Why Women Will Never Get Equal Pay

The Utopian Dream and Why Women Will Never Get Equal Pay.

I have been in HR for over 20 years and consult with employers and small businesses about compensation practices. I have created compensation plans for companies including job descriptions based on years of experience, skills sets, education, and abilities (KSAs).  The media has recently followed the women’s marches and protests, and news reports that women make a lower percentage of pay compared to men in the same jobs in the USA.  Women are striving for equal pay, but women will never get equal pay – in reality – because of the factors involved in ‘comparing’ the job descriptions.

Set the Record Straight.

To set the record straight, yes, there are instances where men and women sit side-by-side and make different salaries for the exact same job. But, one needs to analyze details before accusing business owners for illegal pay differences.  If a male and a female employee were hired on the same day (or month) and performed the same job in a manufacturing plant, each had the same amount of production and completion rate, and worked 40 hours a week, yes, it’s easy to ascertain they should get paid the exact same (hourly) wage.

The original Equal Pay Act of 1963, signed into law by President Kennedy and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama have well-meaning intentions. Human resources managers create job descriptions in a formal compensation plan to defend against gender liability claims to avoid accusations for prejudicial hiring or promotion practices.

Let’s Compare.

What if there is a Vice President of Marketing (male) and a Vice President of sales (female) – surely that would be obvious unfair pay practices if the male was paid 25% more than the female, right? Just because they have the same job title, doesn’t mean they are responsible for equal or similar tasking.  When they were hired, each job candidate was considered based on years of education, previous work experience, skill sets; and they are able to earn additional compensation in the form of commissions on sales directly relatable to their business unit.

The male VP was a recent hire, has a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Economics, and 20 years of success in marketing and sales from two previous employers.  The female VP was a long-term company employee; in fact, worked her way up to VP level from an admin position, but only had five years of direct experience in sales. In her 10 years with the company, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (unrelated to sales), and took three, six-month, unpaid leaves of absence to give birth. She has five years of directly relatable experience and less formal education than the seemingly equal (in job title, at least) male.

Making a Choice for Hiring.

If the human resources manager were to choose between the two qualified candidates for the same job simultaneously, the male would more likely get the job because of his education and number of years in the industry, whereas the female would have fewer qualifications in comparison for the same job.  The company has hired the male to a VP job, but since he has different tasks, and different KSAs to enable him to strive towards the company’s strategic goals in marketing versus the female with less experience in the ‘same job title,’ but different responsibilities in sales, the company can legally, without prejudicial liability, compensate the male more.  Since both VPs are able to earn bonuses based on commissions, they both have equal opportunities to earn equal pay (if the male earns a lower bonus than the female).

When the news and media pundits complain and whine about differing pay structures for the ‘same job,’ they should closer at the job descriptions, as well as the background of the candidates. The same job title doesn’t mean the two workers are performing the exact same tasking and responsibilities. Their compensation also does not ignore the years of specific industry experience, education and degrees attained, any certifications, or their proven track record of past employment.

It’s a New World.

In the 20th Century, the ‘good-old-boy’s’ club did consistently award jobs and higher compensation to other men. In the 21st Century, that modus operandi is a dying practice. Because of the Equal Pay and Fair Pay Acts, HR practitioners are more cognizant of liability for unequal pay practices. Employees also discuss pay with co-workers.  It’s hard for businesses to establish unequal compensation packages based on gender nowadays, thus the pay gap (overall) is getting smaller and smaller.

The Reality.

There are currently more women than men attending college and earning degrees, as well as starting businesses, thus women are creating more earning power for themselves to close the gender pay gap. The bottom line is – there is more to the decision-making between job candidates for compensation awards than just male versus female, and the protests about equal pay for equal jobs is skewed thinking based on not enough information and research analysis.

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management and training, business development, human resources consulting, and print-on-demand consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://www.dboyerconsulting.com.

 

 


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Why Women Will Never Get Equal Pay

The Utopian Dream and Why Women Will Never Get Equal Pay.

I have been in HR for over 20 years and consult with employers and small businesses about compensation practices. I have created compensation plans for companies including job descriptions based on years of experience, skills sets, education, and abilities (KSAs).  The media has recently followed the women’s marches and protests, and news reports that women make a lower percentage of pay compared to men in the same jobs in the USA.  Women are striving for equal pay, but women will never get equal pay – in reality – because of the factors involved in ‘comparing’ the job descriptions.

Set the Record Straight.

To set the record straight, yes, there are instances where men and women sit side-by-side and make different salaries for the exact same job. But, one needs to analyze details before accusing business owners for illegal pay differences.  If a male and a female employee were hired on the same day (or month) and performed the same job in a manufacturing plant, each had the same amount of production and completion rate, and worked 40 hours a week, yes, it’s easy to ascertain they should get paid the exact same (hourly) wage.

The original Equal Pay Act of 1963, signed into law by President Kennedy and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama have well-meaning intentions. Human resources managers create job descriptions in a formal compensation plan to defend against gender liability claims to avoid accusations for prejudicial hiring or promotion practices.

Let’s Compare.

What if there is a Vice President of Marketing (male) and a Vice President of sales (female) – surely that would be obvious unfair pay practices if the male was paid 25% more than the female, right? Just because they have the same job title, doesn’t mean they are responsible for equal or similar tasking.  When they were hired, each job candidate was considered based on years of education, previous work experience, skill sets; and they are able to earn additional compensation in the form of commissions on sales directly relatable to their business unit.

The male VP was a recent hire, has a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Economics, and 20 years of success in marketing and sales from two previous employers.  The female VP was a long-term company employee; in fact, worked her way up to VP level from an admin position, but only had five years of direct experience in sales. In her 10 years with the company, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (unrelated to sales), and took three, six-month, unpaid leaves of absence to give birth. She has five years of directly relatable experience and less formal education than the seemingly equal (in job title, at least) male.

Making a Choice for Hiring.

If the human resources manager were to choose between the two qualified candidates for the same job simultaneously, the male would more likely get the job because of his education and number of years in the industry, whereas the female would have fewer qualifications in comparison for the same job.  The company has hired the male to a VP job, but since he has different tasks, and different KSAs to enable him to strive towards the company’s strategic goals in marketing versus the female with less experience in the ‘same job title,’ but different responsibilities in sales, the company can legally, without prejudicial liability, compensate the male more.  Since both VPs are able to earn bonuses based on commissions, they both have equal opportunities to earn equal pay (if the male earns a lower bonus than the female).

When the news and media pundits complain and whine about differing pay structures for the ‘same job,’ they should closer at the job descriptions, as well as the background of the candidates. The same job title doesn’t mean the two workers are performing the exact same tasking and responsibilities. Their compensation also does not ignore the years of specific industry experience, education and degrees attained, any certifications, or their proven track record of past employment.

It’s a New World.

In the 20th Century, the ‘good-old-boy’s’ club did consistently award jobs and higher compensation to other men. In the 21st Century, that modus operandi is a dying practice. Because of the Equal Pay and Fair Pay Acts, HR practitioners are more cognizant of liability for unequal pay practices. Employees also discuss pay with co-workers.  It’s hard for businesses to establish unequal compensation packages based on gender nowadays, thus the pay gap (overall) is getting smaller and smaller.

The Reality.

There are currently more women than men attending college and earning degrees, as well as starting businesses, thus women are creating more earning power for themselves to close the gender pay gap. The bottom line is – there is more to the decision-making between job candidates for compensation awards than just male versus female, and the protests about equal pay for equal jobs is skewed thinking based on not enough information and research analysis.

 

Dawn Boyer, Ph.D., owner of D. Boyer Consulting – provides resume writing, social media management and training, business development, human resources consulting, and print-on-demand consulting. Reach her at: Dawn.Boyer@DBoyerConsulting.com or http://www.dboyerconsulting.com.

 

 


SEO Key Words for web post:
abilities, analysis, business, compensation packages, differences, earning, Economics, education, employment, Equal Pay Act, Fair Pay Act, female, gender, hired / hiring, Human Resources , job candidate, job descriptions, KSAs, law, liabilities, Lilly Ledbetter, male, men, modus operandi , pay practices, prejudicial, President Kennedy, President Obama, qualifications, salaries, unequal, unfair, wage, women

Key Word Hash-Tags (#): #abilities, #analysis, #business, #CompensationPackages, #differences, #earning, #Economics, #education, #employment, #EqualPayAct, #FairPayAct, #female, #gender, #Hired, #Hiring, #HumanResources , #JobCandidate, #JobDescriptions, #KSAs, #law, #liabilities, #LillyLedbetter, #male, #men, #MModusOperandi , #PayPractices, #prejudicial, #PresidentKennedy, #PresidentObama, #qualifications, #salaries, #unequal, #unfair, #wage, #women

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