Thursday, October 20, 2011
Here's a great article from Psychology Today that helps explain at least part of the reason why women still earn less than men:
... Despite all the advice women receive telling them that they fall behind men in the workplace because they don't ask for raises; because they don't network; because they don't promote themselves, it turns out that women actually do all of these things, as much as or more than men. The problem isn't us, it's them.
The Catalyst report takes aim at the claim - now almost taken for a truism in business literature - that women don't ask for promotions and salary increases at the same level as men. According to the Catalyst report, women were actually found to ask more than men for both increased compensation (63% of women to 54% of men) and a higher job position (19% of women and 17% of men) when they moved on from their first job. And yet, despite the popular wisdom that an employee willing to move to a new company has more negotiating power, women who moved around in their career earned an average of $53,472 less than their counterparts who stayed at the same company.
What the Catalyst report doesn't say is that not only does a lot of the advice out there not help women, much of it actually hurts them. Social scientists [explain that this is the result of a] the Backlash Effect. If you're seen as too feminine, you won't get the same opportunities as men in the first place. If you're seen as too masculine, you'll be seen as capable, but judged as undeserving of realizing the opportunities you would otherwise merit, on account of your personality problems. It's a classic damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. Unfortunately, much of the advice out there only addresses one side of the problem.
The Catalyst Report referred to in the excerpt above is The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead?