The average pay for women is 80 cents for every dollar that a man receives. And it’s drastically worse for women of color at 63 cents to the dollar. The wage gap exists and it’s time we started talking more about it.
The Wage Gap is More Like a Wage Chasm
“Hello, hello, hello… Is anybody in there, there, there…” In a world of severe workplace inequality, you might wonder if anyone is listening. And, the truth is, they’re probably not.
While the gap lessened over the last 50 years, it has done so at a snail’s pace. The World Economic Forum has estimated that, at this rate, it will take 217 years to close. Not only that, but it has also started to widen for younger women at the start of their careers. One way to challenge this decline is to know your worth and ask for it.
The Losses are Huge
According to the Center for American Progress, over a 40-year career, the average lifetime earning losses for women today total $430,480. These losses are far greater for women of color: Latinas lose a total of $1,007,080 and African American women lose $877,480 over a 40-year career. Think about that for a second, that’s one million dollars. Learn how to negotiate.
Women Aren’t Supposed to Talk (About it)
Women are supposed to stay quiet, accept the “norm” and sweep all discrepancies under the rug on their way to the kitchen.
When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told a crowd of women that they shouldn’t ask for raise and instead wait patiently for their hard work to get noticed, he cemented a stereotype that has haunted women for years. One that needs to be challenged with cold, hard facts. Speak up as loudly as you can.
Some People Actually Believe that the Wage Gap Doesn’t Exist
Can anyone say #ClimateDenial? The irony there is that you’d have to be living under a rock not to realize that climate change is very real.
1 in 3 Americans does not believe that a wage gap exists. Gender inequality is a complicated web involving unchallenged social norms, sexual harassment, body shaming, power dynamics, and so many more factors. This makes the wage gap conversation not only terrifying for many women to approach but also complicated enough for people not to want to challenge it.
Information is Key
Staying informed and learning how to properly negotiate your salary. If you’re currently experiencing workplace discrimination in any way, please report it to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.