Women – Like Men, Only Cheaper…

Jason Pankow Always Be Closing, Compensation/Cash Money, Culture, Jason Pankow, Making Offers, Recruiting

While I think our team rivals that of CNN, and I think Josh Letourneau kinda looks like a certain political strategist, I’m not trying to make FOT the new center for politics.  However, there has been a lot of talk during the campaigns about Equal Work for Equal Pay.  In case you are not a political junkie, like me, and you missed it, simply Google McCain or Obama and “Equal Pay.”

Women absolutely should be paid on the same scale as their male counterparts doing the same work!Equal_pay Absolutely!  Not doing so is a form of discrimination!  Right?  Why isn’t this a law, already?

Wait…it is!?

So, let me get this straight.  We already have a law on the books that says it’s illegal to pay women less than that of their male counterparts?  If that’s the case, how the heck do we get a story like Lilly Ledbetter’s?

See, the way I look at it, this isn’t an argument about whether or not we need another law.  It’s an argument about why we aren’t following the ones we have.  Last year, KnowHR wrote an article about the 5 things HR can do right now to end pay inequality.  #2 on the list is my favorite.  It reads, “If you’re paying women less than men for equal skills and experience, then fix it. Today. Don’t pull that ‘We need to reconcile this over years’ BS. You have to fix it now. Best time to plant a tree? Ten years ago.” (underlines are mine)

Ann Barnes over at Compensation Force, in an excellent post, listed a study from the American Association of University Women.  The study puts forth a few recommendations for addressing the problem.  One recommendation is to encourage women to negotiate for better jobs and better pay.

Okay…interesting recommendation.  But, this puts the responsibility on the employee.  All candidates should work to negotiate for better pay and job duties.  Men and women.  I have a better suggestion:

Do your jobs, HR.

We don’t need another law to make things right.  We shouldn’t be waiting for politicians to address this problem.  How is another law going to work any better than the current one?  What we need are recruiters who address any offers that are proportionally lower for a female hire.  What we need are Gens who notice substantially lower salaries to bring it up and fix the problem.

Lilly Ledbetter lost her Supreme Court case, not because the company was right in not paying her properly, but because she didn’t file her case within the proper time frame.  Personally, I think all it would have taken is one person to say, “Hey…she’s being paid half of what he is.  This needs to be fixed.”  It’s our jobs to make sure our companies follow the rules.

So, let’s do it.  You don’t need another law.