On Black Women’s Equal Pay “Transparency” Day – I’m Exhausted!

Let’s Be Honest Organizations Don’t Want to Pay Women Equally

I am so sick and tired of talking about equal pay, listening to the countless survey on the freakin fact that women are being paid less. Here are the fact’s ad nauseam…

Fact – Women are paid less than men…

Fact – Black women are paid even less…

Fact – Hispanic women are paid even less than that…

Fact – Native American women are at the bottom of the pay scale…

We don’t need any more proof that black women are being paid less – what I want are solid solutions.

So here is where we start. If you are in human resources you are the gateway to ending pay inequality. I am tired of giving you a pass. You do a million reports that prove you’re paying women less, then you bury the report into the forgotten box of feel-good but too hard to fix. Dig out the box and let us get to work.

When I was in grade school, the teacher used to post the grades on the board and everyone knew the score everyone else had. HR there is no confidentiality in pay if you are paying some of us less and others more. Make a list, check it twice, grow some balls, and go advocate for everyone making less. If you’re a man in HR – we need you to grow some bigger balls so you can stand up for us. Because it’s pretty obvious you haven’t don’t that so far.

(P.S. This is my blog so I get to say what I want – don’t like it, the option are clear stop reading.)

Women we need to reframe the discussion, we cannot ask for pay equity – we must first have pay transparency – show us the damn numbers. If we ask for pay equity how do we know where we are starting? Remember, we didn’t negotiate well at the front door, they helped us negotiate against ourselves, so now we cannot allow them to set us up to negotiate against ourselves once again.

Women what should you do?

Current women in the workforce – don’t give your organization a pass on what you should be paid. Get out there do a salary survey – check out what the going rate it for your position. Every once in awhile send your resume to a recruiter and test the waters. When you’re in a silo you often don’t know what’s going on around you. I wrote a recent article – Why women need to leave faster to advance more.

Women entering the workforce – take a serious class on negotiations while you are in college. Don’t listen to your parent, they didn’t know how to negotiate that’s why we’re still fighting. Ask bold questions about salary, don’t settle for what’s offered the first time.

Black women – we are just totally screwed, but I’m hopeful that if we change the messaging we will have a greater impact. Let’s not ask for equal pay, because without the numbers we don’t know what equal is. We need to ask for total pay transparency – then we can discuss equal pay.

All women, ask for what you want. Let’s be honest we don’t negotiate well.

For the people doing the damn surveys – please stop. We already know the answers.


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