Having been part of the workforce either part time or full for over 30 years it is interesting to note that being paid what you are worth as a woman is still a concept that has much traction to gain in business. The area of pay disparity between men and women has received a great deal of attention across all media.
Individuals in the entertainment industry are household names, and are associated with huge pay. Even here women do not necessarily command the same pay as men. There is always an exceptions to this where women are paid on par to their male counterparts. As for professional sports the landscape is largely dominated by men with relatively few areas for women to achieve the same professional standing and pay.
Media reports indicate that women in a cross section of industries including technology, manufacturing, and resource extraction are being paid less than their male counterparts. The great minds of women, the ones that come up with huge strides in technology, the environment, natural resource allocation, food production and distribution to name a few areas are often not the ones that necessarily the best paid for the work that they do.
The fix of legislation has not proven to be successful in having the pay scale between men and women equalized. Equalization in credentials and training has not solved the issue.
The fundamental question remains what is behind the valuation of men’s work as being deemed worthy of more dollars? It is a question that is not readily or easily answered. It also brings up questions as to what values are in place within business in general. Does business in general value authentic contribution from whom ever it comes from? Do men in business trust other men more? Does aggressive behaviour hold more sway in business than assertiveness? Where does the issue of integrity fit in the business decision to pay a man more than a woman for the same work?
Business is generally known as an area where good questions need to be given serious consideration. The questions posed here are ones that require thoughtful reflection and are a call to action for a level playing field in relation to equitable pay for women.
Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, email@example.com