us. Sometimes, we can become so accustomed to our environment and our circumstances that we have a hard time actually seeing things the way they are. Children help with that; kids often have a way of putting things that sheds fresh light on a situation we take for granted – for example, the gender pay gap. Recently, the folks at Expert Market, a company that helps businesses locate services and equipment, deviated from their usual approach to gender pay gap research and instead turned their focus on a group of 5- to 7-year-olds. How these kids reacted to learning about the gender pay gap for the first time will make you rethink the things you already "know." Let's take a closer look.
Even though research and data from multiple organizations have found that there is in fact a significant gender pay gap in America, not everyone believes in numbers. And with the power of the internet and the hashtag #EqualPayDay, we get to see how some people really feel about the gender pay gap and equal pay for women. Hold on to your unicorns, people, because the debate starts ... now.
Equal Pay Day has been on our calendars since its conception by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996, but very little has actually been done to close the wage gap between men and women in America. Recent research shows that in 2016, women only earn 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. Even if we look at men and women in the same jobs, women earn less: comparing only like job titles, experience, and education, women make 97 percent of what men earn. If this information rustles your jimmies like it does mine, I've got six things you can do right now to help close the gender pay gap this Equal Pay Day.
Earlier this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission rejected Amazon's request to keep their pay data private, after Arjuna Capital filed a shareholder resolution to request that data. Yesterday, Amazon announced that it will share pay data – and that women at the company currently make 99.9 cents for every dollar male employees earn. Amazon also revealed that minority employees make 100.1 cents for every dollar earned by white employees.
During any debate about the gender pay gap, one argument will eventually emerge: women make less than men because they choose lower-paying jobs. But what if it turns out that women aren't so much choosing low-paying jobs as working at jobs that are low-paid precisely because there are more women in those occupations? If that sounds far-fetched, one study, recently discussed at The Upshot in The New York Times, might change your mind. Researchers analyzed 50 years of U.S. Census data and found that pay drops when professions move from predominantly male to female – in short, if women do a job, it's likely to be low-paid, for no other reason than that women's work is undervalued.
Today is International Women's Day, a celebration of the struggle for women's rights that has been with us in one form or another since 1909. Nowadays, the U.N. designates themes for International Women's Day, such as "Women Uniting for Peace" (2000) and "Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All" (2010). Today's theme is "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality." The UN's agenda specifies goals including ensuring access to free, quality primary and secondary education, and ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. It's a tall order, and one that will take concerted effort by the international community to achieve. But, there is something you can do right now to help reach the goal of equality by 2030: help end the gender pay gap in your workplace and home.
EquiTable has reinvented the concept of splitting the bill. Instead of dividing the check equally, EquiTable "splits it equitably" so that individuals only contribute what they should "to balance out the wage gap." Here's how it works.
Discussing money might be the only real conversational taboo left in America. We've recognized, over time, that sharing our ideas and even our fears with trusted friends and family only builds our understanding and makes our lives better. These days, it's okay to talk about the troubles we're having with our children or even our marriages. We can talk about race, religion, identity, etc., outside of work. But, do we talk with each other about our salaries? Oh goodness, absolutely not. That's way too personal, and it's a conversation fraught with danger. But, what if this is a mistake? There may be some real upsides to loosening up our conversations about money.