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BY Fairygodboss

In Denial about Your Salary?

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 / Foter / CC BY-SA

TAGS: Equality, Pay gap, Wage gap, Negotiating, Career advice

This week, the White House unveiled a new website where people can research tuition costs and post-graduation employment rates at colleges across America. One goal of this initiative is to help students make financially informed decisions about taking loans to pay for their education.

One surprising -- and depressing -- finding was that female graduates made less than male graduates from the same schools.

Specifically, 10 years after graduating, alumnae made less than their male counterparts at virtually every university in the government's database. However, the worst pay discrepancies were at the country's most prestigious universities.

The New York Times reported that the biggest pay gap was $58,1000 for MIT female graduates. However, the picture is just as bleak at the Ivy League universities, where Fortune reported the following pay gaps:

- Harvard University - $54,600

- UPenn - $49,000

- Princeton - $47,700

- Yale - $34,600

- Columbia - $33,700

- Dartmouth - $29,500

- Cornell - $26,700

- Brown - $18,800

The million dollar question is, of course, why?

Experts suggest that equal pay is a complex topic to dissect since it involves people making choices that may account for a large portion of this difference. Certainly choosing to work in a specific industry or in a particular job will be the largest factor in determining your salary. And of course, personal choices will have an impact, e.g. if you take time out of the workforce to care for your family.

That said, many experts say the research shows that there remains a stubborn pay gap that exists even after all these factors are accounted and controlled for.  There are certain assumptions employers make about the choices women may make or priorities they have (whether or not they make them or actually have them) that play a role in creating biases that ultimately reduce working womens' salaries and opportunities for advancement.

Many women we speak to feel certain that they are paid equally for equal work. We have no particular reason to think they aren't correct, and certainly nobody likes to think they are being treated unfairly.

On the other hand, optimism shouldn't be incompatible with a healthy skepticism about being paid your fair worth. That's where salary transparency and data releases like these come in. They're a sharp reminder that we can't always take money matters for granted.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

Related Community Discussions

  • I recently got engaged, will be married October 2017. My fiance and I want to start a family right away. My job does not have paid maternity leave. Would it be premature for me to advocate for paid leave? My initial thought process was to figure this out as soon as possible. Maybe I should start looking for another job; researching other companies I noticed that most (all the one's that I saw) require employees to have been employed for a year before being offered paid maternity leave.

    If I could have my way I would stay where I am at and get paid leave.

    I have a positive relationship with my boss and can talk about this with him, however; he isn't the one who ultimately makes this decision, corporate does.

  • My friend just told me (she was trying to be nice) that I'm limiting my career potential because I don't wear makeup to work. Do you think she's right? Do I need to wear makeup to be "professional?"

  • All women should read the amazing negotiation advice in the book, "Women in Tech: Take your Career to the Next Level" by Tarah Wheeler. I applied the advice in a recent negotiation round and got a 15% bump in salary!

    Anybody have good advice for how to request a raise that's worked?

    Great article here: "http://www.geekwire.com/2016/book-excerpt-4-negotiating-tactics/"

  • I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management (MBA in Finace and Marketing), process improvement (Six Sigma), project management and research. I have been ranked number 3 in quality performance and recognized by a CEO for my innovativeness. I have taken serval (3) years off from the corporate environment to take care a relative that has significant chronic medical issues. I am ready to go back to work, but I have contraint. I want to be available - so I do not want to travel more than 20%. I do not want to work extreme hours - I want a balanced life. I am trying to relocate to the Raleigh/Durham area in North Carolina, so that I can oversee my relative's care, but I realize that this may not be possible.

    Watching this health crisis unfold has taught me that I do not need to make 6 figures. I want work that makes a difference and pays well. I am not a spring chicken (59 years olds). I documents that show the quality of my work.

    Where do I find a company that will provide the mental stimulation and flexibility. I like to think, solve hard problem and significantly change companies in positive way. I like the think tank environment.

    How do I search for and find a good fit?

  • Hi Fairygodbosses! I am writing here on behalf of my mom because I love and want the best for her. She has been working at a non-profit for the last 9 years and has become miserable at work. She wants a career change but doesn't know what she wants to do or how to get there. She is only now making the salary she should be making at 58 years old and I think that holds her back from taking a chance and leaving her company. Do any fairy godbosses here have some advice or resources for a middle-aged woman looking for a career change (and feels like a life change)? How can my mom build her confidence and self-worth to go after what truly makes her happy (or at least start trying to figure it out?) Appreciate any of your thoughts.

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In Denial about Your Salary?

In Denial about Your Salary?

This week, the White House unveiled a new website where people can research tuition costs and post-graduation employment rates at colleges across America...

This week, the White House unveiled a new website where people can research tuition costs and post-graduation employment rates at colleges across America. One goal of this initiative is to help students make financially informed decisions about taking loans to pay for their education.

One surprising -- and depressing -- finding was that female graduates made less than male graduates from the same schools.

Specifically, 10 years after graduating, alumnae made less than their male counterparts at virtually every university in the government's database. However, the worst pay discrepancies were at the country's most prestigious universities.

The New York Times reported that the biggest pay gap was $58,1000 for MIT female graduates. However, the picture is just as bleak at the Ivy League universities, where Fortune reported the following pay gaps:

- Harvard University - $54,600

- UPenn - $49,000

- Princeton - $47,700

- Yale - $34,600

- Columbia - $33,700

- Dartmouth - $29,500

- Cornell - $26,700

- Brown - $18,800

The million dollar question is, of course, why?

Experts suggest that equal pay is a complex topic to dissect since it involves people making choices that may account for a large portion of this difference. Certainly choosing to work in a specific industry or in a particular job will be the largest factor in determining your salary. And of course, personal choices will have an impact, e.g. if you take time out of the workforce to care for your family.

That said, many experts say the research shows that there remains a stubborn pay gap that exists even after all these factors are accounted and controlled for.  There are certain assumptions employers make about the choices women may make or priorities they have (whether or not they make them or actually have them) that play a role in creating biases that ultimately reduce working womens' salaries and opportunities for advancement.

Many women we speak to feel certain that they are paid equally for equal work. We have no particular reason to think they aren't correct, and certainly nobody likes to think they are being treated unfairly.

On the other hand, optimism shouldn't be incompatible with a healthy skepticism about being paid your fair worth. That's where salary transparency and data releases like these come in. They're a sharp reminder that we can't always take money matters for granted.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
 

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