Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 11/14/2012

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Equal Pay for Equal Work

Dear Woman Wage-Earner:

You may be correct in your analysis that it is still a man’s world, but do keep in mind the old saying: hope springs eternal. With that uplifting thought in mind, let’s tackle your issue of equal pay for equal work.

How long have you been in your assigned position? Are you less experienced than your male counterparts? What was the result of your most recent employee review? Was your wage discussed? How did you hear about the rates paid to the men you work with? Did they tell you, or did you hear it from your women friends in the other department? Think about my questions. Are you confident your answers make sense to you?

If you know for a fact that your hourly wage is lower than that of your male coworkers who have the same job description as yours, and you have the same or similar experience they have, and your last review was positive, then take action.

You indicate you are in a non-union work environment so I assume you will communicate with your supervisor about your concerns. In a respectful, business-like manner, request an appointment. Prior to the meeting, write out exactly how you plan to present your case which should be brief, have only three elements, and start with your own qualifications: (1) your length and quality of service, (2) evidence of unequal pay, and (3) your request to have your wage increased to the level paid to the men in your position. During your appointment, be professional. By that I mean, sit up straight, be pleasant, keep your voice modulated, and listen carefully to your supervisor’s response.

Remember you have two goals in the meeting: increase your wage, and build a positive relationship with your supervisor. The latter goal may the key to achieving the former goal ... and keeping your job.

Good luck and please let me know your progress.

Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Honey warms the heart; vinegar purses the lips.

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