Do Women Undersell Themselves in the Workplace?

It’s no secret that for many women it is the case that they are paid less than their male counterpart for doing the same job, the pay gap does exist, the question that we need to address is ‘why?’ Why should gender play a part in a salary if that person is employed because they are the right person for the job?

From the employers perspective it shouldn’t matter if the person doing the job is male or female, what should matter is how well the job is done and if the desired results are achieved.

There are some employers who will disagree and it seems one point of contention is ‘children’. ‘Women leave to have babies’, ‘they need time off because children are sick’ or ‘they need childcare in the holidays’. All of the above may well be true, but does that mean that the employers are saying that a woman does not do the job properly? If this is so, why employ a woman at all?

If however the employer is happy with the job she is doing and she is doing all of the above, then she should still be paid the same, some would argue more than her male counterpart – due to her multi tasking ability.

Perhaps the pay gap exists simply because men are better at asking for a pay rise. As women we are less likely to be open about the amount we earn, women are more prone to having a ‘just get on with it’ attitude and don’t always wholly value the work that we do. Women do think differently to men they do consider more the team around them, in some cases they are less keen to take the credit for a job well done.

There will be times when a woman is happy to balance a reduced salary with good maternity pay and flexible working arrangements she is grateful to be given the opportunity of employment.

So if the pay gap is to be resolved, women need to make a stand and employers have to listen and respect their employees. Employers need to be prepared to acknowledge the work that a woman does is equally as good as a male counterpart, but then women have to be prepared to tell them.

Women need to be more open about what they earn and they need to put the case forward to their employers as to why they deserve a pay rise. Women need to stop being grateful for being allowed to work whilst being a mother and running a family, employers need to take note that a good work life balance can mean happier and more content employees which can result in greater productivity and employee loyalty.

As a woman you can talk to your employer, you can put the case forward for a pay rise whilst continuing to respect those around you, but most of all as a woman you need to be assertive,  you need to believe in yourself and value the work that you do, you need to realise that no employer is doing you a favour by giving you a job, you were employed because you were the best person to do the job, you were awarded it fair and square and so you should expect to be paid fairly and in line with others for doing your job.