Equal Pay Day or Groundhog Day?

Nicki GilmourThis is a short column today in the aftermath of the flurry of a mixture of interesting and repetitive pieces on how white men still get paid (in aggregate) more for the same job done as other people ( aka women of varying creeds and non-white men) because they are white men.

Groundhog day? Same old, same old? Seems to be that way because the advice given yesterday is the same advice we have seen for the entire lifespan of theglasshammer (12 years and counting).

Now, we all know that many of our readers work in Wall Street and industries that feed from it, so at what point is this a non-issue? We work all the hours in the world available and we earn the big bucks, right? Yes, but even at this level and in this profession, the bias around just who you are born as body-wise does effect your paycheck and promotional track; if it wasn’t true, your executive committees and partners wouldn’t be sending me press releases for having 10-30% women on it. It would be anywhere between 50-100%. When companies get floated (IPO’ed) you see how much directors get paid – often shocking to see who gets paid the most overall and a clue is, it isn’t all the women, ever.

I have nothing to add as after seeing the same (non-) discussion happen for the full twelve years of running the I can only share five pieces of advice:

1. Research and awareness seems to be changing nothing.

2. Instead of spending a day writing and reading about it, spend the day building your business and make money if you are in a revenue role.

3. Ask for as much money and bonus and equity as you can next time you change jobs as payment is definitely an art as well as a science, and on a scale (I see this very much as an executive coach, where you ask and you get it).

4. Ask for transparency where you can get it and by doing that, yes, work for good companies. But, ultimately, fight for your best deal.

5. Do not waste your time speaking with people who do not get it. They do not want to get it when they throw up arguments around parenting, maternity, etc. They merely want to maintain the patriarchy and status quo which makes us believe white men and their needs are worth more than the rest of us. This great study called “Still A Man’s Labor Market” measures the pay gap over time and therefore includes time off which results in women being paid anywhere from 30-70% less than men over time due to the gap. Therefore the 87% often quoted is when factors are equal such as same work hours, same job, same education, same ethnicity (which is a whole other topic as intersectionality drops wages further). Catalyst, the gender think tank, back in 2010 produced a great piece of work on “Pipeline’s Broken Promise” which is worth a look, still.

Last time I checked university degrees cost the same for both genders, and food, gas and housing does too.

Money talks.

Here is a round up of great articles from us over the years on this topic, in case you missed them, because if we do not learn and instead keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results, then we are plain crazy.

2008: Equal Pay Day Draws Attention to Wage Inequality
2012: The Wage Gap Explained
2012: He Said, She Said: Recalculating the Gender Wage Gap
2013: What to Do on Equal Pay Day


2016: How Digital Could Deliver Workplace Gender Equality in 25 Years
2018: Hidden Truths About Making Gender Equality Possible for Ambitious Dual Career Couples
2018: Tips for Women on Negotiating Salary Now That Equal Pay is Mandated


If you need a career/executive coach to get you to your next job and secure the best deal, work with us! – empowering women one at a time while fixing the systemic inequities, as that will take a while.