Gender (In)equality in the Workplace

It is by sheer coincidence that I am writing this blog post on August 26, which is Women’s Equality Day.  Some might ask why there is a need for Women’s Equality Day.  After all, it seems that women these days have it all, right?

First, let’s examine the gender pay gap.  As of 2014, women, on average, earned just 79 cents for every dollar earned by men.  The numbers are even more disparaging for women of color.  African American women earned just 63 cents for every dollar earned by white men.  Hispanic/Latino women earned just 54 cents for every dollar earned by white men. This, folks, is unacceptable.

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Perhaps you believe that your industry pays men and women equally?  Please check out the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 2015 median weekly earnings by occupation and sex.

Next, let’s examine differences in salary offers during the hiring process.  Hired.com recently examined its extensive salary data set to find gender differences.  The results show that companies offer women a 3% lower salary than men, with some companies offering a whopping 30% lower salary.  The hired.com article goes on to show that part of the gender wage gap results from women setting their salary expectations far too low.  On average, women set their hired.com salary expectation at $14k lower than men.

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Some studies have found that women who attempt to negotiate their starting salaries are penalized.  Check out the 2005 Harvard University results of four experiments on gender differences in salary negotiations.

Then, there are the issues that nobody likes to talk about, such as sexual harassment in the workplace.  According to a recent survey of women with ten plus years of industry experience , 60% of the women surveyed have experienced unwanted sexual harassment in the workplace.  60% of the women who reported the harassment to HR were dissatisfied with the company’s course of action.  Here are some of their stories.

It is not difficult to find instances of women being marginalized, intimidated, and threatened on social media.  Check out Twitter #takebackthetech to read our stories, and to find out to become an ally.

Have a happy Women’s Equality Day!

 

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