Why are women still paid less than men?

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Scream I am still grumbling about the statistic that I just read from 101 Facts on the Status of Workingwomen, published by the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation:

"In the year 2004, full-time workingwomen were paid only about 76 cents for every dollar paid to men.  The wage gap is even wider for women of color – African-American women are paid only 66 cents and Latinas only 54 cents for a dollar paid to a white man."

What?  54 cents?

And it gets worse …

"Since 1963, the wage gap has narrowed by only one-third of a penny per year.  At the current rate of change, the wage gap will not be eliminated until 2039."

I don’t know about you, but I think that is ludicrous.  Us women really need to get together and make this change happen faster.  We work too damn hard to not get equal pay for equal work.

Being my own boss is my answer to controlling my own financial destiny.  What other suggestions do you have?

5 Responses to “Why are women still paid less than men?”

  1. Lane says:

    I agree women don’t know how to negociate wages at all. if you speak 2 languages and they offer to pay you lets say $25 ask for $32 and if a person walks in and doesn’t know english and you can help don’t cuzz u ain’t getting payed. they can’t fired you for that either!!!

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  3. George Thompson says:

    I cannot believe we are actually still asking this question when everyone knows why women and minorities make less. White men make all the major decisions at almost every single company in America and most of them are sexist or racist in some way. That translates into less money for those people. Yes it’s immoral but companies are structured so that people aren’t supposed to know how much their coworkers or others make so that conflicts don’t arise. I don’t even know if that evidence would be admissible in court. Anyway, the problem is white male patriarchy system. It always has been, it still is and probably always will be. They’re insecure, selfish and greedy and want to keep it that way. I would even go so far as to call it evil.

  4. Thanks for your comment Tammy! I agree with you that a big part of the equation is that for a whole slew of reasons, many women have never learned how to negotiate salary discussions effectively. And I don’t think it is only true in corporate jobs, I have seen it with women entrepreneurs who have a very hard time charging what they are worth. I have experienced the same thing myself, so I don’t say it from a place of judgement. One of the ways we can remedy the situation is to begin talking about it with each other. I also have been helped by strong mentors who literally coached me through negotiations every step of the way (I was on the phone with them the minute before the conversation and the minute after). I think we need to shift from the mentality of “I need X dollars to be comfortable” to “I will charge what the market says are fair rates for the quality of work I produce and the skills and qualifications I have.” As a mentor once told me, if you are uncomfortable with having too much money, you can always choose to give it away!

  5. Tammy Lenski says:

    I love that you’re talking about this! You inspired me to do the same. While this is far from the whole answer to your question, I believe strongly that it’s a piece of the answer: Many women don’t bargain as effectively as they could during salary negotiations. Ouch! I can hear women cringing and snarling at my comment from here. My experience, both as a senior executive and business owner, bears this out. Like all generalizations it’s not true for everyone, of course.