The article concerns the question – Why are women still paid less than men today? Many will dispute the fact, but the cold, hard reality is women are still paid less than men today. Sure, women on the line in a manufacturing company may make the same hourly rate as the men on the line, but for most other women, especially in management, their wages are still inferior to the men working in the same company.
And as shocking and unfair as this fact sounds, the reasons for it are even more disgusting. Technically and morally, there are no legitimate reasons to treat women any different, but in reality regardless of job equity, the majority of women are not paid the same as men. Further, not only does pay pertain to salaries, but also the benefits and perks of a job.
Invariably, men will receive memberships at the Country Club so that they can golf regularly, but women generally do not receive these types of advantages. And then, there are the monetary bonuses which are supposed to be based on productivity and hard numbers, but you would be surprised at the number of companies that award considerably less to women.
So let’s take a look at some of the reasons that prevent women from earning as much as men.
Contracts are private
For upper level positions that require a contract between the employer and the manager or executive, the document usually spells out what is expected of the employee in return for salary, bonuses and benefits. But because no-one is supposed to know about the next guy’s contract, it is easy for companies to pay women less because they do not know what the man is making.
Businesses bank on women keeping quiet
While paying men more than women for equal work is illegal, it has to first be caught. And this is very difficult to prove because when a woman enters into a management position, she is not about to rock the boat and report the company to any government body.
She needs to keep her position, both for the money she does earn, and because if she complains and reports the company, she will undoubtedly end up the victim of “blacklisting”. Even in a worse case scenario where the company gambles on the woman keeping quiet, if she does go to a lawyer, the suit is still less of a risk, than paying her properly. Typically, a women who has something, and has reached a particular level, will not risk losing that position and her credibility.
Women are cajoled into the corporate culture
For the same reason that women are team players and foundation builders, it is easy to take advantage in the name of the company. By telling women that sales are poor this year or they have to make concessions because it is for the financial health of the company, many women will accept a lower pay than men. This is not to say that the women are gullible or weak, it is just they aim to please and try to do what is best for everyone else.
The bottom line is many companies pay women less just because they are women. Women are still seen as long-term liabilities. They might leave the company in the lurch by going on maternity leave; they might decide to stay at home and look after elderly parents; or they might have some hair-brained scheme to start their own business. No matter how you look at the situation, it is still common to hear upper male management talk about women with negative undertones. All of this leads to paying women less because they are not worth the investment.
Men are the bread winners
This thought was prevalent at a time when women stayed home and men went out to work. But the fact is many people still believe that it is the man’s right to work and be paid accordingly, and that women are only taking the places that are rightfully due their male counterparts.
Unfortunately, these are only a few of the reasons that women still make less today than men. And the saddest part about this is that it does not seem to be changing or even moving in a direction of improvement.