It is mind boggling to me that today, in 2017, that men and women are not paid equally for the same job.  Although we have a sexist in the White House, it is important for all of us to make sure that everyone is paid equally.  There is no doubt that everyone comes to the table with a different set of experiences and expertise and one should be paid for that but it should be in line with your peers.

I have heard countless stories from women where they have found out that the man reporting to them is making more than them.  That a man who has less experience than a woman is at a higher salary and a higher level job.  That a woman feels that they have to sneak out the backdoor to see their kid play a soccer game but a man brags about going to their kids soccer game during the work week.  It is up to all of us to create a level playing field, period.

In my first job, I got an offer and a salary and just said thanks while doing the silent happy dance on the other end of the phone.  Fast forward, I found out that everyone in my training program was being paid a range of salaries and the reality was that I had more experience in that field than anyone in the room when I walked in the door.  I should have been making the top of the range and I wasn’t.

Fast forward several years, I took a job with a company and six months later I found out I was pregnant.  I had made a major impact there and said I would return under the conditions of renegotiating my entire salary.  I returned and was rewarded what I deserved.

I look at the female founders who are funded mostly at lower valuations, with less capital and give up more equity although the data still points to that the ROI on companies that have women at the helm is higher.  

People should be paid for what they are worth, their companies should be valued based on what they are worth and women should expect to be paid the same amount that their male counterparts are who have the same experiences.   Ask for what you deserve and if you don’t get it then you won’t be happy being there.  At this point of the game, it is utterly ridiculous that women are still fighting for equal pay.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Pranay Srinivasan

    it would be interesting to see how a woman CEO sets comp across a 30 person company as opposed to a male CEO .At SE we try and set comp by the designation – and ignore the gender.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It certainly would be

  2. awaldstein

    Of course I agree with this.Nothing changes except by intentionally making it so and the change here amongst the startup world is less I think about the pay piece than doing the work to create a more gender balanced company as possible.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Gender balance should equal equal pay

      1. awaldstein

        That is the focus point.It would be interesting to hold a panel with a number of top recruiters, men and women, and talk about this.It is the recruiters that create the candidate pipeline and they have a lot of influence by filling the pipeline with great and balanced choices.

        1. Gotham Gal

          It would be really interesting

    2. JLM

      .Pretty difficult not to conclude that startup up world — founders and funders — is not dominated by men.I’m not talking about all the “good feelings” folks prattle on about. I am talking about looking at pictures of companies’ senior management and venture capital companies’ partners. Count the women before listening to the prattle.The pictures are the reality while their utterances are meaningless.The report card is out as to whether gender diversity is a good business practice. I think it is and hired top notch women for my entire business career. Some would say I favored women, which was true in certain companies.The real objective is not the finish line, but the starting line. Give everyone the same chance to succeed at the starting line and let performance determine everyone’s place at the finish line (and pay window).Pay should be equal and it should be impacted by performance. This is particularly true when pay is based on the attainment of specific measurable objectives. This is why everyone should want to work for a “good” company which has a clear vision of where they’re going.I am particularly supportive of women run organizations which have a focus on hiring women. When the market doesn’t treat you fairly, re-make the market.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. LE

    In one particularly egregious case, a professional woman that I helped negotiate a new salary was being underpaid by $70k per year ($160k-$90k) for a part time position. It was justified by the fact that it was less valuable than a full time job by, amazingly, that ratio. So in other words full time would have been $320k per year. Hard to believe but true.One particular problem appears to be that the women (at least the ones that I have helped with salary) appear to be less likely to want to take the risk of the negotiation failing. So that fear of rejection holds them back considerably is my feeling. Which is unfortunate. Plus the person they are dealing with is more skilled by virtue of the fact that they do this many times as part of their job and more or less know the moves to manipulate the intended outcome (which is of course the game).

  4. Guest

    How many times does this lie need to be debunked? The gender pay gap is an out and out lie. It was ‘calculated’ by taking all income earned by males and dividing it by the number of working males and doing the same for females and then taking the ratio (female/male), which leads to the 77/78 cents canard. It does not adjust for the types of work people do, qualifications, revenue generated, or hours worked. If there were a true wage gap, companies would have two sets of contracts for every position: one for male employees (that pays $ X dollars/annum) and another for female employees (that pays $ 0.77X dollars/annum). If companies did this, they’d have big problems with attorneys and the EEOC. My previous employer had a good 3-5 men and 3-5 women is very similar roles. I guarantee you the average female salary in that group was a lot higher than 77% of the average male salary in that group. If I had to guess, the average female salary for the group would have a been a little higher than for males, since the highest ranking member was a female who did her job well and was given some additional admin duties (and presumably a pay raise as well). This is utter BS! In order the validate your claim of a gender wage gap, you need to show separate contracts for men and women at the same company performing (essentially) identical roles and who have (essentially) identical qualifications. These contracts then need to show that the company pays women 77% what it pays men for, in essence, the same exact role. Good luck!

    1. Guest

      FYI, if the claim was ‘the average female worker in the US earns less than the average male worker in the US,’ that would be correct. However, that does not mean there is a gender wage gap by which women are systematically compensated less (for the same exact job/work/output/qualifications) just for being female.

  5. JLM

    .Pres Trump, accurately described as a misogynist, being on the wrong side of the pay equality issue is a tough sell as he is one of the few big time developers who has employed women as project managers on big, world class projects. He has a solid track record on this point including his bringing his daughter, Ivanka, into his administration.As to the issue of equal pay — it is the law and, yet, it is not being enforced as such. It is the freakin’ law and it should be dealt with like any other workplace law.Pragmatically, everyone is responsible for managing their own careers. It is part of being an adult and any expectation of a benign or supportive organization which exercises the initiative to manage anyone’s career is pure nonsense. In life, you don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.Anyone who questions the equality of their compensation should be willing to negotiate a better deal based on solid facts.In 33 years of business, I always used to tell people I would pay “125% of market.” When someone came to me, I would ask, “What’s the market?” I truthfully never had a real argument with anyone. I would often think market was higher than they did. As an employer, you do get exactly what you pay for and nothing more.In all that time, the number of women who came asking for a raise was much less proportionately than men. Part of that is self-imposed. I did review everyone’s comp on an annual basis even during bad times when I might not be able to provide an increase. I never reduced anyone’s pay even when markets went to Hell.Everyone should know how to ask for a raise and how to make it stick.Here is a blog post which has a PDF attached which outlines how a person should ask for and get a raise.http://themusingsofthebigre…I promise you it works.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. pointsnfigures

    https://www.chicagobooth.ed… I’d encourage anyone interested in this topic with an open mind to really delve into Economist Marianne Bertrand’s research.

  7. Jeff Jones

    I love what Marc Benioff and Salesforce are doing to promote equality for all. They reviewed and increased all salaries for women at the company where there was a gender based gap.

    1. Gotham Gal

      me too!

      1. Twain Twain

        The problems go deeper than this.The data and the algorithms are biased against women’s career opportunities in the first place:* https://www.fastcompany.com…* http://fortune.com/2017/04/…There’s a whole bunch of vicious cycle problems that arise from not enough women being programmers and, importantly, having budget sign-off on how data & AI systems evolve towards bias-free mechanisms for everyone.Unless diversity and equal pay are ENCODED into data structures and algos, the “dent in the Universe” is simply not going to be made.