I fought for equal pay and was successful. I’m writing anonymously because my settlement requires me to remain silent. I won’t go into detail about my case, but I also won’t stay silent if speaking out helps other women fight for equal pay.
We know that women earn less than men on average. And we’ve heard the reasons for the disparity, which is primarily due to women leaving the workforce for maternity leave and childrearing.
Employers may, however, choose to pay male and female employees differently for performing the same job. So, what should you do if this happens to you?
THE OUTCOME YOU DON’T HEAR ABOUT
I discovered two years ago that the men at my level were earning significantly more than I was. Angry, I turned to Google to figure out what I could do to get my boss to address the imbalance. I discovered a number of stories about high-profile court cases that dragged on for years. I discovered horror stories of women who raised the issue with their boss and were berated or even fired.
I didn’t come across any stories about the third outcome: settlement. This is because almost all settlements require the signing of a non-disclosure agreement, unless the law expressly prohibits the company from doing so.
In short, the company agrees to pay the woman in exchange for her services.
I AM ONE OF THE SILENCED WINNERS
I fought for equal pay and won a settlement, signing away my voice in exchange for money. I cannot tell you my name or my employer, so I asked HerMoney if I could anonymously share my advice.
SIZE UP THE PAY IMBALANCE EARLY ON
The first step in any equal pay claim is to understand how your salary compares to that of your male counterpart in real terms. Businesses are required by law to pay men and women the same wage for doing the same or equivalent work.
In my case, I chose the man with the same job title, who was in charge of a similar budget and led a similar-sized team. We attended the same meetings and were frequently assigned to collaborate on projects.
When I found the right person, I asked him how my salary compared to his. I was honest about my earnings, asking him if the difference was minor or significant. His response informed me whether it was worthwhile to continue.