I want 100 cents too

In honor of MLK day I thought I would do a post on discrimination, although all discrimination should affect everyone, this one is closer to me. Women are still getting paid 78 cents to a male co-worker, yes, still in the year of 2009. I personally experienced this feeling. A few years back I went and asked for a raise and was told the company was not doing well and “NO” raises were being given to anyone. I paid the bills so yes, I knew the company was having money problems. Well I also did payroll and within 3 weeks I was giving 4 workers a raise…all male. Of course I could not let this go by so I went to HR and said “I was told no raises would be given yet I just gave 4, is it a coincidence that all the recipients had penises”. She had no comment and I was then told to talk to the CFO, he also had no good reason. I then called a lawyer and was told I had no grounds for discrimination since these 4 people were not in the same department as I was.

Well some effort is being made to maybe reach us to at least 80 cents on the dollar. Now Congress is trying to narrow the pay gap with two bills that are slated to come before Mr. Obama. The Paycheck Fairness Act would force employers to justify pay differences and penalties would be more strict for discrimination (I wonder what they are now, a little tap on the wrist). And before a woman only had 180 days to start a pay discrimination law suit but now they are trying to get that extended (Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act). Supporters say many women don’t know in that time frame that they are earning less. 

Let’s not forgot if a woman is paid less her Social Security payments will be lower along with her pension.  Just one more thing on your plate Barack, don’t forget you have 2 daughters!


5 Responses

  1. Lies Damn Lies and Statistics!

    Stats can go on and on, but averages hide the truth. Average pay for women includes all part-time and full-time workers, and some studies even include non-working women. If you compare a part-time working woman with a full time working man in terms of averages, of course the picture will be that women earn less. And also, when you compare men and women working in the same job, women often out-earn men! Don’t be fooled, and never take stats at face value.
    A study of the gender wage gap conducted by economist June O’ Neill, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that women earn 98 percent of what men do when controlled for experience, education, and number of years on the job.


  2. Just from personal experience, I have to challenge your stats. Why at many of my jobs I still hear that horrifying phrase “the boys club”…maybe I just pick the wrong employers. I hope you are right but still…why is it not 100%.

  3. Dave, who is Arrah Nielsen and why are you quoting him/her? And why are you quoting his/her statistics when you say they are all lies? What makes Arrah’s numbers right as opposed to other numbers?

    In “Women and Equality in the Workplace” (2003) Janet Z. Giele and Leslie F. Stebbins wrote that when women and men have the similar job titles, education, experience, and job training, women usually make less (page 310). (PS. Janet Z. Giele has a PhD from Harvard which makes her a credible source.)

    There is also the Glass Ceiling affect where women are denied promotions even though they qualify for them. Mary F. Fox and Sharlene N. Hesse-Biber wrote about the glass ceiling in in 1984 in “Women at Work,” who say it is an all too common occurrence, and yes it was written 25 years ago but I would not doubt that the glass ceiling does still exist.

    Maybe the 76% or whatever that US Census says is not telling the whole story but neither is Arrah Nielsen. Nielsen wrote “The 76-cent statistic is misleading because it is a raw comparison of all working men and women. Thus a female receptionist working 40-hour weeks is tossed in with the male orthopedic surgeon putting in 70-hour weeks.” What Nielsen should have looked into was how much one male secretary makes compared to a female, or one male surgeon to a female.

    If a wage gap does exist (which i do believe) it is there because of patriarchal nature of our society, thus my point is, proving wage gaps do or do not exist is not as simple as studies with fancy numbers and graphs but it requires a more serious study.

  4. I’m just of fan of that Mark Twain saying about the 3 kinds of lies.

    A lot of people misuse statistics, and this is probably a good example of that. When a women who is the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, says that the number is actually 98%, you have give it some credibility. Maybe the real number is in the middle of the two.

  5. Mark twain definitely got it right.

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