Pay Gap Fridays

My last blog post was meant to inspire.  To inspire you that earning the down payment for a home is within your grasp.  You’re already doing the work.  Collecting an actual paycheck for the additional amount is within your grasp.     It means a change for you.  Your change is to begin to negotiate.  Your change is to negotiate your starting salaries and raises.

Well inspiration is not the best of motivators for change.  A much more powerful one is pain.  Think of it as “hitting the bottom”.  You may have heard of this term in reference to addicts giving up their drug of choice whether alcohol, cocaine, gambling, shopping, hoarding, or as in my case chocolate.  I know I could wear size 6 again if I would give up chocolate.  Yet, not being a size 6 is not painful enough for me to make such a frightful change.  So, I joined a gym; I work out with a trainer once a week; I eat more fruits and vegetables; and I count calories.  Of course I don’t do all these things consistently.  I lose ten pounds and then I gain 8 pounds, I lose 8 pounds and then I gave 12 pounds.  I’m healthier than I was.  I have more muscle tone, am more flexible, have better balance, and have lower cholesterol. Still not wearing size 6 but the goal remains.   Someday, I may hit bottom and give up chocolate but for now I will be like every other addict and be in denial that my addiction affects my in a bad way (too much weight).

Now, I will attempt to distill enough pain to you, my lovely readers, that you will need to make a change and start negotiating your own salary.  Here it is:

Since women in the US earn 23% less than men, women who work the classic 40-hour Monday-to-Friday workweek are working on FRIDAYS for FREE!

Yup, every Friday morning when you wake up, shower, dress, and drive to work (spending $3.70+ per gallon of gas) you are actually losing money.  The company stopped paying you near the end of Thursday for the week.  To be specific, it was at 3:48 PM.  You worked an hour and 12 minutes on Thursday and all day Friday and were not compensated at the same rate as your male colleagues.   By same rate, I mean the men were compensated and the women were not.

Yes, I know everyone is different and every situation is different.  The comments above are about the typical.  You should assume you are the typical workingwoman until you know for certain that you are earning what the men at your company are earning.  Until that time, consider yourself working for free on Fridays.  Yes, you had a “Buy 4 Get 1 Free Sale” and you didn’t even know it.

This Friday when you get up, shower, dress, and drive to work think of it as an unwilling gift you gave to your boss, your company, your owner, and your shareholders.  Heck, feel free to post a little gift card on the notice board in the lunchroom or wear a bow.  Next Friday when you get up, shower, dress, and drive to work think again of the worth of the work you will do that day and that you are not seeing penny one for the work.  Three Fridays from now when you get up, shower, dress, and drive to work think again of how you have not wanted to rock the boat and talk salary with your boss. Maybe, just maybe, by the third Pay Gap Friday of your life you might be angry enough and pained enough to be ready to start discussing and then negotiating your salary with your boss.   It may take weeks, months, or years of Pay Gap Fridays before you are ready to negotiate.  Don’t worry you will get there and when you do hold on to the pain and anger you feel.  It will help you through your first negotiation.

@ Copyright 2011, Katie Donovan. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited