If you are going to work, shouldn't you be paid what you're worth?

My philosophy about remuneration is simple. If you are going to work - you should be paid what you are worth.

That is not to say that women have to work in organisations and know how to negotiate for their salary and play the 'corporate game'. Many people (male and female) choose to work in a variety of ways to provide themselves with flexibility and different life options.

(Although even if you are working for yourself knowing your value and what you should charge is still important).

Nor do I think that the 'salary gap' between men and women that we all hear about is because the guys doing exactly the same job are being paid more than women.

A report just published in Australia by CommSec reported that the gender pay difference is the widest it has been for 28 years - with female wages at 82.5% of male wages.

There's no doubt the reasons are complex - Helen Conway, Director of the Australian Equal Opportunity in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) is reported as saying,

"While the causes of the gap are many and complex, she cited “feminised” industries such as child care and aged care as examples of industries women dominate and which often pay poor wages because women’s skills are undervalued by both society and employers. Many women also work part-time, which further depresses their wages. Even in large enterprises, however, women often receive lower wages than male counterparts.

A lack of education and training is another factor that keeps women’s wages low, often because women who return to the workforce after caring for children find themselves lagging in terms of professional development compared to men who enjoy unbroken careers. Fewer women tend to work in industries that offer discretionary pay or bonuses, another factor that contributes to lower earnings."

She's right about one thing. The reason for the pay gap are complex.

The issue for each of us is learning the skills to make sure that individually we are paid what we are worth.

Whether you are male or female, one of the best ways to do this is to learn the skills to negotiate and then apply these skills to the negotiations we have on our own behalf. I don't think it's necessarily about learning how to work in a man's world. (I know plenty of guys who are just as perplexed as Chicks about to negotiate to be paid what they're worth). I think it's about understanding the environment where you work, being skilled and applying those skills for yourself.

Be interested in your thoughts?

Thanks for the Chat

- Karen

P.S. You might be interested in this extract from the chapter of "Hot Tips for Career Chicks" on the subject of 'Earn What You're Worth'.

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