My Neice Wont Know What a Wage Gap is
“You know what it is, women don’t know how to ask for money. If women asked for pay and raises the way men do...”
I have heard this from men in one flavor or another for years. My favorite part about this statement is that the people who believe things like this, say it aloud to others and promote this as an explanation for the wage gap, are the same people who will tell you in detail about how women are absolutely gold diggers.
Let me get this straight, women know how to ask for money, but only when their legs are spread?
Because it can’t be both ways – women can’t be expert gold diggers, draining men of undeserved wealth and unable to ask for their fair pay in a work setting at the same damn time.
Newsflash: Women know how to ask for money in the boardroom and the bedroom (we’re versatile like that)
A new study out of Australia finds that women do, in fact, ask for money as often as men, but are less likely to receive it.
“The report comes to the stark conclusion that ‘women do ask but they do not get.’ Looking at survey data from 4,600 workers in 840 workplaces in Australia, the findings appear to debunk the commonly-held idea that when it comes to negotiating, women are less aggressive than men.”
But, why are we just finding this out? Because as more women are in positions of power, we have the ability to do more research like this. Debunking ideas that have been commonly held about why women have unequal rights and pay. The article goes on further to say:
“If women in the younger generation continue to successfully negotiate higher pay as they rise through the ranks, they could have better luck chipping away at the pay gap than their predecessors did.”
And that's exactly what is happening. According to the 2011 to 2013 Census data analyzed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, millennial women are closing the wage gap.
"While all Pennsylvania women, on average, make only 76 cents on the dollar compared with men performing the same job, Millennial women in the state and the nation do better at 86 cents on the dollar"
This generation of women, my generation, is tired of being an afterthought. We are seeing a shift in women’s attitudes towards the world. Women who are tired of being silenced. The result of that is women who are willing to speak, ask, and demand equality. Women who typically would have been silent are now finding voices to fight for equality and realizing that they are nowhere near alone in that fight. By the numbers, millennial women aren't rushing to marriage or children. They are flocking to education, careers, founding businesses, and changing the world. Because if we want something done, we have to do it ourselves.
My Niece Won’t Know what a Wage Gap is
My niece started kindergarten this year. I looked through the pictures of her first day with tear filled eyes. She has no fear. This year she picked out her own clothes, standing tall outside of her new school, posing for the photos her mom is taking. That girl is ready to take on the world and I couldn’t be prouder. As I look at pictures of her, I feel thankful for the generations, mine included, who have come before her. I feel thankful that I live in a world where the right to vote, to work, to go school were fought for and won before me.
I am happy to be here today fighting for her. To be fighting for equal wages for women, for reproductive rights, for women to be counted in for medical trials and treatments. By the time she is old enough to understand what a wage gap is, I want her to look at me in disbelief. I want her to live in a world where even the idea of a wage gap is laughable. I want to be telling her stories of working to close the wage gap, fighting for Planned Parenthood and marches on Washington against government officials who rule with unveiled misogyny, and I want her to think I am fucking nuts because that isn't the world she lives in.
I want her to be at college with the world ahead of her talking about me to her friends, crazy auntie Jazmine (eye roll). That’s right baby girl, take over the world.