I can’t believe it’s 2013 and we’re still talking about the role of women in the workplace. Obviously, there’s a problem or this discussion wouldn’t continue. The problem is few women in leadership positions and a persistent gender pay gap.
The solution isn’t that women make changes.
I’m fed up with women telling women how to get ahead. Ursula Burns advises us to marry men 20 years older. Sheryl Sandberg asks us to lean in (whatever that means) and ask for raises. Some lady tells us to find Mr. Right while in college.
The solution isn’t to make women “fit in” to a man’s world. Sure, women can do more to step up to the plate, as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand encourages in her Off the Sidelines organization. But I rarely hear women suggest that men, particularly men in leadership positions, stop discriminating against women in the workplace.
“I don’t discriminate. I pay my female employees the same as my male employees. In fact, I have one female worker I pay more because she does a better job!”
“I have a female boss!”
We can all find anecdotal evidence disproving discrimination in a particular workplace. This is an institutional, systemic issue. Study after study shows women get paid less than men in the exact same positions, even after adjusting for maternity leave and experience. This even applies to CEOs. It’s very hard for women to fight back without knowing what their male counterparts earn or filing lawsuits. It’s very hard for women to fight back when their bosses – the people they rely on to keep them employed – are mostly men.
Ms. Sandberg, what happens when women ask for a raise and the answer is no? This empowerment stuff only goes so far.
If women want to fix this, we have to stop only talking to each other and start talking to men. Male coworkers, male bosses, husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. As long we we relegate the discussion to women’s networking events and in special women’s sections of the newspaper, we will continue to be treated like “an other” and not an equal.
Links of the Day:
– The New York Times profiled Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who’s become an advocate for cities after standing up to the governor.
– The big gun rally in Albany in February caused $60,000 in lawn damage. I don’t have a problem with this. When large crowds gather, as we saw with the Occupy movement, muddy lawns get stirred up. It’s the price of our right to free assembly on public property.
– The NRA is trying hard to kill gun control legislation in Congress and appears to be succeeding. The group wants to make the government have to prove straw purchasers knew the person they gave the gun to wasn’t allowed to have weapons. Under that scenario, Dawn Nguyen, the woman accused of buying a gun for William Spengler, could more easily get off.
– Canadian investors are flocking to Niagara Falls – New York.
– Central New York’s rural residents complain of slow, spotty Internet service. Tax dollars spent on infrastructure is the likely solution.
– Syracuse finally has a food truck scene. The regulations don’t seem as onerous as in Rochester.
– A Democratic state senator was arrested in an alleged bribery plot, accused of trying to get Republicans to let him on their line on the mayoral ballot.
In the past six years, only 9 NYS senators have lost in general elections, but 11 have been arrested.
— mahoneyw (@mahoneyw) April 2, 2013
I like how every corruption scandal we think “even by Albany standards this is ridiculous.” Maybe we ought to reset the bar.
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) April 2, 2013