Gender equality, Wage inequality

Do you also feel we are still in the stone age in terms of women empowerment?

Many of you may have heard about the Sony hack a couple of months ago that put light on some gender-based pay inequalities in Hollywood.

Hacked email correspondences revealed that women salaries were far behind their male counterparts’, with the trend affecting everyone in the industry, from celebrities, producers to studio employees.

Top grossing actress Jennifer Lawrence addressed the pay gap from the movie “Hustle”, where male leads took 9%, whereas females were offered 7%, through an essay on the matter.

When the Sony hack happened [..] I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need […]. I didn’t want to seem “difficult” or “spoiled.”

The troubling fact is that this issue does not affect the movie business alone. Nor is it singular to the US. This is actually a global problem, since women earn 78% of the amount paid to men. (Progressive Barbie is not so happy about it either).

New Barbie

Preposterous, indeed. Especially since these differences are extremely hard to explain, and become even harder as wages increase.

I have heard many possible explanations, citing historical access to education, quality of work or commitment, all trying to explain the issue. But none hold up in front of statistics. The facts are that women are better educated, comprising 62% of the total number of college graduates, frequently work longer and harder. One of the greatest examples for me was how after the 2016 snow blizzard in the US, only women turned up to run the US Senate.

What is even more painful is the incredibly slow rate in wage adjustments, that have been practically stagnating for the last 20 years. We now only earn the amount men made back in 2006.

The World Economic Forum believes it will take another 118 years – or until 2133 – until the global pay gap between men and women is finally closed. The UN is slightly more optimistic, predicting another 70 years if the gender pay gap continues to reduce at the present slow rate.

I honestly believe that not talking openly about the issue is part of the problem, and signaling it is the first step towards speeding up the process towards fair pay.

My challenge to you (and myself) now is to start asking ourselves: Why? Why is wage inequality still out there? What lies behind that ‘unexplained’ part of the issue?

More to come, but until then, I want to hear your thoughts!

 

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