I knew that opening might ruffle some feathers.
It is a tad sexist.
Unfortunately, the reality is, #MenDoItBetter when it comes to wage negotiations.
A recent USA study shows that only 7% of women attempt to negotiate pay and conditions compared to 57% of men. Local studies show more NZ women negotiate but local men get better results.
This is only one factor in why the male-female wage gap is unacceptably high. But, it is a factor that women can influence!
The 2018 male-female wages gap was 9.2 %. Do not despair, some progress has been made. In 1988 the difference was much higher. When I started work in 1970 it was considered acceptable that women were paid half a ‘man’s wage’ and it wasn’t even questioned.
Maybe 9.2% doesn’t sound too bad on your starting salary out of study. Stop! Let’s look at that long term. If Jane is on $30 per hour then John is on $ 32.80. Did I hear you say $2.80 who cares? But John gets $5,740 per year more, that is not so trivial. In ten years he will have earned $50,000 more than Jane and that is only if he doesn’t get higher annual increases. Unfortunately, the data tells us, this is not likely to happen.
Add this to the fact that if Jane works hard and moves up to the higher income brackets then John will be 20% ahead of her, as the gap is even wider in more senior positions.
Despite what we have discussed above in turns our 80% of the reasons for the gender pay gap are unexplained.
What this means is we cannot immediately fix everything. But we can and should improve the things we do know. The other impacts are likely to become clearer over time.
Let’s just do this: Let’s start negotiating!
To follow in this series will be discussing;
- How to negotiate like a man: rules of the game
- How to negotiate like a Scout: be prepared
- How to negotiate like a woman: Think of others.
- How to negotiate like you: for your lifestyle.
See you there.
Claire Lichtwark McInnes
The Barefoot Consultant