Published: 05 June 2015
Tim: Can you do a report to show sales for our LED TV?
Jane: Sure. I think we should look at the stores and locations of the sales as well.
Tim: Not a bad idea…
Jane: and maybe we can look into the demographic details of the customer. Find out who they are? Their age group…income and so on
Tim: Wow, you are really passionate about this huh? You seemed a little emotional just now. Where is Bob? Can he just get me this quickly with no fancy details?
What if I told you six months later Bob gets promoted and Jane is told she has great ideas but she has not mastered her emotional IQ and does not know how to play the politics so she is set on a development path to further groom her and maybe one day she will get a promotion or an increase?
Are you a Jane? Do you know a Jane? She works hard and delivers quality output. She is a professional and does not always play the politics as she believes her work should speak for itself. She shows up and avoids the poppycock, head down focused on being productive and efficient because that is what matters right? Unfortunately, that does not always hold true and while most will not admit it, the corporate boys club is very much alive, well attended and dues are paid on time and in full.
Pay Equity & Discrimination
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) documents that women make up almost 50% of the labour market. They are the equal and at times main breadwinner in 4 out of 10 families. They are more educated than men however there exists a gender wage gap of 22%. In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. On average, women earn less than men in every single occupation based on earnings ratio calculations. Yahoo Finance did a mash up of the gender wage gap and the disparity is striking.
Not so in the Caribbean? Right?
I know you must be thinking in the land of sunshine and picturesque blue turquoise waters, this cannot be true. People are happy, laid back and equally paid. Wrong again. A study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) of households in Caribbean and Latin America has found that, despite recent gains, the wage gap between men and women still prevails.
A comparison of men and women of the same age and educational level, found that men earn 17% more than women. The study reveals that while women are better educated, they earn less than their male counterparts. Household surveys highlighted that women hold 33% of the better paying professional jobs in the region, jobs such as architecture, law or engineering. However, the average wage gap in these professions stands at an alarming 58%. Dare I say, Ouch!
No end to the Corporate Boys Club?
While there has been significant strides in the last few decades with women moving into occupations that were male exclusive, the progress has slowed down in recent years. The IDB study noted that women tend to enter the workforce at a later stage and also women have a tendency to work part-time, self-employed and informally. While only 1 in every 10 men works part-time there are 1 in every 4 women who do. There are contributing factors of course where women may have multiple responsibilities at home, such as raising children or taking care of their families.
Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer took the top position while pregnant with her first child back in 2012 and there were naysayers that believed her pregnancy made her unfit for the role. Have we not evolved in our thinking of how we view expecting mothers? Do we really believe they are somehow handicapped because they are pregnant? I digress but some persons argue now that it is no longer a gender pay gap but a motherhood pay gap as women have to play catch up after returning to work as new moms. Maybe then we should be lobbying more for equal maternity/paternity leave for expecting mothers and fathers to level the playing field.
The CEO club closing the gender wage gap
Interestingly enough, Marissa Mayer is ranked number one for the highest paid female CEO in 2015 (69% salary increase in 2014) and ranked seventh overall amongst the highest paid CEOs. Is the gender gap closing? Not quite but for the 200 best paid CEOs (in the U.S. as least) 13 are females with an average pay of 20 million, representing 11.5% less than the overall average. While there are only a few women that occupy top positions we cannot discount that accomplishment.
While we work on closing the gender wage gap, women are encouraged to study Science and Mathematics to help improve their chances in participating in the labour market. I would personally encourage more women to get into Business Intelligence and I.T. because I believe we bring a unique skill-set as leaders and analysts.
We are making promising strides and maybe one day Jane will be rewarded not based on her gender or her ability to play by the rules of the boys club but for her contribution and performance.
About the author: Raquel Seville [@quelzseville] is a Business Intelligence Professional, SAP Mentor, BI Evangelist, Founder: exportBI | Co-Founder: eatoutjamaica. To find out more, please visit her about me page.