Chicks Deserve to Earn What We're Worth

I don't get worked up that often about gender issues. I like to think I've got a pretty pragmatic approach to the issues in the workplace.

My thinking goes like this...there's historically been more men in the workplace, the culture has evolved to be like the men that dominate the numbers, and this means there are subtleties and nuances to how work works that aren't intuitive for Career Chicks. The solution is if you can learn about the differences to bridge the gap you significantly improve your chances of career success ...when you're work can be judged on it's own merit. That's it!

But when I read today in the Sydney Morning Herald an article, by an economist, about the changes to tax rates for the start of the financial year, I was not amused. Why? The interest creating remark to lead into the article (I get the need for an interest creating angle, it was an article about tax!) started with "Forgive me: I'm tickled by the latest joke: the good thing about having a woman as prime minister is we don't have to pay her as much". He goes on to say this won't actually happen. So it's not true, and it's not funny.

In Australia the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) reported as recently as 2008 that in ASX 200 companies female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) earn only two-thirds the salary of their male counterparts. Take one step down and the female Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Operating Officers (COOs) earn, on average, half of their male equivalents’ salary. Even those women who have made it to the top don’t earn as much as the men.

Across their census of all Top Earner positions, the EOWA study found that women’s overall median pay was 58% of the overall median pay for men. It gets worse. In Human Resources, where women in senior positions are more common than in some other fields, the pay gap is still 43%. And these results are for women classified as top earners!

For Career Chicks who aren’t in the top-earner category, it’s no better. The gap between men and women’s average weekly earnings was 35% for all employees earnings and 21% for full-time employees in Australia in 2009.

A laughing matter? I think not.

It's the end of the financial year in Australia. And the end of June everywhere else. A good time to make a New Financial Year or New Month Resolution to make sure you develop the skills to negotiate to Earn What You're Worth..

Check out next weekend's blog for some Career Chick Hot Tips (from my book "Hot Tips for Career Chicks") for the Top 5 tips from the chapter, Earn What You're Worth.

Then when you've negotiated the money you deserve, that will give you something to smile about.

Happy New Financial Year!

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