Women really do make less money than men. At least that’s what shows up on the 2017 wages and salary report based on gender and occupation published by the United States Census Bureau.
According to the American Community Survey, 2017 women earn 81 cents on the dollar compared to men. If you find that hard to believe, you’re not alone. Four out of ten people think the gender wage gap isn’t real but something made up by media.
I took a job working for a small business owner, it surprised me that while we were in the process of hiring someone, he decided to pay a man more than me for a job that required less skill or experience than I had.
Was it insulting? Yes, Did I think it had to do with gender. Admittedly, the thought crossed my mind. I shared my story with a colleague who worked at a different company. He had been through something similar, only in his experience, a new hire made more than he did. The only difference between our stories was that the person who was hired was a male, and so was my friend.
It’s really hard to know, but when you look at media and news reports and hear horror stories from women about men who made more than they did for what seemed to be the same job, it’s hard to know if there is really a wage gap. Who is to know the truth?
As a teacher, everyone was hired at the same pay rate. You didn’t have to negotiate your salary. What a person could make was posted right on the district’s website.
If a teacher went back to school and earned a master’s degree or taught an extra class or sport, there was a stipend. Gender had nothing to do with how much money you made. I felt pretty confident that my male colleagues were treated the same, and when it came to talking about what you made each year, there was no need for secrecy.
I know for other jobs, particularly government ones, what you will make depends on certain factors: experience and sometimes, education. Even though most people don’t like having the government get involved in certain areas of their lives, I found the model refreshing when it came to what you made and the benefits an employee would receive.