Equal Pay Day: Gender pay gap will not close for at least 43 years
Today is Equal Pay Day —which symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Tech giants such as Microsoft and Facebook claim they have ended the gender pay gap, but is it enough?
In our latest survey, we asked both men and women about the technologies they want to use this year. We received roughly 1,000 answers, but according to the results, almost 97 per cent of those who answered our questions were men. Although this is part of a larger discussion, the question remains: Is the equal pay discussion (especially in IT) still a taboo topic?
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella was heavily criticized two years ago for saying that women in tech should not ask for raises —they should rely on karma to put an end to pay disparity. According to a recording on the website of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, when asked how women should get ahead in tech, Nadella said that “it’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”
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Microsoft and Facebook’s equal pay endeavors
Microsoft’s Human Resources Executive Vice President, Kathleen Hogan, announced in a blog post that the tech giant’s female employees in the United States now earn 99.8 per cent for every $1 earned by men at the same level and job title. “These numbers reflect our commitment to equal pay for equal work,” Hogan wrote. “Our announcement today is another step forward along the path of greater diversity and inclusion progress at Microsoft, and in society as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Facebook’s VP of people, Lori Matloff Goler, wrote in a post that Facebook regularly reviews its compensation practices to ensure pay equality. Although she acknowledged that “there’s always more work to be done,” Goler took pride in Facebook’s leading position in pay equality and revealed that the company looks forward to a time when they don’t even need to call it out.
Equal pay still a dream —for now
A research by the American Association of University Women revealed that women earn less than 80 percent of what equally qualified men receive. Plus, The Institute for Women’s Policy Research concluded that “if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take 43 years —or until 2059— for women to finally reach pay parity.” Meanwhile, the United Nations warned in a report last year that the income of women worldwide will lag behind men’s for another 70 years if the gap continues to diminish at the current slow rate.