When I’m out and about networking, speaking, and training, I’m often talking about negotiating away the pay gap. Though men question its existence, women rarely do.
That the gap exists for reasons unrelated to the distractions of family life that fall primarily on women is not subject to serious dispute as demonstrated by the Sunday’s New York Times article, The Myth of Male Decline.
Nevertheless, a substantial majority of the women with whom I speak tell me that their career is not now and never has been affected by this indisputable gap.
The push back against women’s personal pay gap was brought home to me again last week when a law school professor – in response to my presentation concerning the gap – informed her class that she had never experienced it.
That’s the origin of this post.
My conviction about the importance of addressing this issue passionately and often was increased when I read just yesterday that “the median wages of female managers are just 73 percent of what male managers earn.” The gap for women lawyers is even worse. Law.com recently reported that women law partners lag substantially behind their male colleagues, making a full 46% less than their male counterparts.
And yet we continue to deny it. Why?
There are several reasons we women don’t believe the wage, income and leadership gaps affect our own careers.
First, and perhaps foremost, we tend to compare our income and status to that of our women friends. If we’re successful professionals, executives or managers, we feel an embarrassment of riches, even though the wage gap is often greater among the highest earning women than it is among the lowest.
by Victoria Pynchon