Sexist Career Advice That Grinds Our Gears: Gender Wage Gap

equal-payWhile I was perusing Twitter this morning, I came across an AOL jobs piece titled Tactics That Will Help You Get a Raise (If You’re Female). I’m sure plenty of people reading this piece were hoping to get some concrete advice regarding navigating the workplace structures that contribute to the gender wage gap, but unfortunately, this article’s advice only seemed to perpetuate the problem.

The piece contends the gender wage gap exists because women just aren’t asking for more money, silly. It points to a study that provides women with a possible “solution,” devising “clever ways for women to ask for a raise that makes them appear non-aggressive and feminine.”

Instead of encouraging women to tackle gaps in pay and benefits at their core–sexist hierarchal systems in company policies–the article offers advice for women to appear submissive and apologetic when asking for better workplace treatment.

“Blame it on someone else,” the author writes. “The researchers discovered that when women said another person at the company, like a supervisor, had told them to ask for a raise, they were more likely to get it, without losing popularity points.”

Telling women to preserve their likeability in order to get equal and fair treatment at work is a notion that is rooted in unequal ideas about whether or not it is a woman’s “place” to negotiate her treatment and pay with her boss. We rarely see men receiving similar advice. The article also encourages women to “mention how weird you feel about asking for a raise”–as if expecting fair pay is something to be apologetic and timid about.

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