The research on the gender pay gap released today shows working women earning $27K less than men and, as women climb the corporate ladder, the pay gap can be as wide as $100K.
There has been a 1.6 percent improvement. I am not celebrating this or seeing it as a positive, I see it as leaders ignoring the issue. Companies may have polices in place but are they taking action, because if they were would we not see a higher improvement?
Those few companies that are proactive on this issue, let's hear from their leaders on the positive impact this is having on their organisation and workforce.
If you Google this issue you will find the same numbers, stats, articles, comments, research over the last four years. This is not just an issue in Australia, it's an issue globally.
Women are told to ask for what you want, lean in, understand your value and what you bring to the table, get better at negotiating, find an organisation that will pay you what you are worth.
Frankly, I am tired of hearing this. Here is the stark reality:
Women are getting better at asking for what they want, in fact, the next generation will perhaps nail this. It is the leaders who are not listening or taking action.
The fact that leaders have not collectively addressed this issue and worked collaboratively to make the changes tells me that they are not listening, that they do not understand the impact the pay gap has on women and that we have gone from a conscious boys club to an unconscious one.
I am often surprised by the number of women who do not understand this issue, they remain silent or they simplify the issue. This disrespects women, who are brave enough to voice an opinion. Women often are our own worst enemies on this issue.
So where do we go to next?
Targets and quotas do not address the pay gap and this issue is more important than targets and quotas as it addresses the financial independence of women that impacts their buying power, their investment capabilities and their retirement fund.
Would men work for $27,000 less than their female counterparts?
What would happen if 1 in 3 men retired on no superannuation?
What would happen if 40 percent of single men retired into poverty?
Would a bank tell a man that he is high risk for a loan because he is single?
Would men entering the work force today want to work four more years than women before they retire?
Would male graduates today be tolerant of the fact that their financial disadvantage starts now and will be with them at every single stage of their career?
I would suggest that the answer would be no to all the above, so why the hell should women accept this?
For those women out there who think this is not a problem, I urge you to do your research, talk to other women and understand the issue so you may add your voice to it.
Over the next few weeks, more and more will be written about this research, we will hear about it in conferences, yet the reality is that none of this has made a difference to date.
Maybe we need to take action that will create headlines. Do we work fewer hours until we get parity? Do we walk the streets with banners until we are heard? After all, we have burned bras before...