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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-08-03 05:27:49



Let’s Break the Silence Around… Could more openness
about our salaries
be key to us closing the
gender pay gap? Let’s
make talking about what
we earn, and asking for
what we’re worth, less of

a taboo subject

Mind the Gap Have You it continues to stifle women’s job opportunities.
Ever Asked Then there’s the other side of the coin; we lack
You might have been raised to believe that it’s for a Salary the confidence to ask for what we’re worth.
bad manners to talk about money, but did you Part of this is how society treats us and part of
ever stop and think that your reluctance to talk 68%Raise? this is how our brains are programmed slightly
openly about your salary could be holding you said YES differently to men. The worry centre of our brains
back in salary negotiations? It may even be fires off more readily than a man’s meaning that
contributing to the bigger problem of gender pay 75%Of these the idea of going into our boss and demanding a
gap here in Ireland which is estimated to stand got it! pay rise even if it’s well overdue makes us break
at 14.41 per cent. This statistic means that on out in a cold sweat. The rumination centre of
average, women earn 14.41 per cent less than 32% our brains, where we turn over and think about
men per hour for the same work. said NO events, also responds more quickly to negativity
than positivity. This means that if we get negative
Of course any gender-based discrimination like Reasons why you feedback, even perceived, our brains will think
this is illegal under the Employment Equality didn’t ask: about that rather than the ten other positive
Act but it’s still there. That is why thousands things that might have also been said about us;
of female employees across Iceland walked out “I don’t think I’d be a trait that’s not very conducive to knowing your
of their workplaces at 2.38pm one Monday last entitled to one” worth in a company.
October to protest against earning less than men.
The thing is Iceland is one of the best countries “It’s not the done
in the world for gender equality, yet women still thing as there is
earn on average 14-18 per cent less than their a yearly salary
male colleagues, which means in every eight
hour day women are essentially working without increase”
pay from 2.38pm. That certainly puts a different
spin on how you feel when the 3pm slump comes “I know I wouldn’t
around. Technically you should be off the clock. get it”

Want to hear another scary fact? A new report
from the World Economic Forum forecasted that it
could take another 170 years (until the year 2186)
to eradicate the disparity in pay between men and
women if it continues to close at its current rate
because it’s actually getting worse not better. In
2008 the gender pay gap stood at 12.6 per cent
in 2008, increasing to 13.9 per cent in 2010 and
now stands at 14.4 per cent in Ireland, according
to the latest figures from Eurostat, the European
Union’s official statistics body. Go further up the
pay scale and the gap is even greater as that gap
increases significantly to 24.6 per cent in the top
10 per cent of earners. The truly infuriating thing
is that generally women do better at school and
university than men.

Asking For It

Obviously there are a number of different factors
as to why the gender pay gap exists. Women have
the babies, that’s not going to change any time
soon, but without the proper supports in place
to make both career and motherhood possible,

+ We are determined to get a
conversation started around money
and salaries. This is the first in a series of
money-focused features that will help you
to negotiate harder, manage your finances
better and make the most of your money.
To get started we asked you to reveal your
attitude to talking about pay in a reader

+survey and the results might surprise you.
Is there anything you’d like to know
more about? Or did something here
strike a chord? Tweet your thoughts to

What can we do?

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg was the first person to
raise the concept of leaning in – that if women assert
themselves without seeming threatening, they can
make as much as their male counterparts. However,
there is one flaw in this seemingly simple idea – this
only works if you know what those male counterparts
are earning. “Studies have noted that even after
decades of equal pay legislation the main obstacles to
equal pay still persist, including a lack of transparency
in pay systems,” says Louise Bunyan, global online
marketing executive with Morgan McKinley. “This fear
of breaking the silence puts women at a disadvantage.”
But we have to ask, who is this conspiracy of silence
actually benefitting? On one word, our employers. By
not talking about pay, we don’t have the necessary
information to negotiate like we need to. More talk
equals more transparency.

Do Men in Your
Industry Get

Paid More Than

said YES


said they don’t know


of you would prefer more
transparency around pay scales


of you don’t know what
colleagues on the same level



of you don’t know what your
line managers earn

Let’s Get Loud A Man’s World

With this in mind, earlier this year an American In a perfect world, women could
senior software engineer named Lauren Voswinkel use salary negotiations as a tool to
first proposed the idea of publicly tweeting your job achieve equal pay, but many people
title, experience level and salary under the hashtag in the equal-pay debate argue that
#talkpay in a feature she wrote for Modelviewculture. inferior negotiating skills are at the
com. “Economists are quick to blame many of these root of the gender pay gap. However,
discrepancies on a failure to negotiate for higher transparency within the market is an
wages,” says Voswinkel. “Many people are unaware amazing tool when negotiating, as
what salaries their skills and experience levels will women have a tendency to undersell
draw in their area. Without a general understanding themselves. Many companies like
of the ranges of salaries their peers are earning, Google and Time have adopted
many people are left to simply throw a number on policies that assume women undersell
the table.” The result of her call to action was that themselves. Ellen Pao, previously chief
thousands of people, both men and women, posted executive of Reddit, incorporated a
their details online in the hope of putting an end ban on salary negotiations at the
to pay inequality. Voswinkel argues that normalising social media company during her time
open salary discussion is a major step to closing the there. Her stated goal: to eliminate
gender pay gap. “The lack of knowledge regarding the disadvantage that women have
reasonable salaries can be directly attributed to at the bargaining table. “Not only
the social taboo surrounding people talking openly do men negotiate harder than
about their salaries.” women do, sometimes women get
penalised when they do negotiate.”
WOULD YOU BE Her announcement came just days
WILLING TO TWEET after she herself lost a high-profile
sex discrimination lawsuit against
YOUR SALARY? one of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture
capital firms. Since then, she founded
91% the non-profit organisation Project
said NO Include with five other woman in the
tech industry to encourage companies
9% to be proactive in counteracting
said YES discrimination through transparency.
A no-negotiation policy implies that
Some of the Top Reasons Why… Any sound familiar? an employer pays based on what the
job is worth within the market, not
“It would cause conflict. I am contractually bound not to” the person.

“I don’t want my colleagues to see what I’m earning” Did you know? In Ireland, you
are not excluded from discussing
“I’ve never felt comfortable talking about salary with anyone other than my family" salary with your colleagues
unless it is specifically stated
“For me it’s a personal choice, like how much I spend on my car or a holiday” so in the terms of your contract.
This is to allow employees to
“There will always be people who earn more or less than I do” organise or bargain collectively
which is a legal right.
“It’s embarrassingly low”

of you would prefer more
transparency around talking

about pay


feel that if you knew what your
colleagues and line managers earned

it would help you to know your
worth/negotiate harder

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