A note for the girls:
When we started our careers we knew we weren’t being paid the same as our male counterparts. We didn’t know how much they were paid, but we knew it was more. We knew we had the same education, often more. We had the same job, did the same work. We worked hard, stayed late, tried to do more work to get noticed as if that would garner more pay, more value, more worth in the minds of male leadership. We were overlooked. Our ideas were often undermined, only for a male peer to later take credit for them. We wanted in their club but every time we got close we were punished with reminders that we didn’t really belong. Inappropriate jokes and sexist comments were slaps to our faces. We were told we needed to work some nights. So, we went to client dinners and social events only to experience sexual innuendo, a creeping hand on our thigh under the table or we were pinned against the wall on the way back from the ladies room. Or, far worse. But my girlfriends and I kept silent, thinking the payoff was coming. That was 30 years ago.
And, here we are, still fighting. Same story, different decade. The only thing that’s changed is more people are talking about it, more openly, more visibly on the internet. That’s certainly changed. More celebrities are taking a stand, more influential leaders are taking a stand. But, it saddens me that nothing has really changed for the average woman. Hell, even for the exceptional woman nothing has changed. We’re still facing the same issues I faced as a young woman. And, I don’t know what my male counterparts are making today, but I can do the math.
As Your Office Mom, I wanted to share from the heart and mind today. So, I selected two articles to give you insight. I trust one or the other resonates. I hope both do because this is important. You don't want to wake up 30 years from now like I have and go WTF. You want to GAF today and every day.
What famous women have to say
Yes, it’s important that famous women are speaking out for Equal Pay. We need their voice more than ever. From pop stars to Oscar winners here are 14 Famous Women Who Know You Deserve Equal Pay and what they have to say about it because we can't wait until 2058 for equal pay.
What you can do
Celebrities can inspire and help the cause but don't forget that you have a voice too. Look for ways to share it. Your vote counts the same as theirs, so don't minimize the importance of yours. And know the facts. There's a lot of information and numbers floating around out there. Be well informed.
According to Equal Pay Day 2016: Time to Close the #WageGap by Page Gardner, President of the Voter Participation Center, “Women make, on average, 80¢ for every $1 a man makes” and that’s a gap that is going to cost you big time over your career. She says it’s “costing the average woman $430,480 in lost income over a 40-year career." The average unmarried woman makes “only 60¢ for every $1 a man makes." But the hardest hit of all? "The unmarried women of color suffer the most from the wage gap - an average unmarried African-American woman makes 52¢, an unmarried Latina makes 48¢, and an unmarried Native American woman makes only 47¢ for every dollar the average man makes.” Gardner suggests you “contact your policymakers and legislators at the state and federal level and demand that they take action to end the wage gap”. And back up your emails, posts and tweets with the facts from this interactive map containing details about your state’s wage gap.
This problem (and the problems women experience along with pay inequity) won't go away without the action of many. Realize individuals collectively become many. Your single voice matters. Read. Talk. Share. Tweet. Vote. #EqualPayDay needs to be every day.