My Thoughts On Women In The Workplace
It’s been a while since I’ve ranted via the form of a blog post, but given everything I’ve seen in the past 24 hours in light of International Women’s Day, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about women in the workplace.
First of all, I want to make it very clear that I don’t hate men. Because I don’t.
I don’t hate ALL men. I don’t hate ALL establishments. I just hate the ones that aren’t fair.
And as a result, I do hate that it’s typically harder for women to succeed in the workplace.
I could probably spend an hour writing about all my thoughts and feelings on the matter, but half of you won’t read that so I’ll make this short and sweet. There are two issues that I want to address today and those are fair pay and flexible work opportunities.
I believe that our salaries should depend on how well we perform, nothing else. Not gender. Not race. Simply results. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and I’ve seen many instances where long-term employees are paid more than us newbies just because of the fact that they’ve been around longer. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sit well with me. If I’m busting my ass and delivering excellent results, I should be getting paid equal to or more than others who do the bare minimum. Otherwise, what incentive is there for people to work so damn hard?
But why is it so hard to know if we’re being paid fairly? We live in a world where we have access to so much information, but it seems that our salaries are the one thing we keep secret. We feel comfortable posting half-naked selfies on the internet, but the minute we start talking about how much money we make, we feel uncomfortable. THAT is off-limits. It’s an interesting concept to me, and I’m sure it has a lot to do with why some workers are unfairly compensated. Truth is, I DON’T know how much the men I work with make. I don’t know how much ANYONE makes. So how am I supposed to know that I’m being compensated fairly? How do ANY of us know? And why should an employer feel the need to be fair about salaries when it’s all kept on the DL anyway?
Now again, I’m not saying that all employers are shady. I know that there are plenty of places of work who do things the right way. I’m simply posing a possible argument as to why unfair pay still exists, and hopefully we can set in motion policies that will level the playing field for everyone.
FLEXIBLE WORK OPPORTUNITIES
I read the most incredible article today called, “Flexible Work Is The Future of Feminism.” The writer, Elena Lynn Gross, interviewed the founders of Werk, the first marketplace for top jobs with pre-negotiated flexibility.
I’ll be honest here. I’d love to have a baby within the next couple of years. I’m ready for that phase of my life. But there’s not a day that goes by when that thought scares me shitless because I don’t know how I’d logistically do it. My husband works a very demanding job and makes a whole lot more money than I do, so I know in terms of having a kid, most of the responsibility would fall on me. Right now, I work from 9am – 6pm with about a one-hour commute each way. And I think to myself all the time, “How the heck would I be able to work and have a family if I’d be getting home at 8pm every night?” I’m exhausted as it is already!
So my natural thought has always been that my husband will have to make enough money so I can scale back at work. Maybe go from full-time to part-time work. Maybe not even work at all. But why are those my only options? I LOVE MY JOB. I LOVE WHAT I DO. I don’t want to go anywhere at all. And hopefully by the time any of this happens, my job WILL be willing to work with me and hopefully we’ll be able to figure out some flexible work opportunities so that I can still work and have a happy family.
But the truth is that you’re LUCKY if you find a job that’s willing to work with you. You’re LUCKY if you find a job that’ll be willing to adjust your hours or let you work remotely. And that’s pretty insane to me given that in a lot of jobs, most of what we can do at work we can do from home, possibly even better, with less distractions.
So I hope employers learn to embrace flexible work arrangements. Because a lot of us WANT to work, but we also WANT to have a family. And while I know that there are trade-offs we have to make as adults, I think employers can help us so that those trade-offs don’t have to be so big. A little more compromise will go a long way, and I think it’ll be a win-win for everyone.
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