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Pay Gap Worsens for Women at the Top

Pay Gap Worsens for Women at the Top

I just read an article titled, “Wage Gap is Worse for Women at the Top,” by Vivia Chen on the The Careerist. Since it requires a subscription, I will try to give you some of the highlights of the studies that she includes in her article. In summary, a new study by PayScale found that “the pay gap widens as you climb the corporate ladder, that men get promoted faster than women, and that women report more negative feelings about job satisfaction, job stress, and communication with their employers.” Lydia Frank, who works with Payscale, addressed the findings in an article for Harvard Business Review and discussed four of the most sticking findings:

  • The gender gap widens as women advance in their careers. This range widens from 2.2% for Individual Contributors to 6.1% for Executives.
  • Leadership training helps women increase earnings, but the same training has shown to help men more.
  • Women need professional advocates. Males with role models see greater salary benefits than women with role models. We also need mentors.
  • Working mothers are making less than working fathers.

Frank recommends that companies take proactive steps to correct gender inequity within their companies. She suggests they review compensation packages for employees and make adjustments to cure the gap.  She also advocates for a more transparent approach to discussing pay with employees – which will go a long way in addressing the lack of trust women feel in the workplace.

Why do I keep coming back to these statistics?

I think there are many women in all levels of positions of power that don’t seem to be moved to action at all. Particularly some women at the top of the legal profession seem indifferent to the overall problems that many women in the field are facing. They may feel that they have succeeded why can’t you? They may feel a lack of responsibility to pay it back through helping other women in the field. The portion of Frank’s piece that most irks me is that even when women have mentors they aren’t advocating for them for equal or higher pay.  When are women going to get the memo that if more women succeed it doesn’t diminish the opportunities for continued success for one of us but enhances us all. Men understand the team approach and pulling each other up, if it has worked for them, can’t the same be true for women in the field?

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