April 14 was Equal Pay Day.
I’m sure your Facebook feed was just as flooded with posts on the subject as mine. But what really blows my mind is that this is still an issue at all.
We’ve come a long way from the workplaces and business worlds of our mothers and grandmothers. Women and their careers are safer today than ever before, what with the legislation that’s been put in place regarding issues such as sexual harassment and maternity leave.
So why do women still get paid an average of 22 percent less than their male counterparts?
This is 2015…right?
To me, the idea that anyone’s paycheck could be determined by anything other than merit (i.e. experience, education, time with a specific company) is – quite frankly – ridiculous and counterproductive. Second-rate companies need to stop looking at women as a discount. This isn’t the 1950s, and now more than ever, women have just as much responsibility to “bring home the bacon” as men.
Breadwinning women – those women who are the sole or primary source of income in their households – make up more than 40 percent of today’s workforce. That’s nearly half!
There oughta be a law…
As with anything brought before our government – even with those things that seem to be obvious, common-sense issues to most – there's quite a bit of back and forth on this.
But here’s some food for thought: Why do we have to wait for the government to dictate what's right or fair? Why can’t we affect our own change? As a business owner, it's my responsibility to provide all the people who work for me with a fair, livable wage that’s not determined by their sex, religious affiliation, age, hair color, etc.
Did you know that the median man makes $152 more per week than the median woman?
Equal pay for equal work – there’s no rocket science, no magic tricks. It’s simply doing what’s fair. Women in the workforce have proven time and again that they’re able to work just as hard and they have a desire to succeed just as strong as men. So why make them work harder to get a raise or the promotion?
Close the gap
We all have to take a stand for equality in the workforce. Jobs, pay, promotions – women deserve to have the same opportunities to succeed.
Closing the gap between women and men has long been a challenge. But as our society changes and our view of gender roles shift, businesses must also update the way they dole out their paychecks. It’s simple, and it’s something that we all should be demanding from our employers.