Women in the accounting profession, it's time to tell your bosses and your firms: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
Last week, CareerBank.com released a study of salaries across the accounting and finance field. The most disturbing finding – women who are doing exactly the same work as men are getting paid substantially less. And as the job titles become more prestigious, the gap widens.
Case in point – Women chief financial officers on average earn $35,000 less than their male peers. That’s illegal and unconscionable and outrageous and it’s got to change.
Congress passed a law in 1963 – more than 40 years ago – forcing companies to abide by the mantra "Equal Pay for Equal Work." And while no one expected the practice to be completely abolished overnight, a lifetime later, hardworking women who spent just as much money and time to earn their education as men should not have to worry about pay equity. But they do.
How can this still be happening? Simple. It’s a cardinal rule in the workplace to never, ever discuss your salary with anyone else. And we all comply, so it’s impossible to know that Joe Auditor from the Kimberly-Clark team is taking home more in his paycheck than CPA Jane.
According to a nationwide survey by the AFL-CIO, equal pay for equal work ranked as the No. 1 concern of women in the workplace. Sexual harassment came in second, downsizing was third, and childcare ranked No. 4.
And according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women earn $24,000 annually -- much less than men's $32,000 yearly average. Do the math. If this discrepancy remains constant, today's 25 year-old woman who puts in 40 years of work before retiring will earn about $500,000 less than a male worker at the same age and stage.
Just don’t sit there at your desk, pay stub in hand, seething with rage. Tell someone you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore. And don’t. The National Committee on Pay Equity (www.feminist.com/fairpay) offers women the opportunity to learn more about the problem and do something about it. Share your story, contact your legislator, and join the committee’s National Pay Day Campaign.
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