Woman Up: Make Equal Pay Laws Obsolete

Huffington Post piece Original Post: 

I propose a law that all women are treated with respect while dating or courting of any kind. Women do not respect themselves enough to demand this, so we need a law crafted by state legislators to demand they are respected.

This is absurd because everyone knows a woman with even a little self-respect is not giving her “talents” away without demanding respect. Apply this same logic to the workplace.

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As a performance coach, none of my clients are paid less than their counterparts. They do equal or better work and they demand more than their counterparts in pay and raises. If you are doing equal or better work, why are you not demanding respect before you give away your talents?

You may not be paid fairly or promoted because you don’t demand it. There really can’t be any other explanation. Employers don’t say, “Great job. Here’s the money you deserve.” If they do, it’s less than you probably deserve.

How can you know if you are being treated fairly at work? Are you invited to meetings? Are you given credit for big projects? While equability starts with pay, it’s as much an attitude and an experience as it is a number.

If this is you, let’s examine how you got here. The guys shamelessly promote themselves. They work side deals with the boss for added pay or responsibility. They greet a routine annual cost of living bump in pay with anger rather than just smiling and thanking the boss. If the men are shameless and aggressive, why aren’t you?

I am not wired like that... shouldn’t I just get paid for my hard work without a fight?

No. You won’t be given anything without asking. In fact, some companies may count on you not asking to increase their profits. This may be wrong of them, but it’s more wrong of you to not demand the extra percentage raise that can go towards summer camp for your kid or a trip to see your mom.

But men just have a different make up.

The only thing different is their belief that they deserve it. Anyone can take on the same beliefs men use to get ahead. Here they are: confidence, self-worth, self-respect, belief in their skills, and a personal sense of value. A second part of this is that men who are ruthless in getting promotions are also ruthless for the company. It’s the ruthlessness being promoted, not their sex.

Why am I unwilling to leave my comfort zone?

You are a feminine energy person - which is amazing. Understand the tricks to using feminine energy to get all that you want. While you’re at it, look at things from a different, more masculine, perspective for a minute so you understand what you are working against. Read more on masculine vs. feminine on my site.

One of the key elements of feminine energy is shrinking when challenged. If you put yourself out for a promotion and get passed over, you will really feel it more than most men. You then set an emotional response to the situation to ensure you never forget that feeling or that moment. This is a protection mechanism to ensure you don’t get hurt again by doing the same thing that got you hurt in the first place. It makes sense and it’s also a trap for women in the workforce.

On the flip side, a “leave the past behind” attitude can be attributed to a masculine energy (or the boss). They also love to be challenged. They love to be the one to solve problems. I am sure you have said to a man, “I don’t want you to solve it. I just want you to listen.” Men also let things go like boys after a basketball matchup with a “good game man.” So when you are upset about losing a promotion, it’s not even a memory for your boss.

Use this polarity at work to your advantage. If you get shot down, you can’t hold on to the disappointment so strongly that you never ask for a raise or promotion again. Understand that it’s just a natural feeling that’s working against you in this instance and push past it by working the feminine energy to your advantage. Or better yet, look for another place to go and bring them a competing offer.

But a Pay Equality Law sounds good, and will make my life easier.

No law will do what you should already be doing for yourself. Will it mandate woman have confidence in their personal talents and demand more respect? Do we want our daughters and granddaughters relying on a law or their own self-worth?

You don’t need a law demanding someone treat you well before you give them your time in a romantic sense. You don’t need a law saying that the local Piggly Wiggly deli counter clerk will treat you fairly before you shop there again. These laws are inherent within every woman, so let’s apply them to work.

It is all on you, ladies. It’s your obligation to only work at places that treat people well. It’s also on you to take to social media, or glassdoor.com, to say, “they treat people poorly.” This is the glass ceiling to break, however, it’s also on all of us to listen and withhold support and dollars from these companies.

Luckily, with the launch of Bloomberg’s Financial Services Gender Equality Indexwe can note where women are respected and help support their fight for their due in one industry.