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Unequal Pay for Women: Reviewing Some of the Dynamics Involved

It’s not always easy for men and women to fully understand each other’s views on the “equal pay” issue. After all, if two people are performing a job with equal success and their background and experience are basically identical (or comparable), it just seems logical that they should be paid equally. Women are puzzled as to why their gender should be penalized for leaving the job force to give birth to children (and to possibly raise them for a certain period of years) since there might one day be no workforce available if all females gave up this practice.                  

However, many men and a number of human resource professionals of both sexes frequently argue that higher-level jobs (those which often command the most pay), should be regularly awarded to workers who have not recently stepped away from full-time work. This is based on the belief that these are the only people who have never “lost touch” with any aspect of the marketplace affecting their industry, and who have kept their technological skills and knowledge fully current.

Regardless of one’s personal viewpoint, there may always be a “bias” in favor of paying men more simply because until recent decades, they held all of the best jobs. One rather “humorous” joke on this topic was shared in a recent business article. It “set the stage” by saying that a group of men were sitting around talking about how they needed to contain costs for their company. One of them then immediately suggested that they should hire more women – for everyone knows it’s cheaper to hire them!

Suggestions for Women on How to Obtain Higher Wages

  • Be confident in your abilities and request higher pay. Although assertive and fully competent women are often assigned very unpleasant, descriptive adjectives when they seek things for themselves in the business world, it’s still important to know your value and at least request what your male counterparts are receiving for the same work – or should be receiving. Raised as nurturers, most women tend to be less aggressive about money and are more interested in “help[ing] others [while] search[ing] for significance;”

  • Take on new responsibilities – or even ask for them – even when you’re fearful and they’re outside your initial comfort zone. Employers and coworkers are often most impressed when they know some team members are nearly always available to help out with challenging special assignments or situations. Try to become one of those people who is always willing to go “above and beyond” what you must do to keep your job;

  • Be prepared when negotiating your new salary to point out what you bring to the table in terms of both the high quality of  your work – and your steadiness and reliability;

  • When a job isn’t satisfying you – in regards to pay or other benefits, move on! Women tend to be loyal to a fault, possibly due to many of them having rather strong caregiver instincts. However, when it comes to your job and fair pay -- once it’s financially safe for you to move on – leave! Of course, it’s always best if you give your current employer the opportunity to meet your pay and benefit requests before suddenly giving two weeks’ notice. Given today’s economy fueled by change and instability, you might wind up working with many of these same people in the future – so it’s rarely wise to burn any bridges.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia