HOUSTON, Texas. According to WBUR, nationally, women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The reasons why this wage gap exists have been debated and researched. Some claim women earn less than men due to the time they miss from work due to childbirth and childrearing. Others claim that the wage gap is due to discriminatory hiring and promotion practices that don’t favor women. Moore & Associates are Houston, Texas employment and sexual harassment lawyers who work with individuals who believe they have been unfairly compensated due to their gender and those who are facing workplace sexual harassment. Women may face challenges even before they get the job. For example, if you are asked about your prior salary during an interview, it is important to consider how your answer could impact your salary and wage negotiations. In fact, equal pay advocates warm women against disclosing their prior salary.
According to QZ, women may lose either way. Women who disclose their salary may face an employer who wants to pay them less, based on this salary, meaning that it may be difficult for women to enjoy upward mobility in the workforce. However, when women refuse to disclose their salaries, their offers may be 1.8% lower than those who do disclose their salaries. Yet, when men refused to disclose their prior pay, their offers were 1.2% higher, revealing how bias can impact a woman’s ability to negotiate, result in a lower starting negotiation point, and impact a woman’s ability to advance in her career. Researchers theorize that women are penalized for negotiating more than men are. Furthermore, women who negotiate salary in a job interview are less likely to be seen as “likeable” and are less likely to get the job. However, men in a similar situation don’t face the same social consequences for negotiating for higher pay.
In Boston, one organization is working to train women in how to negotiate for higher pay. According to one report, as many as 37% of women have never negotiated for higher pay and about one third believed that their pay was unfair due to their gender.
So, what can women do to improve their wages and decrease the pay gap? For one, it helps to know what you are worth. Research salaries on Glassdoor for your similar experience and education. Are you currently being paid a fair salary? If you feel you are being undervalued, consider speaking to your employer. Getting a stronger competing offer from another job opportunity may also be able to help you negotiate a higher wage at your current job if you want to stay. You can also show your employer Glassdoor salaries in the area for your level of experience to support your negotiations.
Finally, if you believe gender discrimination is playing a role in your failure to advance at your current job, or if you believe you are being paid less for the same work, the law offers important protections. Contact the sexual harassment and employment lawyers at Moore & Associates in Houston, Texas today to learn more about your options.