Equal Pay Will Exist -- But Not Until 2109
Equal Pay is on the way.
If by "on the way," you accept 2109. That's the year analysts with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) expect pay disparity will disappear between the genders. The number was calculated based on the current pace of change. The year 2109 was the expected date for top levels of management, while 2067 is a fair estimate for lower down on the corporate totem pole. The study was also mindful of entrenched legal frameworks that inhibit investigations of wage disparity, such as a lack of infrastructure protecting against corporate wage opacity.
Chartered Management is in fact a British firm, and made its prognostications for that country. But the U.K.'s experience with the wage gap mirrors America's. British women make on average 79 percent the salaries of their counterparts, according to a report in The Guardian. And while that is slightly lower than the European Union-wide average of 82 percent, it places it ever so slightly ahead of the American tally of 77 percent.
The CMI released its findings along with strong words of caution.
"The prospect of continued decades of pay inequality cannot be allowed to become reality," said CMI's head of policy, Petra Wilson. "We want to see the government take greater steps to enforce pay equality by monitoring organizations more closely and naming and shaming those who fail to pay male and female staff fairly."
Analysts have long questioned the intractability of the wage gap. It has been 48 years since John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in the U.S., but the momentum toward total parity stalled more than two decades ago, says Ariane Hegewisch, the study director for the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), in an interview with AOL Jobs.
Hegeswisch advocates for measures like greater salary transparency in hoping to level the playing field once and for all. She supports the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), which Congress has let languish in committee. The PFA would would make it illegal for companies to retaliate against female employees who try and find out information about males' wages. The transparency argument has also been made in Europe, where advocates share the belief that no manager can openly embrace unequal pay models.
Nevertheless, CMI has also released a toolkit for women to empower them in the face of the unequal workplace. In providing women with a grounding in taking on a host of issues, including unequal pay, CMI offers a three-point basic checklist:
1. Negotiate the best deal when you are offered a new role.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for a pay-raise, but approach the situation with as many facts as you can find.
3. Be proactive in establishing a diversity management program at your workplace.
Other strategies can center on pointing out the ridiculousness of unequal pay. An accompanying report in The Guardian pointed out all the things that are expected to happen by the time equal pay may become a reality.
"Robots should finally be smart enough to liberate us from mundane chores -- and space tourism will be old news, as will planetary exploration. Instead we will begin reaching out beyond our solar system to neighboring stars, using millions of tiny nanoships to scout for suitable planets, and giant solar sails to carry us there. And we will use clean nuclear fusion to meet all our energy needs," writes Duncan Graham-Rowe.
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