Hello, we were not really going to post today, but we thought this was worth examining.
Here is an excerpt from Mr. Obama’s speech the other night. We think it fits nicely into the SK theme:
You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.
Women deserve equal pay for equal work. (Cheers, applause.)
You know, she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. (Cheers, applause.) A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. (Applause.) And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) This year let’s all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds. (Cheers, applause.)
About three decades ago, when my pub was about 5 years into her journalism career, she received a decent promotion, which of course had nothing to do with her inability to tell the difference between affect and effect. (People who do know can make all kinds of big money as a copy editor.)
She and another coworker (male) were named to the new editorship the same day. They worked well together, often collaborating and helping each other out and all that good stuff you do when you’re climbing the ladder of success. In fact, she often worked more than he did, picking up much of his slack as he had a side job coaching a high school boys baseball team. But it will all even out, she thought.
Then one day coach and she were discussing upcoming publications when the talk of salary found its way into the conversation. He said something like, “I can’t believe we only get $X for all the work we do.”
She was somewhat speechless. Coach got $X?? That was interesting. She got $X-$5K for the same work.
What followed were those sleepless nights where you wake up with the blankets on the floor. This was not fair, she knew that. But how do you fix it?” Hadn’t Gloria Steinem taken care of all this?
She decided to mention it casually to the managing editor, also a man, who was heavily into taking weeks off to go fly fishing.
He smiled, nodded, listened, etc. She had no idea where this was going but tried to explain the salary differential as calmly and professional and (definitely not girlie, she did a lot of reading on this: NO TEARS! DO NOT CRY NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!!) as best she could. She thanked him for his time and went back to work.
Within a week the ME called her in and invited her to sit down. He took out a floppy disk (remember those?) and put it in his MacIntosh. Eventually the puke-green screen showed a salary increase for my pub that HR “generously” approved. There it was in flashing green on green, she would make the same after all as the often absent coach.
But what about back salary? Was this retroactive? It should have been? Sadly, she was too scared to ask, fearing it would lead to interoffice conflict, and she would be viewed as a trouble maker, jeopardizing further advancement. She thanked the ME. Both looked much relieved and that’s pretty much the end of this story.
Had she had this conversation with the ME today, retroactive pay would have been top priority and she’d be cruising around in a nicer car.
But isn’t it awful that in 2014 women still lag behind men on the pay scale? Actually, we should never had to play catch up to begin with. So, let’s see where Obama’s vision leads and hope that no woman has to lose sleep to get what is right,