It’s funny, sad and true.
I’m talking about the latest video starring Kristen Bell that hilariously tackles the hot topic of the gigantic pay gap between men and women in the U.S.
In a new video by the Huffington Post, “Pinksourcing,” Bell walks into an office full of women wearing a business suit with a bright pink shirt and a rose lapel pin, and poses this question:
“Is your company looking to maximize their output while cutting back on cost? Why outsource all your production to far away countries like India, China and Narnia when we have the cheapest and best workforce right here in the good old U.S. of A. – Women! That’s right, with Pinksourcing, women are a bargain at the workplace since you only have to pay them 77 cents on the dollar.” she said.
Comedians and actors have a brilliant way of making serious topics funny and relevant. Writers and journalists will keep writing about unequal pay. Women will keep fighting the good fight. Someday – it’s said 100 years – the pay may even be equal.
While the difference in pay in the U.S. is smaller than it’s ever been in history, it’s still 2.5 times the size of those in other industrialized countries. How do we close that pay gap even more? Apparently, there’s no easy answer, but here are 6 ideas to address the wage gap between men and women:
6 Ideas To Address The Gender Pay Gap
1. Raise Salaries in Lower-Paying Jobs
Give women in lower-paying jobs more money. It’s damn tough work to be a maid at a hotel. Try to imagine, if you can’t, what that would be like. Those ladies (and men) are not making nearly what they deserve. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women in jobs traditionally held by women such as cleaning, care-taking, and catering, according to the Fawcett Society. These types of jobs are “undervalued and paid less than jobs traditionally done by men, such as construction and skilled labor – meaning ‘men’s work’ is given a higher value both socially economically.” Raising the minimum wage is a good place to start.
2. Produce More STEM Graduates
Strides are being made to encourage women to enter careers that are typically dominated by men, such as jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math. Granted, not every woman wants to major in or pursue a career in these types of fields, but why not at least introduce the concept at an early age to girls? By 2018, there will be 8 million STEM-related jobs in the US, jobs that we will not be able to fill domestically unless we can produce more STEM graduates.
Forty percent of today’s jobs require STEM competencies and almost all of the 30 fastest-growing jobs over the next decade will require these skills, but presently only a quarter of women are represented in these fields. The next generation of scientists and engineers need to include a wider range of talent, including more women and minorities.
3. Credit and Amplify Other Women
Women were long excluded from the boardroom and once they started making their way into the boardroom, they often found themselves ignored. Some female White House staffers talked about the phenomenon and a process they introduced during Obama’s meetings, according to this recent article in the Washington Post.
“Female staffers adopted a meeting strategy they called ‘amplification’: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”
The women made a purpose of doing this every day and Obama took notice and started calling on them more.
4. Improve Negotiation Skills
A new study shows that women do in fact ask for raises as often as men do, but they get raises less often. It was thought that the pay gap is in part because women don’t ask for raises. But, this new study doesn’t support that theory. Women are being discriminated against.
In an effort to create a culture shift and help women earn the pay they deserve, salary negotiation workshops were created in Boston. For a lot of women, the thought of asking for a raise causes anxiety and stress. The women in the workshop said they don’t want to come across as greedy and entitled.
The idea of the workshop for women is to empower them to ask for more money and teach them how to advocate for themselves and become more comfortable at negotiating.
[RELATED: 3 Ways to Knock Out Negotiating With Men]
5. Take Negotiation Out
While it’s definitely smart to know how to advocate on your own behalf successfully, what if the job you’re in doesn’t require negotiation skills? What if employers took pay negotiation out of the process? What if men and women just had equal pay?
Could it really be that simple? I think so.
6. Keep The Gender Pay Gap In the Spotlight
Keep making funny videos about the ridiculous gender wage gap. We aren’t going away.
The good news is that millennials are changing the workplace in a lot of different ways, especially millennial women. The study I mentioned earlier interviewed 4,600 Australian workers and showed that women under 40 were more successful at negotiating their pay and working conditions compared to older women.
One reason could be because younger women are more likely to consider themselves the breadwinner. Let’s hope this trend continues and the next generations of women narrow the gender pay gap even more.
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