On Being Worth Less

Hello.  Glad to see you.  Let’s talk numbers today! 

It is 2018.

58 years after the Equal Pay Law became effective. 

I make ten thousand dollars less per year than my male counterpart.  

We were hired for our current equivalent positions within two months of each other.

Interesting, no?

So I watched the conclusion and precedent of Rizo v. Yovino with hope in my heart:

We conclude, unhesitatingly, that “any other factor other than sex’ is limited to legitimate, job-related factors such as a prospective employee’s experience, educational background, ability, or prior job performance. It is inconceivable that Congress, in an Act the primary purpose of which was to eliminate long-existing “endemic’ sex-based wage disparities, would create an exception for basing new hires’ salaries on these very disparities — disparities that Congress declared are not only related to sex but caused by sex. To accept the County’s argument would be to perpetuate rather than eliminate the pervasive discrimination at which the Act was aimed.

Gorgeous.

I feel it’s important to drive home that this personally affects me in a negative way.  It’s not hypothetical,  an “average,” or comparing “apples to oranges” as though women voluntarily choose lower-paying positions.  This is specific, $385 per check specific.  These are exactly equivalent positions in a structure meant to provide pay equity.  This is my reality.

I spoke to someone at work whose opinion I deeply respect.  Her advice?  Find a way to let it go.  You will get a reputation for being a troublemaker, and that will block you from future advancement.  Essentially:  this is how it is, kid.

I was angry.  My time and efforts were worth less by a clear, measurable factor.  If I pressed the issue, was there any guarantee I would be placed at an equivalent pay rate?  Was it worth that much, with the potential to sabotage my reputation and block a future promotion?

Oh my strong and beautiful heroines, look at how we have to think about this.  Why must I even ask these questions?  How warped is it that asking for equal pay for equal work labels you a troublemaker?

Are you angry?

I make ten thousand dollars less per year than my male counterpart.  

58 years after the Equal Pay Law became effective. 

It is 2018.

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