Back in March of 2014, we here at Optimum RTS posted one of our famous Questions for Friday as we do every Friday and it churned up mixed feelings and reactions… As we suspected it would. The question read as follows, “Have you ever seen or been the victim of unequal pay for a woman doing the same job as a man?”
It is my sincere hope that our readers have not been affected by this type of unfair treatment; but I am not here to write a biased article, or even judge why something such as this occurs. I’m here to simply say, it’s factual. Women are paid less than men for doing the same exact job. Maybe not everywhere, and I as a woman can say that I have never felt I was a victim of unequal pay, but it is still a present issue in our society and it’s occurring on a daily basis all around America.
Taken directly from the White House’s website, the government informs us that, “On average, full-time working women earn just seventy seven cents for every dollar a man earns… President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.”
Ensuingly, I would ask that, if the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 and yet there are still men and women being compensated at an unequal rate across the country why are there not more supporters for the Paycheck Fairness Act? Nevertheless, I made a promise that I wasn’t here to judge on questions such as these…
Another issue in company with that of unequal pay for women is that of women also being kept out of higher ranked positions. This is a topic that I will have to stay very clear on. Now I know that there are women CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, there are women on the Cabinet of the United States, there are even women Presidents in other countries – however, as Liyan Chen points out in her article “Not Just Google And Facebook: America’s Boardrooms Are Still Woefully Bereft Of Women,” “On average, US company board composition is nearly 90% men.”
I hope this information shocks you readers as much as it has shocked me. I hope it shocks you not so that we will fall angry or overwhelmed, not so that we will argue about whether these issues are indeed present in society or not or of why, but so that we may do something to make a change. So, what would I suggest, then?
My first (and hopefully obvious) suggestion for men and women alike, would be, do not stand for it. Speak up. Develop within yourself the courage to ask for not only what you want, but what you deserve – but do it with professionalism and tactfulness. Make strategic decisions regarding your place of employment, and know that you can always pick up and move on. We are not trees, as someone once said. We do not grow in one place but in many, and sometimes we need to move away from unhealthy and toxic companies to better ourselves and our lives.
In addition, become knowledgeable in not only your field, but politics and human resources and any other information you deem necessary to make sure you’re getting out of life everything you can. Remember always that knowledge, in certain circumstances, is power. Never underestimate what positive thinking can do for you and those around you, and be courageous in all things. Courage is what drives us to take risks, and without risks there is no reward.
Paycheck Fairness would be a reward for many. It would be a reward for those who have not stood up, not spoke up. It would be a reward for our society as a whole. “When women earn less than their fair share, that loss not only harms women, but also weakens families, communities, and our entire economy.”