An Objective Look at Gender Pay Disparity
Stories have been floating around recently about the controversial comments that Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, made at a women’s forum when asked about gender pay disparity. All of the sudden this topic is in the hot seat with a lot of studies being released about the pay disparity in large IT firms. However, there are certain jobs where the average base salary of a woman is higher than that of a man.
April 8 has been declared National Equal Pay Day in the United States. The President is very vocal in promoting equal pay for women, which is very heartening. Gender pay disparity has been a long debated topic, with a larger belief that a woman makes seventy-seven cents for every dollar that a male counterpart makes. This disparity exists not only in mediocre jobs, but also at the C-suite levels.
While this number may seem alarming, this is a topic that definitely warrants more research. If taken at face value, this can get very subjective in nature. Studies show that when a lot of the data regarding hours in a working week for men and women and the kind of work that they do are taken into consideration, the disparity is not actually this wide and is somewhere close to 88 percent. Also, the disparity between a single woman and a man is much lower with the woman making ninety-six cents of every dollar that a man makes.
Some of these numbers are questioned in articles that talk about myths in gender pay inequality. While these should be taken into account in the larger landscape of pay inequality, this problem cannot be addressed in isolation. The outlook on women, their potential, the opportunities offered to them, and their life at home should all take a positive leap forward. When these happen in conjunction, women are empowered to be more competitive with their male counterparts, making inroads to more objective equality in pay.
There are a lot of gender inequality discussions that stem from the workplace and the society at large. While we strive for objective equality, an important piece to this whole mix is the woman herself. We need to understand the issues at hand and start working towards addressing them proactively. Being self-confident of our abilities, being able to speak and negotiate for what we have accomplished, and showing leadership in what we do, go a long way in paving the path for a more equal livelihood for women.