Today is Equal Pay Day, which originated in 1996. According to Wikipedia, “Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap.” Women get paid approximately 20% less than men in the workplace. However, I have some issues with this recognized day. We are in the 21st century and women are still not receiving equal pay and we need a day to raise awareness? Women are working harder and longer, just to receive the same, or close to the same, recognition as their male counterparts. This is the time stop all of the “awareness” and take action. Change does not happen overnight and the awareness has created a positive shift, but more still needs to be done to establish equal pay for equal work. Here’s an idea: just pay women equally! Right now!
I was watching CBS This Morning and the co-founder and owner of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon was on. She started Jimmy Choo when she was 27 and built it into a corporation. Ms. Mellon discovered that some of her male employees were getting paid more than she was and she was the owner of her company. That is utterly ridiculous! The founder and president of a company was getting paid less than her male employees! She continued to say that all of her board members were men and they had made those decisions. Today, many men still do not want women to have equal pay; the racism, misogyny and sexism must stop! Many women of color have an extra layer of racism, they are getting less pay and promotions than white women, just because of the color of their skin, their race, and the kinkiness of their hair. Women are over it and we are here to stay!
In the world of changing mindsets, and leading with emotional intelligence, why aren’t women being promoted to CEOs? It is funny that Daniel Goldman is teaching everyone to lead with emotional intelligence, when women have always been doing so. Men need to work on being emotionally intelligent. Women understand the complexities of managing people and being inclusive, strategic thinking, visionary, risk takers, doers and so forth of their own businesses and homes. Women are leaders, even presidents of countries, and we still cannot receive equal pay?
It is up to ALL of us to demand equal pay for equal work. WE need to stop being afraid to ask for what we deserve and are worth. Our work and resume speaks for us, but it is up to us to request equal pay. So too, be proud of the women who are climbing the corporate ladder, because they are making room for the women who are behind and next to them. I love this phrase: each one helps many. I hope, very soon, that we no longer have to recognize Equal Pay Day, because we will be equally paid.