There are many levels to Admins all at varying rates of pay, skills, and abilities. Makes me wonder how Admin, Coordinator, Office Manager and Executive Assistant merged into one catch-all generic label and at a wage that may soon become the new minimum?
Part of the problem is that women do not push back on the establishment. And many are generally uncertain about how to negotiate a reasonable wage and maybe timid about forging a new path for themselves. After all, the time to learn new tricks is not when one is in immediate need of work.
What it all comes down to, I believe, is a resistance to change and a fear of breaking out of the security of corporate conventions. The good news is the fix may be in thanks to, in part, the Massachusetts legislature for a new law addressing women and pay in 2018.
By barring companies from asking prospective employees how much they earned at their last jobs, Massachusetts will ensure that the historically lower wages and salaries assigned to women and minorities do not follow them for their entire careers. Companies tend to set salaries for new hires using their previous pay as a baseline.
The Massachusetts law, which will go into effect in July 2018, takes other steps as well to combat pay discrimination. Companies will not be allowed to prohibit workers from telling others how much they are paid, a move that proponents say can increase salary transparency and help employees discover disparities.
New York Times, August 2, 2016
This is just a beginning. There is more we can do.
Women need to advocate for themselves, but they also need leadership to help provide opportunities to encourage growth in communicating new ideas. We can
- Elevate the good ideas of our fellow female colleagues, making sure to highlight their input at important meetings
- Take a seat at the conference table and not always defer to the second row
- Know what you are worth and factor in out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare and self-employment tax and benefits–including vacation or sick days–in your asking rate be it a part-time or salaried position.
On the heels of our national election, and with a special mention to the continuance of a mythic-sized impermeable glass ceiling in the highest office of the land, I reflect upon women in leadership and pay equity in my little corner of our world. Taking initiative is all that is required for the tides of change to turn. It is not difficult to do, but we must commit to opening doors for the next generation of women leaders.
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