Ask WTF: Salary

  • StephenCleary 2012-10-02 08:03
    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. REVERSE DISCRIMINATION.
  • Soumynona 2012-10-02 08:06
    I always want more money.
  • snoofle 2012-10-02 08:07
    If you want to find out what you're worth, change the name on your resume to a male name and submit it to a few headhunters to see what sort of salary ranges are available for "you" in your chosen area.

    You don't actually have to interview - just get an idea of what they're paying at similar companies for similar positions.

    Food for thought...
  • Alek 2012-10-02 08:16
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.
  • Avonelle Lovhaug 2012-10-02 08:21
    Your advice is excellent. Too many people focus on what the person next to them is making, and assuming bad intentions when they discover that by comparison they are making less. There will ALWAYS be people who are making more than you, and many of them will not (in your mind anyway) have earned it. There are many, many reasons for this. You may think many of those reasons are "unfair", but you may not be right. Management will often value things you discount. For example: In my experience some people think following the rules is the most important thing, and will think those who don't follow the rules should make less. Guess what? This is not always true. Someone who takes risks and is successful may be more highly valued than someone who doesn't.

    Focus on whether or not your pay is satisfying to personally, and take steps to correct it if it isn't. But don't spend time worrying about what others are making.
  • WC 2012-10-02 08:24
    I was recently in a situation where I didn't feel I was making what I was worth. This had nothing to do with others around me in the company, but it did have to do with others in the industry.

    After asking for a proper raise, and being denied, I left. My new job was a 40% pay raise from the previous. Problem solved. In fact, it turns out that employers that shaft you on pay also shaft you on other things. The new company makes it much easier to take a vacation, and they have full medical. Things just generally go smoother here.

    My advice to anyone who thinks they are being underpaid: Ask for a raise, and start looking for a new job if they won't give you what you feel you are worth. You don't have to change, and you may find you're being paid fairly after all. But at least you'll have options.
  • Foo 2012-10-02 08:25
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.
  • Matt 2012-10-02 08:32
    Can't help but notice that your evidence of the paygap makes a bare effort of taking experience into account- bare enough to make the effort meaningless.

    Not to mention no effort whatsoever to take into account career changes, geographical location, or the fact that within even similar-seeming jobs, there are differences that affect pay.

    Fact of the matter is, this study wasn't written to answer a question, it was written to support a political platform.

    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at. Do not do this. This is terrible advice. Best case scenario, you create tension between yourself and your coworkers and you do not want that.
  • StMarc 2012-10-02 08:38
    1) In some states there are laws that protect employees who discuss salaries regardless of employer policy. YMMV.

    2) You're right: the pay gap is mostly a creature of statistical manipulation with a thin layer of political correctness on top.

    3) That doesn't mean that in any *individual* situation, somebody might be making more or less than their colleagues. It doesn't have anything to do with purposeful discrimination most of the time, but if they feel they should be paid comparably, they have to take action. It won't correct it self.
  • Okay then? 2012-10-02 08:39
    Matt:
    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at. Do not do this. This is terrible advice. Best case scenario, you create tension between yourself and your coworkers and you do not want that.

    PROTIP: That's either because they were significantly shortchanging you, or significantly shortchanging a lot of your co-workers. Welcome to IT!

    In respons to the article: Thank you for not going on a mens-rights tirade, when I saw the letter I had my hand over the rage button - but you delivered.
  • yername 2012-10-02 08:40
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.
  • NaN (Not a Name) 2012-10-02 08:42
    Some jobs back, I went through the process of building up a dev team which involved contractors being hired on as employees. There were a lot more variables than just experience. Pay was also a factor of when they were hired and who else was available at the time.

    By the way, the highest paid person on the team was a woman. She was probably overpaid in comparison to this market, but at the time we hired here, there was just no one else available who could do the job.
  • Anon Ymous 2012-10-02 08:43
    I don't know why salaries are such a taboo topic. Yes your employer doesn't want you talking to your coworkers about it because they want to negotiate with you on an individual basis and the less information you have about the market for your job/skills the more of an advantage they have in negotiating your salary.

    If you think you are being shortchanged look online. There are websites that list information on salaries by field and location. If you find that you might be undercompensated, explain the situation to a coworker and ask if he or she would be willing to discuss their compensation with you. The worst they can say is no.

    If you are dissatisfied, my advice would be to look for a new job. The reason being you have far more leverage negotiating your initial salary than trying to negotiate a raise. Just my $0.02.
  • Alek 2012-10-02 08:47
    TRWTF here might be using the word "unionist", which has a political and historical meaning according to wordreference ("supporter of union of Great Britain and Ireland"), instead of "union activist".

    By the way, in France, many unions in a single firm compete every four years to get the employees vote and have the most representatives elected. In a way, this prevents them to "screw every over", at least for a long time.
  • mott555 2012-10-02 08:48
    yername:
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.


    "Everyone" also includes the workers who are often forced to pay dues to a union they may want nothing to do with, and are often told not to do their job (strike) in order to help their union prove some political point.

    "Everyone" also includes non-union workers who may step in and take their place during strikes, yet because of stupid laws pushed through by the union leaders these non-union workers still have to pay union dues!

    The only ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the leaders of said unions.

    I don't know if we need unions or not, but what I do know is if we do need unions, the ones we have now are not the ones we need.

    /political rant
  • Mike 2012-10-02 08:52
    So the advice in this article is to put up with discrimination and be satisfied?

    No, this is wrong. Yes, the advice at one level is practical in that there will always be differences between individuals and that's life, it isn't fair. But that is completely different from accepting institutional sexism in the work place.

    What is the advice for black people who get paid less? That's life and if you don't like it you have a personal problem?

    Disgusting!!!
  • bill 2012-10-02 08:53
    "People who settle end up blowing out the candles on a retirement cake iced with regret. " Elegantly put.
  • Bob 2012-10-02 08:59
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.


    Ah, spot the USAian. I thought their product advertising was slick until I saw the pure brainfuck the government manages to visit upon its citizens.
  • mystery 2012-10-02 09:00
    So, you get a lady submitter and you call her BH. hmmm
  • Matt 2012-10-02 09:01
    Okay then?:

    PROTIP: That's either because they were significantly shortchanging you, or significantly shortchanging a lot of your co-workers. Welcome to IT!

    In respons to the article: Thank you for not going on a mens-rights tirade, when I saw the letter I had my hand over the rage button - but you delivered.


    Maybe, maybe not. Also worth pointing out, I work in an "At Will" state. Which I'm fine with, because it cuts both ways. I've walked from more than a couple of bad situations because it's not hard to get a better offer. Welcome to IT!

    And this isn't a mens-rights tirade. There may very well be a pay gap. I don't know. And the referenced data sure as heck isn't going to tell me.

    This is more of a intellectual tirade. If you want to show evidence of a pay gap, actually show evidence of it. Don't hold up the same tired data, with the same heavy-handed slant, all the while ignoring the valid concerns about your results.

    I do like the idea of sending out identical resumes with different names. Not statistically definitive, as it's one data point. You could, for instance, get one jerk of a headhunter. But doing that could be interesting.
  • mozbo 2012-10-02 09:01
    Yeah, especially the kids, they NEED to work in a factory at age 6. And you and me, it'd be much better if bosses could just lock us in for 110 hours a week. It's totally unfair that unions helped stop that. They're really mean.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-10-02 09:01
    The big problem in IT is a tendency to lowball, and taking a lowball salary screws you later on. For example, if you were making $60k but were laid off, you might settle for a job offering $45k rather than have no income at all or meager unemployment. But now a new job will look at the fact you're making $45k and, instead of saying "The market rate is $65k, we will pay you that and make you WANT to stay here" they think "This person is only getting $45k. We can offer $50k and save $15k off market rate" and then wonder why that person only stays long enough to find a higher paying job.
  • Nick 2012-10-02 09:04
    Good advice, but I respectfully disagree. You should never be satisfied with your pay. Once you are, you'll stop striving to better yourself, stop being competitive with your peers, and stop being recognized as an outstanding achiever. Once you're happy, you've lost the game.

    This isn't to say that you should pine for more pay. Set your goals just out of reach so you can keep striving for them.

    Last thing: you're never going to get the raise you don't ask for.
  • polanski 2012-10-02 09:06
    TRWTF happens when you're being paid less than the handyman. And that one's actually a true story in Middle-Eastern Europe.
  • RaceProUK 2012-10-02 09:07
    Mike:
    So the advice in this article is to put up with discrimination and be satisfied?

    That's not at all what the article advised. Let me point out the last few sentences:
    Figure out what you’re worth, and demand that in return. Don’t let anyone cheat you out of that. Life is far too short for that.

    So the advice is basically 'make sure you earn enough to be happy'.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 09:13
    WC:
    I was recently in a situation where I didn't feel I was making what I was worth. This had nothing to do with others around me in the company, but it did have to do with others in the industry.

    After asking for a proper raise, and being denied, I left. My new job was a 40% pay raise from the previous. Problem solved. In fact, it turns out that employers that shaft you on pay also shaft you on other things. The new company makes it much easier to take a vacation, and they have full medical. Things just generally go smoother here.

    My advice to anyone who thinks they are being underpaid: Ask for a raise, and start looking for a new job if they won't give you what you feel you are worth. You don't have to change, and you may find you're being paid fairly after all. But at least you'll have options.
    One of my friends while in college was doing software development and was making $45,000. When he got his degree they did not give him a pay raise, but he was ok with it since it was a small company and he liked the benefits. A year later the company got absorbed by another company and he had to pretty much be rehired. I told him that if he asked for anything less than $60,000 I would go to his house and beat him up. He asked for $60,000 and got it. Then on IM he told me: "The guy did not even bat an eye when I said $60k."
    (1 min later)
    "I should have asked for more."
  • Matt 2012-10-02 09:14
    mott555:


    "Everyone" also includes the workers who are often forced to pay dues to a union they may want nothing to do with, and are often told not to do their job (strike) in order to help their union prove some political point.

    "Everyone" also includes non-union workers who may step in and take their place during strikes, yet because of stupid laws pushed through by the union leaders these non-union workers still have to pay union dues!

    The only ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the leaders of said unions.

    I don't know if we need unions or not, but what I do know is if we do need unions, the ones we have now are not the ones we need.

    /political rant


    This is why I love the idea of Right To Work laws. If unions provide a deal that workers like, then they can feel free to join. If not, then not. It puts the choice back where it belongs.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 09:15
    mott555:
    "Everyone" also includes the workers who are often forced to pay dues to a union they may want nothing to do with, and are often told not to do their job (strike) in order to help their union prove some political point.

    "Everyone" also includes non-union workers who may step in and take their place during strikes, yet because of stupid laws pushed through by the union leaders these non-union workers still have to pay union dues!

    The only ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the leaders of said unions.

    I don't know if we need unions or not, but what I do know is if we do need unions, the ones we have now are not the ones we need.

    /political rant


    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.

    Oh, right. I forgot. Collective bargaining is only a good thing when it's in the interest of corporations and free markets should only apply to sucking the money out of the public's pocket by any means necessary. Employment should always be every-person-for-themself like a herd of cattle before a pack of wolves deciding they'd be better off if they all split up.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 09:20
    Anketam:
    I told him that if he asked for anything less than $60,000 I would go to his house and beat him up. He asked for $60,000 and got it. Then on IM he told me: "The guy did not even bat an eye when I said $60k."
    (1 min later)
    "I should have asked for more."


    Standard salary negotiation regardless of position. Ask for a lot and argue down gently. Don't get absurd, but don't ask for your 'worth.' If they reject you outright then they wouldn't have paid you your worth anyway. This isn't a no-haggle car lot this is your prospective job.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 09:20
    Matt:
    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at. Do not do this. This is terrible advice. Best case scenario, you create tension between yourself and your coworkers and you do not want that.
    I would advise not working at companies that have that kind of policy since it is likely a symptom of other issues. The only reason why you should not share salary information is because it has a high probability of causing envy. However, if you and the coworker you are considering doing this with are both comfortable with people making more than themselves then I see no harm. My coworker and I over the past 4 years have shared and compared our promotions and cost of living and merit increases.

    Also if you are uncomfortable talking with coworkers there are sites that have salary information broken out by a wide variety of parameters (and some even by company). My current company even shares the salary distribution for each job title so you can see where you fall. Right now I fall below the average, but I am ok with that since I can meet all my needs and maintain my lifestyle.

    Lastly there are some companies that will pay 20% above the industry standard, but that is because their work environment is highly competitive and they expect overtime, and if you only put in the min 40 hours you will likely get fired.
  • Danielle 2012-10-02 09:21
    I know exactly what you mean! I'm a female C++ developper. My boyfriend works at the same place. And we do the same job, we even work on the same dev team!
  • Mike 2012-10-02 09:22
    Or basically, discrimination is your problem, and if your skills are not such that you are good at that (regardless of how good you are at your job) then that is your problem and the employer can carry on discriminating because you weren't tough enough.

    It's the same message. Discrimination is the victim's problem.

    Wrong!
  • brazzy 2012-10-02 09:22
    Here's a method through which a group of people can discover their average wage without anyone disclosing their personal wage:

    * Stand in a circle, choose a random person to start.
    * The first person comes up with a large random number, writes it down in secret, then adds their wage to it and shows the result to the next person.
    * The next person takes the number they were shown, adds their own large random number (which is also written down in secret) and their wage, and shows the result to the next.
    * Repeat until the first person is again reached.
    * In the second round, each person subtracts their random number from the total before showing it to the next.
    * When the fist person is reached again, the total is the sum of everyone's wages, so divide it by the number of people to get the average.
    * Do NOT do the calucaltions on the same piece of paper and destroy all the papers afterwards - the secrecy of individual wages hinges on the fact that nobody knows how much any of the others added and substracted.
  • Oh for crying out loud 2012-10-02 09:31
    The "paygap" is an average across all industries, levels of education and experience. Almost all of it is explained by the fact that women, more than average, make choices that don't necessarily maximize lifetime income but instead maximize happiness, family, or whatever.

    For example, women on average work fewer hours per week (outside the home) than men.

    For example, women tend to be the ones who have babies and take extended time off of work (slackers!).

    Anytime someone mentions this 75% trope in the context of an individual salary -- that the women in a department are paid 75% of what the men are for equivalent work -- anyone who thinks that should stay away from statistics, economics and finance. Please.
  • Losty 2012-10-02 09:33
    Matt:

    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at. Do not do this.


    There's your real WTF.... :p
    What country is this?

    In Holland it's kind of a taboo to talk about this, but they can't fire you for it :p
  • Your Name 2012-10-02 09:35
    In the public sector, everyone's salary is public information, and somehow life still goes on.

    I'm just saying.
  • Foo Bar 2012-10-02 09:36
    I love how many commenters project their own very large biases onto this answer. Some think you're a politically correct communist demanding equal wages regardless of merit, others think you're an apologist for big business telling oppressed workers to suck it up.
  • Remy Porter 2012-10-02 09:38
    If that's what you get from "Figure out what you're worth and demand that", I think there's a severe disconnect in what's written and what's read. Your conclusion is the exact opposite of what the article said.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 09:39
    Delve:
    mott555:
    "Everyone" also includes the workers who are often forced to pay dues to a union they may want nothing to do with, and are often told not to do their job (strike) in order to help their union prove some political point.

    "Everyone" also includes non-union workers who may step in and take their place during strikes, yet because of stupid laws pushed through by the union leaders these non-union workers still have to pay union dues!

    The only ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the leaders of said unions.

    I don't know if we need unions or not, but what I do know is if we do need unions, the ones we have now are not the ones we need.

    /political rant


    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.

    Oh, right. I forgot. Collective bargaining is only a good thing when it's in the interest of corporations and free markets should only apply to sucking the money out of the public's pocket by any means necessary. Employment should always be every-person-for-themself like a herd of cattle before a pack of wolves deciding they'd be better off if they all split up.
    The major purpose of unions dates back to the time when there was no government regulations on companies and the workers had to protect themselves from abusive companies. Now companies have to deal with government regulation and unions which creates extra burden on the company. Also unions have become the very thing they hated: greedy. The unions using their power force companies to pay more and offer better benefits than what the workers are contributing in value to the company.

    If you have a worker and are paying them $50,000 a year and an extra $50,000 in the form of benefits and overhead, then that worker better be generating over $100,000 of value to the company. But the union protects the weaker workers that are not making that break even point let alone contributing to the profitibility of the company, while at the same time demanding more money. Unfortunately unions in many cases have forced companies into very tight margins, and when a little trouble hits the market they go under.
  • Rodnas 2012-10-02 09:41
    So, when it is about salary everyone is suddenly very serious. Not a single joking comment to be found. Okay, i will do it.

    Lets ask Paula Bean what her salary is and use that as a base salary which will increase with your skills/experience.
  • Remy Porter 2012-10-02 09:43
    Speaking only for myself, more salary and my desire to better myself are completely unrelated to each other. Don't tell my day job, but I make more money than I know what to do with. A raise is nice, but it's not something that's a real motivator for me. More vacation time on the other hand...

    My motivation to be recognized as an outstanding achiever is because I want to be an outstanding achiever. I like what I do and I want to be good at it. I want to push my organization to be good at it, and create an environment that fosters skill enhancement.

    I certainly expect to be paid well for my time- and I am.
  • brazzy 2012-10-02 09:44
    Oh for crying out loud:
    The "paygap" is an average across all industries, levels of education and experience. Almost all of it is explained by the fact that women, more than average, make choices that don't necessarily maximize lifetime income but instead maximize happiness, family, or whatever.

    The wage difference is *in part* explainable by life and career choices, but definitely not all of it. There is still a 9% gap AFTER you factor out education, experience, industry and unionization (source: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html)

    Oh for crying out loud:

    Anytime someone mentions this 75% trope in the context of an individual salary -- that the women in a department are paid 75% of what the men are for equivalent work -- anyone who thinks that should stay away from statistics, economics and finance. Please.

    Please explain. If an individual salary of a woman is 75% of an equally educated and experienced male colleague in the same department, isn't that the most crystal clear example of wage discrimination?
  • Sad Day 2012-10-02 09:44
    In my experience this "That co-worker plays golf with the right people" is what really matters, or at least i was luck enough to get 3 jobs that was like that lol.
    Once i asked my manager why my rank/wage was lower than the people that came to ask my help every day. The answer? You dont have enough malice.
  • Matt 2012-10-02 09:49
    Anketam:
    I would advise not working at companies that have that kind of policy since it is likely a symptom of other issues.


    While I don't disagree, it's a bit like trying to find a company that doesn't have a "No porn at work" policy.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 09:55
    Anketam:
    The major purpose of unions dates back to the time when there was no government regulations on companies and the workers had to protect themselves from abusive companies. Now companies have to deal with government regulation and unions which creates extra burden on the company. Also unions have become the very thing they hated: greedy. The unions using their power force companies to pay more and offer better benefits than what the workers are contributing in value to the company.

    If you have a worker and are paying them $50,000 a year and an extra $50,000 in the form of benefits and overhead, then that worker better be generating over $100,000 of value to the company. But the union protects the weaker workers that are not making that break even point let alone contributing to the profitibility of the company, while at the same time demanding more money. Unfortunately unions in many cases have forced companies into very tight margins, and when a little trouble hits the market they go under.


    There are still very few regulations regarding employment. Safety requirements? Yes. But if you can hire the workers for a soul crushing, family destroying minimum wage with no benefits and a paltry few days off (which can't be afforded since that's hours you're not working) well then. GOOD ON YOU! If you can get away with it. History shows that over time given any imbalance of power one side will dominate and the rest will suffer at the whim of the powerful.

    As far as unproductive workers are concerned, I don't claim that our current crop of unions are halo toting saviors. But to demolish a system because the current inhabitants of it are less than savory... if we're going down that road let's go ahead and take it all the way and lynch the politicians, stake the bureaucrats out in the sun, take the high impact toys away from constabulary and the military, and have ourselves some proper anarchy shall we?
  • Micky 2012-10-02 09:57
    Nick:
    Once you are, you'll stop striving to better yourself, stop being competitive with your peers, and stop being recognized as an outstanding achiever. Once you're happy, you've lost the game.


    You've only lost if competition and striving for more and more and more is a core feature of your life. Not everybody is like that. Many, at least I hope, reach a point where they can say that they've reached what they wanted to reach and from now on money is not the deciding factor anymore.
  • anon 2012-10-02 09:58
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The big problem in IT is a tendency to lowball, and taking a lowball salary screws you later on. For example, if you were making $60k but were laid off, you might settle for a job offering $45k rather than have no income at all or meager unemployment. But now a new job will look at the fact you're making $45k and, instead of saying "The market rate is $65k, we will pay you that and make you WANT to stay here" they think "This person is only getting $45k. We can offer $50k and save $15k off market rate" and then wonder why that person only stays long enough to find a higher paying job.
    THIS JUST IN: Employers are cheap bastards that don't have your best interests in mind and will penny-pinch at every opportunity...
    </sarcasm>

    As snoofle intimated, it's all just a game, and you'll be much better off if *you* know how to play.
  • golddog 2012-10-02 10:02
    First, I think I must say that I'm in the category of Remy's friend: “I like having more money, but I was making enough before.” So my viewpoint may be skewed; I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.

    And yes, I've looked at places like glassdoor.com and see for my experience/skills/etc, I'm not getting paid fairly. But, what would I do with another $X? I live quite nicely within the salary I get now.

    For those people out there worrying about salary, don't let that be the driving force behind a potential job search. If you enjoy the work and the people with whom you work, that's worth a lot more than going to some shitty job for something as trivial as money.

    When I last interviewed, practically the first words out of anyone's mouth (especially recruiters) were: "how much is your salary?"

    My response was always that that isn't the main factor: If an employer wants to stand over me, poking me with a stick, trying to get me to code faster, guess what? There isn't enough money.

    All that's nice to be said, but you shouldn't get taken advantage of either. It's a balanacing act.

    Strange coincidence that this came up now. We recently had our company call at which various things like sales, general news, etc are discussed.

    When it got to the portion of the company I support (I am the single developer responsible for our main application), the CEO talked about how we're $1M ahead of revenue for that sector, well ahead of our projected client retention rates. Later in the call, a different manager thanked me by name for something I'd put in last week to make her life a lot easier.

    So, I'm sitting there thinking <Carl Spackler>How about a little something for the effort?</Carl Spackler>.

    Of course, I can't take credit for the entirety of that good news; the product owner does a great job, as do the admins and the sales people.

    But, at the same time, I'm an important part of that team. Spread the wealth around a bit...

    OK, rant over. :-)
  • Matt 2012-10-02 10:03
    brazzy:

    Please explain. If an individual salary of a woman is 75% of an equally educated and experienced male colleague in the same department, isn't that the most crystal clear example of wage discrimination?


    No. What you've proposed is *an* explanation, but not the only explanation, and that is the failing of every "study" I've seen on the subject. They don't attempt to account for all explanations of wage gaps in order to identify the cases that must be due to discrimination.

    In your hypothetical, there are a few unanswered questions still. First is actual ability, which is highly subjective, unfortunately. But the fact of the matter is that experience does not equal ability. Secondly, same department does not equal same job or same job demands, which affects salary. As has been pointed out, bargaining ability has a great effect on salary.

    Then we get into fun little edge cases. For instance, a company I worked for some years ago went through a restructuring that brought all the disparate programming groups into one department. A half dozen different departments equaled a half dozed different ways of determining a programmer's starting salary, based on a number of different things, including the fact that a few of those departments used to be their own company that had been bought by the parent company. And now, we're all one department. That's exactly the sort of thing that "studies" like this don't take into account.

    Look- this sort of study is difficult. Anyone that claims to have the "right" answer is almost certainly doing so more to support a political platform than anything else, although I'd love to see more comprehensive data.

    And last, but certainly not least, your situation is hypothetical. Statistics don't deal in the hypothetical.
  • DCRoss 2012-10-02 10:03
    Matt:
    While I don't disagree, it's a bit like trying to find a company that doesn't have a "No porn at work" policy.


    They exist. Perhaps you're just working in the wrong industry.

    You may also find that the grass is not only always greener on the other side, it also smells a lot better and isn't infested with vermin, but that's a whole other story.
  • EdCh 2012-10-02 10:04
    While I agree with the sentiment of the article, I feel compelled to point out that the statistics often quoted about the relative compensation of females vs. males is based on a census bureau numbers which does NOT attempt to compare equal work for equal pay, rather the differences stem more from hours worked, type of job, life choices, etc., etc....
  • just stop it 2012-10-02 10:05
    yername:
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.


    Just curious: what do you think is a fair salary?

    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?
  • Remy Porter 2012-10-02 10:09
    As was linked up-thread, even when you control for those factors, there's still a (smaller) pay-gap. The pay-gap does exist. I mean, if we're just throwing out confounding factors, how about this one: so much of the IT industry is actively hostile to women that the only women who go into it aren't operating to their full potential, and hence get less salary.

    The link in the article about one woman's experience at DefCon drives that home: because of her gender, she was excluded from networking opportunities that could have landed her a better job.
  • nonpartisan 2012-10-02 10:17
    My place of employment just got through union negotiations. That's good. I got a raise. That's good.

    I had heard rumors about renegotiating the salary range. It turned out to be true. So my new salary post-raise was less than the low bound of the new salary. So they bumped me up to the low bound. That's good.

    But what this now means is that, with 6 years as a network engineer, 3 as a senior, I'm getting paid the same amount as if they hired in a brand new senior engineer. And that's presuming the new hire doesn't negotiate a higher salary.

    WTF??
  • Quicksilver 2012-10-02 10:19
    The paygap is often statistical misiterpreted.
    To argue that woman make less in the same jobs based on the statistics or cited report seems wrong!

    Often statistics are quoted for showing that women make less in the same jobs. What they show in reality is that women tend to go for cheaper/less payed jobs and also have more often half jobs which pay less per hour.
    None of these statistics I am aware of shows that women make less in the same jobs!

  • Matt 2012-10-02 10:20
    DCRoss:
    Matt:
    While I don't disagree, it's a bit like trying to find a company that doesn't have a "No porn at work" policy.


    They exist. Perhaps you're just working in the wrong industry.

    You may also find that the grass is not only always greener on the other side, it also smells a lot better and isn't infested with vermin, but that's a whole other story.


    My career path is a great study in choices to not make and, I hope, how to recover from them. I won't deny I've worked for some crappy companies, but even where I'm at now, which is a great place (I don't know the HR repercussions and I'm not keen to find out), the stigma is there. In fact, we were just bought, and the new company handed out a round of pay raises, and from the way they were handled, it's pretty clear that inquiries into your coworkers pay are not appreciated.

    Okay- I may have overstated things. I do that on occasion. But going around asking for salary information from your coworkers is going to cause tension more often than not. Which will ultimately do more damage to your job more often than not, which will do more damage to your career more often than not. I've had some pretty good success doing the research on what I can expect with my skillset and experience in my area, and negotiating from there.
  • whiznat 2012-10-02 10:22
    "... and then wonder why that person only stays long enough to find a higher paying job."

    While the vast majority of this comment is spot on, the last bit is off. The truth is, they know exactly why you left. They simply don't care. They will just replace you with the next person who will allow themselves to be run over. Managers get kudos for saving money, not for hiring the best IT person in the world.
  • Saoili 2012-10-02 10:28
    "In fact, it turns out that employers that shaft you on pay also shaft you on other things."

    I don't think that's always true. I get the impression that the salaries here aren't great. But I get far more days off than most people I know, and I can basically arrange to take them whenever I like. I get free lunch. My company pays for my fuel, even though there is no driving in my job.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-10-02 10:29
    Remy Porter:
    I think there's a severe disconnect in what's written and what's read.
    Welcome to the Internet. In addition to the comprehension-impaired, we have a wide variety of trolls and pontiffs for your entertainment. Enjoy your stay.
  • AC 2012-10-02 10:30
    Matt:
    I do like the idea of sending out identical resumes with different names. Not statistically definitive, as it's one data point. You could, for instance, get one jerk of a headhunter. But doing that could be interesting.


    They did exactly this in science, and found that gender discrimination is real there: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109#aff-1

    From the abstract: "(They) rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. (They) also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant."
  • Brad 2012-10-02 10:30
    This female pay discrepancy has been thoroughly debunked. Employers in this country aren't paying women less. The average pay for women is less in large part due to the fact that women often take the middle portion of their careers off to raise kids (thank God for the women who do that) and as such their career average salary is lower and also because women *in general* aren't as motivated to advance to tech-lead and such.
    There are differences between men and women (vive la differnce).
    This one women *might* not be getting her fair share, but there is no systemic problem.
  • DBScissors 2012-10-02 10:31
    A few years ago, I worked for a company that made an unfortunate change to its policies. In California, companies are required to pay overtime, but only to employees who make less than a certain amount. Those above that level are called "exempt". There had been some lawsuits in the past from laid off employees who were demanding that they be compensated for all their unpaid overtime, so the company decided that it would require all non-exempt employees to track all of their hours, and only allow overtime if justified in advance by a manager. Unfortunately, the salary limit for exempt employees -- which was a well-known exact figure -- was right around the middle-range of the market rate for software engineers. It was immediately obvious who in the department was exempt and who wasn't, based on who was being forced to take state-mandated breaks and constantly logging hours in the time tracking software.

    They changed their policy a few months later and fired the HR bigwig who spearheaded it, because of all the conflict it caused among non-exempt employees demanding to be paid as much as their exempt peers.
  • just stop it 2012-10-02 10:32
    just stop it:
    yername:
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.


    Just curious: what do you think is a fair salary?

    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?


    Ha! Ha! 78 years?!? what a douche. Seriously, don't know where that 8 came from. It's supposed to be 7 years.
  • just stop it 2012-10-02 10:35
    DBScissors:
    A few years ago, I worked for a company that made an unfortunate change to its policies. In California, companies are required to pay overtime, but only to employees who make less than a certain amount. Those above that level are called "exempt". There had been some lawsuits in the past from laid off employees who were demanding that they be compensated for all their unpaid overtime, so the company decided that it would require all non-exempt employees to track all of their hours, and only allow overtime if justified in advance by a manager. Unfortunately, the salary limit for exempt employees -- which was a well-known exact figure -- was right around the middle-range of the market rate for software engineers. It was immediately obvious who in the department was exempt and who wasn't, based on who was being forced to take state-mandated breaks and constantly logging hours in the time tracking software.

    They changed their policy a few months later and fired the HR bigwig who spearheaded it, because of all the conflict it caused among non-exempt employees demanding to be paid as much as their exempt peers.


    So, did the exempt peers not have to work overtime? I'd expect that they'd be victimized by this policy and have to pull the extra hours that the non-exempts weren't allowed to pull.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-10-02 10:46
    just stop it:
    Just curious: what do you think is a fair salary?

    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?
    Exactly. This line of thought leads to a very slippery slope, as the next question becomes: is it fair that someone gets paid more for playing basketball than for teaching? At the bottom of the slope is some bureaucrat determining your salary.
  • Meep 2012-10-02 10:50
    A great no-bullshit source for career women is Susannah Breslin. For example, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2012/04/18/equal-pay-day-is-stupid-heres-why/">why Equal Pay Day is stupid</a>.

    <i>1. It Tells Women to Aim for Equality.

    From what I gather, the idea of Equal Pay Day is that women should earn as much as men. This is what women are supposed to aspire to: equality.

    This is wrong. Women should not aspire to earn as much as men. Women should aspire to make more money than men.</i>

    You can't deny she's got a point there, and as obvious as it sounds, I haven't seen anyone else make it. Can't find it, but another point she makes in other columns: a big reason women don't get paid as much is they don't *ask* for as much pay.

    Think through the implications of that, not for all of Sisterhood, but for you as an individual and what you ought to do.
  • caffiend 2012-10-02 10:51
    I know this sounds weird, but oddly enough I feel that I'm probably paid too much...

    To explain, like our friend Snoofle, I work in a moron heavy environment where the traditional (non-technology) "professionals" have historically brought in the bug bucks despite mediocre performance (or in some cases sheer incompetence) just so long as the firm is profitable. For whatever reason, similar remuneration structures tends to be made available to technology professionals in such industries.

    As a result of an uncharacteristically (for this place anyway) long tenure of 3 years and the ability to successfully deliver on a few projects, I've found myself on quite a bit above industry standard rates.

    Whilst this sounds great, it does occur to me that if the economy (or even just our firm, which remember is run by morons) takes a turn for the worse, I would be more likely to face retrenchment. But then again, i don't know what my co-workers are making.

    Not that i particularly like this job, after all the only reason I've been here for a few years is that their response to a resignation letter is a salary adjustment.

    I've always found that if you're appropriately skilled usually you end up being appropriately remunerated, and if you're not, look for another job. When you quit, you might be pleasantly surprised by the counter-offer from your current firm.

    My advice as someone who took that counter-offer... Don't take it. If they refused to acknowledge your value until you tender your resignation, they're not worth working for. But yeah, you live and learn.
  • Meep 2012-10-02 10:51
    Meep:
    ...


    Fucking goddamned sites using their own made up fucking tags are TRWTF.
  • Joshua 2012-10-02 10:53
    This is simply wrong. As Remy says, the problem getting better, but it still exists. And as others have already pointed out in this very thread, studies have been done showing that simply having a female name on a resume results in a perception that an applicant is less qualified. A resume! That has nothing to do with being "less motivated" or leaving to raise kids or anything like that and entirely with the unconscious (I hope) biases of recruiters.
  • Katie Cunningham 2012-10-02 11:01
    No, BH. Do not 'settle' because you have 'enough'. If you're getting paid 75% of what your peers are paid because you have a vagina, that is not cool. Ever.

    Some ways to find out your market rate:
    - Talk to a recruiter in your field. Many of them know down to the dime what they can get for you.
    - Go to local meet-up groups and start asking people who have the same background as you what they make. You'll want to do this after getting to know them, but most are happy to supply a number.
    - If you can, start asking to attend interviews for your group. Salary will come up eventually. This is how the manager in our group let slip that half of us were making way below market rate.
  • Remy Porter 2012-10-02 11:04
    Never settle for enough- demand what you're worth.
  • Katie Cunningham 2012-10-02 11:04
    Care to back that up with some studies? Because even if you control for women who have no children, women are still getting screwed on salary.
  • 15-year old boy 2012-10-02 11:07
    Katie Cunningham:
    ...women are still getting screwed...

    Of course. Isn't that what their there for?
  • Christy 2012-10-02 11:08
    Yes there is a gap, and no there isn't. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    I've been in IT for nigh on 15 years now, and made everything from a few bucks less than my co-workers to quite a few bucks more than my co-workers. It's all relative. And depending on the job market in your area, you could job hop once or twice and make that difference up, if you really thought you were being lowballed.

    There is more to the job than the compensation, though. And there's more to compensation than what you put on the tax form at the end of the year. Not only benefits (insurance and retirement matching, etc.) but also things that aren't as easy to quantify, like job satisfaction and personal growth. Are you getting to take company-paid classes or go to company-paid conferences in your field? Are you putting yourself in a better position to be hired after this job ends? Because jobs do end, for all sorts of reasons.

    I remember my first conference, it was a Healthcare Informatics conference in California, when I was working for a hospital in South Carolina. I went by myself, and during one of the breaks a couple of the guys at my table asked me how I was enjoying the conference. I said "It's ok, but I really wish the presenters wouldn't waste our time with the OSI layers at the start of each talk. A - we're professionals in IT and should know this already, B - it's just a model, and C - it's very obviously filler because the speaker can't fill their 10 minute time slot with what they're talking about." I got a few chuckles, and a few blank stares, and one of the guys in that group presented next, and skipped over his OSI layer slides, as did most of the presenters after him.

    I still get talked down to by vendors and people who don't know me, because I'm female, and because some of the vendors I work with think they're the end-all be-all of their product. I deal with it and make sure the vendor knows that their behavior isn't appropriate, but the people I work with every day have respect for me (or else I'd have found something else to do).

    I don't have PMS, I don't plan on having children, and I don't put up with potential employers like GF. If you look disappointed because I showed up and am female, I don't want to work for you.

    A co-worker long ago gave me the best/worst compliment and most complete description of why I still work in this industry. He was whining that he couldn't meet girls, and I pointed out that I was female. He said, "You're not a girl, you're a sysadmin."

    Computers don't care what my gender is. There's no different shell prompt showing I'm female. My ls isn't colored pink and purple because I'm a girl. My sql queries don't run slower because a woman typed them. And sudo doesn't ask me "Are you sure you want to be root, little lady?". Online stores don't ask me if I'm sure I want to buy this hardware because it's not compatible with my not being a dude.

    I make what I make, which is a fair wage for what I do in this area, and I'm happy with what I'm doing. More importantly, I'm in an environment where I can grow the skills I want to grow, and my work environment is awesome. Not as awesome as google (no slides, no corporate-sponsored lunch room, no nap room), but awesome enough in the corporate world that I'm not looking to go somewhere else.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 11:14
    Delve:
    Anketam:
    The major purpose of unions dates back to the time when there was no government regulations on companies and the workers had to protect themselves from abusive companies. Now companies have to deal with government regulation and unions which creates extra burden on the company. Also unions have become the very thing they hated: greedy. The unions using their power force companies to pay more and offer better benefits than what the workers are contributing in value to the company.

    If you have a worker and are paying them $50,000 a year and an extra $50,000 in the form of benefits and overhead, then that worker better be generating over $100,000 of value to the company. But the union protects the weaker workers that are not making that break even point let alone contributing to the profitibility of the company, while at the same time demanding more money. Unfortunately unions in many cases have forced companies into very tight margins, and when a little trouble hits the market they go under.


    There are still very few regulations regarding employment. Safety requirements? Yes. But if you can hire the workers for a soul crushing, family destroying minimum wage with no benefits and a paltry few days off (which can't be afforded since that's hours you're not working) well then. GOOD ON YOU! If you can get away with it. History shows that over time given any imbalance of power one side will dominate and the rest will suffer at the whim of the powerful.

    As far as unproductive workers are concerned, I don't claim that our current crop of unions are halo toting saviors. But to demolish a system because the current inhabitants of it are less than savory... if we're going down that road let's go ahead and take it all the way and lynch the politicians, stake the bureaucrats out in the sun, take the high impact toys away from constabulary and the military, and have ourselves some proper anarchy shall we?
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.
  • TDWTF Veteran 2012-10-02 11:14
    Your wasting your time, Alex...no female comes here after the abuse they've endured in the forums over the years.
  • urza9814 2012-10-02 11:18
    Matt:

    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at. Do not do this. This is terrible advice. Best case scenario, you create tension between yourself and your coworkers and you do not want that.


    Seriously? They'll FIRE you for asking about it? I mean, our HR drones very strongly advise against it, and doing so isn't exactly common though it does happen. But to _fire_ someone for that is quite possibly among the most absurd practices I've ever heard of. Glad I haven't worked for any of those companies. To me that sounds like 'we don't want you talking about the fact that we're not paying you enough.'
  • Dave Insurgent 2012-10-02 11:22
    Christy:
    A co-worker long ago gave me the best/worst compliment and most complete description of why I still work in this industry. He was whining that he couldn't meet girls, and I pointed out that I was female. He said, "You're not a girl, you're a sysadmin."


    Your most complete description of why you work in IT is that you sometimes work with man-children?

    I still get talked down to by vendors and people who don't know me, because I'm female


    I see your point, but this isn't always because you're female. Most people in IT don't know what they are doing very well. The industry is plagued with incompetent people, especially software development.

    If you look disappointed because I showed up and am female, I don't want to work for you.


    That's reasonable. But if I look disappointed causeless you don't know what you're talking about, it's not "because you're a girl". It's because you don't know. Not saying this is the case, just pointing out that marginalized groups tend to over-experience the marginalization. As things get better, more people seem to complain about them. Then there's the point where we could show evidence that demonstrates women are now making (this is hypothetical) 15% more than men, but any instance of "you really suck at [x]" becomes an attack against a woman. There isn't a clearly defined protocol for "okay, we have equality, so now we're allowed to criticize you for realsies."
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 11:24
    just stop it:
    yername:
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.


    Just curious: what do you think is a fair salary?

    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?
    I looked up the numbers and they are indeed correct. But not many people work for a company for 78 years. Also you see how elderly drive? I doubt they would be a driver for that long. Also drivers are paid more because they are in a position of trust, and more years they have been on the job the more likely it is that you can trust them. With that all said $80k is still pretty crazy.

    Addendum (2012-10-02 11:31):
    ignore the 78 years part. And the numbers was reference to the salary numbers.
  • Jim Blog 2012-10-02 11:28
    Most employers frown on that, and your co-workers may find it an offensive question.


    And some employment contracts will outright forbid disclosing your level of remuneration to your colleagues - I know mine does.

    Personally though, I think the question to ask in these situations is not "is my salary the same as that of the guy sitting next to me" but "is my salary fair for my skill-levels in the current marketplace" - and if not, start looking for another position. regardless of your gender. Recognising male/female pay-gaps are important when looking at the industry as a whole, but at the level of an individual office I'm not sure it's the best way of looking at a situation.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 11:28
    Anketam:
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.


    Anarchy has room for neither jail nor martyr.
  • urza9814 2012-10-02 11:33
    These blanket statements REALLLLY annoy me. Yes, some unions are bad. On the other hand, my mother led the unionizing drive for the hospital where she works as a nurse when I was a child. Within a year, suddenly:

    1) She was no longer coming home with constant back aches. Prior to unionizing, if the equipment to move overweight/obese patients between beds wasn't available, the nurses were told 'just do it or you're fired'. The results of a 120lb woman trying to move a 300lb patient on her own aren't great.

    2) Great reduction in verbal abuse and sexual harassment. Prior to unionizing, if a nurse complained about any of this, she risked losing her job. After unionizing, when doctors start screaming obscenities at a nurse or starts sexually harassing one they pull out their cell phone cameras and say 'speak up, I want to make sure I get all this'.

    3) The hospital now actually has enough nurses on staff at all times to handle the workload

    4) Suddenly we could afford braces for my brother

    5) Suddenly we could afford glasses and contacts for myself and my brother

    6) My dad was able to get some long overdue dental care and surgery

    7) My parents were able to pay full tuition for me and my brother for four years of college, along with a masters degree for my mother

    8) My parents no longer have a dime of debt

    Oh, and my mom enjoys her job a hell of a lot more now. Better pay, better conditions, more security. Of course, unionizing wasn't easy. I was on the picket line with her when I was about five years old. I remember my mother being afraid to let my brother or I out of the house because the hospital had hired a private detective to watch our house for days. The reason she was the one leading the effort, by the way, was because she was part time (less to lose) and my father is an attorney (less likely the hospital would try anything illegal)...she was lucky to still have her job after that started.
  • fwip 2012-10-02 11:38
    Nick:
    Good advice, but I respectfully disagree. You should never be satisfied with your pay. Once you are, you'll stop striving to better yourself, stop being competitive with your peers, and stop being recognized as an outstanding achiever. Once you're happy, you've lost the game.

    This isn't to say that you should pine for more pay. Set your goals just out of reach so you can keep striving for them.

    Last thing: you're never going to get the raise you don't ask for.

    Ah yes, how terrible it is to be happy.
  • D-Coder 2012-10-02 11:45
    Delve:
    Anketam:
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.


    Anarchy has room for neither jail nor martyr.
    Oh, now we're making up rules for our anarchy? If I want jails and martyrs in my anarchy, then by FSM I'll have them!
  • 15-year old boy 2012-10-02 11:47
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    Anketam:
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.


    Anarchy has room for neither jail nor martyr.
    Oh, now we're making up rules for our anarchy? If I want jails and martyrs in my anarchy, then by FSM I'll have them!

    I like FSM. And I'm sure the females their get paid at or above standard pay grades.
  • snoofle 2012-10-02 11:48
    caffiend:
    My advice as someone who took that counter-offer... Don't take it. If they refused to acknowledge your value until you tender your resignation, they're not worth working for.

    Someone once taught me that if you are being underpaid for any reason, and you find another job, resign, and get a counter offer, you need to ask yourself:

    1. If they thought I was worth that much, why weren't they paying me that all along? (maybe there was a legitimate reason (e.g.: your salary stagnated once you got here through no fault of your own), or maybe there wasn't)

    2. Is that what they think I'm worth, or are they just matching the offer to keep me here until they find a replacement, so they can let me go (for wanting to leave in the first place)? - it's always better to leave on YOUR terms, when you have something else lined up!

    3. More money is always nice (your expenses will always expand to meet your income). However, consider: now that they are willing to pay me more money, is the problem that motivated me to look elsewhere gone or still there? If it wasn't money in the first place, you will acclimate to the additional money very quickly, and whatever was bugging you will again take center stage
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 11:52
    urza9814:
    These blanket statements REALLLLY annoy me. Yes, some unions are bad. On the other hand, my mother led the unionizing drive for the hospital where she works as a nurse when I was a child. Within a year, suddenly:

    1) She was no longer coming home with constant back aches. Prior to unionizing, if the equipment to move overweight/obese patients between beds wasn't available, the nurses were told 'just do it or you're fired'. The results of a 120lb woman trying to move a 300lb patient on her own aren't great.

    2) Great reduction in verbal abuse and sexual harassment. Prior to unionizing, if a nurse complained about any of this, she risked losing her job. After unionizing, when doctors start screaming obscenities at a nurse or starts sexually harassing one they pull out their cell phone cameras and say 'speak up, I want to make sure I get all this'.

    3) The hospital now actually has enough nurses on staff at all times to handle the workload

    4) Suddenly we could afford braces for my brother

    5) Suddenly we could afford glasses and contacts for myself and my brother

    6) My dad was able to get some long overdue dental care and surgery

    7) My parents were able to pay full tuition for me and my brother for four years of college, along with a masters degree for my mother

    8) My parents no longer have a dime of debt

    Oh, and my mom enjoys her job a hell of a lot more now. Better pay, better conditions, more security. Of course, unionizing wasn't easy. I was on the picket line with her when I was about five years old. I remember my mother being afraid to let my brother or I out of the house because the hospital had hired a private detective to watch our house for days. The reason she was the one leading the effort, by the way, was because she was part time (less to lose) and my father is an attorney (less likely the hospital would try anything illegal)...she was lucky to still have her job after that started.

    *Warning: this post contains high levels of sarcasm, users allergic to sarcasm should skip this post*

    Yes and now I the patient have to pay more for my medical bills. Luckily my company has good health insurance. Which they will past along the costs to their customers (which likely will include you). Now imagine all your patients and their companies now have to charge more to cover your increased costs? In the end you are now paying more to cover my increase in costs to pay for you, and the cycle then repeats. When will this vicious cycle end?

    Why must people be so greedy to demand such things as being treated like a human being? What has our world come to.
  • Katrina 2012-10-02 11:54
    Christy:
    Yes there is a gap, and no there isn't. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    ...


    If there was a true gap...wouldn't most companies only hire women? Most companies are in business to make money-loyalty to people who have the same genitalia would be irrelevant because they would rather make more money.

    And currently, young single women make MORE than young single men in most large cities.

    I've been in IT for almost 15 years. I have only once feel I was discriminated against-and even then I don't know why. I was supposed to cover for someone for 4 days while he went on bereavement leave. I was tech-ed (with questions that seemed unrelated to what I was there for) and then told I would not be a good fit.

    Was it because I was a woman? Was it because I looked very young? Was it because I didn't match the ethnic make-up of the guy I was going to cover for? Was it because they didn't like my suit?
    Whatever the reason, my company stopped doing business for them, and the president apologized to me.

    I have also found women to be more sexist than men. Many women expect you to take their side for something because you share genitalia-I have not noticed that with men.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 11:54
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    Anketam:
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.


    Anarchy has room for neither jail nor martyr.
    Oh, now we're making up rules for our anarchy? If I want jails and martyrs in my anarchy, then by FSM I'll have them!


    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.

    snoofle:

    Someone once taught me that if you are being underpaid for any reason, and you find another job, resign, and get a counter offer, you need to ask yourself


    All 3 points excellent advice. Particularly number 3 since salary is only a single facet of employment.
  • Latty 2012-10-02 11:59
    The real problem in IT is just that women don't enter the industry. It's a sad state of affairs, and is mainly a cultural thing. I honestly believe that if we taught programming to children when they are very young, as a part of compulsory IT education, more women would see it as a path.

    I was recently on an internship where one of my fellow interns had never programmed before (but was a maths student). She picked it up extremely quickly, and told me that she'd never considered programming before. This seems to be true for most women unless they are bought up in a 'geeky' environment.

    Unfortunately, as it is, it's just seen as something women don't do. I was leafleting at fresher's fair for our University's Computing Society, and whenever I tried to leaflet any girl, they looked at me like I was insane, that suggesting they got involved with computing was crazy. Guys just generally were or were not interested. It's such a strong culture, and I've found it's mainly women that impose it on themselves - most guys I know bemoan the male dominated culture. As someone who went to a male-only secondary school, I can honestly say a mixed environment is far nicer to work in.
  • boog 2012-10-02 12:19
    Latty:
    women don't enter the industry

    Who cares? I don't see a lot of female auto mechanics either. I don't see a lot of male interior decorators.
  • Fat Guy In A Little Coat 2012-10-02 12:24
    My sql queries don't run slower because a woman typed them.


    Funny that you mention that - we're a SQL heavy shop, and one of our basic filters is to ask what the difference between an inner and outer join is. Every female interviewee, including one who had been a housewife for years, nailed the SQL questions; over half the guys flub that badly. We ended up hiring one of the female developers (and yes, the salary she was offered is comparable to that of the male developers).
  • anon 2012-10-02 12:27
    boog:
    Latty:
    women don't enter the industry

    Who cares? I don't see a lot of female auto mechanics either. I don't see a lot of male interior decorators.
    Clearly you need to watch more TLC.

    CAPTCHA: pecus - the guys hosting those designer shows really like the pecus of another man.
  • boog 2012-10-02 12:35
    anon:
    boog:
    Latty:
    women don't enter the industry

    Who cares? I don't see a lot of female auto mechanics either. I don't see a lot of male interior decorators.
    Clearly you need to watch more TLC.

    CAPTCHA: pecus - the guys hosting those designer shows really like the pecus of another man.

    Indeed.

    And I'm thinking most of the residents of New Jersey are alcoholics with no life...wait, maybe that's one thing cable TV got right.
  • Chris 2012-10-02 12:36
    I remember going in to ask for a pay raise and being able to say "employee ABC is getting $X more than me, and I believe that I contribute at least as much to the company as he does". The manager looked aghast and actually said "you guys talk to each other about salary ?". I got a decent pay raise as a result. You have to be ready, of course, to accept a response that justifies why, in their eyes, the discrepancy is justified. In that case you either live with it or start job-hunting.

    It is just a question of improving your negotiating position.

    Having said that, companies have managed to turn it into a taboo subject, and so it's difficult to bring it up. I did hear of a company where a group of employees booked a conference room for a day and agreed that during that during the morning everyone would go in and write their salary on the whiteboard, and in the afternoon everyone could go and read it before it was erased. Apparently that was extremely educational to everyone. There are obviously ways to do something similar electronically.

    Even though I'm personally happy with what I'm being paid, I don't think I'd take a job where talking salary to my colleagues was prohibited. That sounds to me like an admission of guilt by the employer.
  • la Forge 2012-10-02 12:37
    My workplace is unionized. Our facility is raking it in for the owners (75 workers; c. $30,000,000 profit per annum.) We earn 50-100% more than workers at similar, non-unionized workplaces in the same area.

    There are people who have worked there since the early seventies. When I started five years ago there was one guy who had been there since 1969.

    Our dues are two hours of pay per month. I get six weeks of paid holidays per year. We have an excellent defined benefits pension, to which the company is the sole contributor (to the tune of 12% of our earnings, over and above.) And 90% dental and orthodontal. The company also pays our BC Medicare premiums.

    We are quite happy with this arrangement and haven't had a strike since the mid-seventies. Turnover is close to zero.

    As opposed to your statement, in this case the ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the workers and the owners.

    And yes, the leaders of our union profit from it as well. They're all regular workers who are selected by the membership and who volunteer as board members for two year terms while still working their regular jobs.

    /anecdote

    Unions are just the workers, united in their goal for a better deal. Labour strife and non-profitability for the owners has nothing in it for anyone.

    /political statement
  • la Forge 2012-10-02 12:39
    mott555:
    yername:
    Foo:
    Alek:
    In some countries, the law makes it mandatory for the employers to communicate salaries statistics averaged by gender, age and seniority to the unions. This is at least true in France ("Comité d'Entreprise").
    As a unionist myself, I've been able to tell many fellow employees to know whether their salary is fair or not.


    Unions. There's TRWTF. They manage to screw everyone over.

    "Everyone", in this case, being the employers and owners who prefer not to pay fair salaries, offer proper benefits, create a good working environment, treat other people with respect or comply with the law.


    "Everyone" also includes the workers who are often forced to pay dues to a union they may want nothing to do with, and are often told not to do their job (strike) in order to help their union prove some political point.

    "Everyone" also includes non-union workers who may step in and take their place during strikes, yet because of stupid laws pushed through by the union leaders these non-union workers still have to pay union dues!

    The only ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the leaders of said unions.

    I don't know if we need unions or not, but what I do know is if we do need unions, the ones we have now are not the ones we need.

    /political rant


    My workplace is unionized. Our facility is raking it in for the owners (75 workers; c. $30,000,000 profit per annum.) We earn 50-100% more than workers at similar, non-unionized workplaces in the same area.

    There are people who have worked there since the early seventies. When I started five years ago there was one guy who had been there since 1969.

    Our dues are two hours of pay per month. I get six weeks of paid holidays per year. We have an excellent defined benefits pension, to which the company is the sole contributor (to the tune of 12% of our earnings, over and above.) And 90% dental and orthodontal. The company also pays our BC Medicare premiums.

    We are quite happy with this arrangement and haven't had a strike since the mid-seventies. Turnover is close to zero.

    As opposed to your statement, in this case the ones who consistently profit from the existence of unions are the workers and the owners.

    And yes, the leaders of our union profit from it as well. They're all regular workers who are selected by the membership and who volunteer as board members for two year terms while still working their regular jobs.

    /anecdote

    Unions are just the workers, united in their goal for a better deal. Labour strife and non-profitability for the owners has nothing in it for anyone.

    /political statement
  • Tangurena 2012-10-02 12:46
    Matt:
    Additional point- asking about salaries is a firing offense at every company I've worked at.
    This policy violates federal law, federal regulations and will result in massive penalties when it gets to court. The National Labor Relations Board has repeatedly held that discussing salaries, wages and benefits to be an "organizing activity" covered by section 7 of the NLRA and that company policies forbidding such discussions are banned because they violate section 8 of the NLRA (one example is Handicabs, Inc. v. NLRB, 95 F.3d 68).
    NLRA:
    http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act
    Handicabs, Inc. v. NLRB, 95 F.3d 68:
    http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/95/681/546798/

    If they fire you for discussing salaries, get a lawyer because you're going to get a lot of money even after the lawyer does the walletectomy.

    If your salary is lame, a signtificant amount has to do with you doing a bad job negotiating.

    golddog:
    First, I think I must say that I'm in the category of Remy's friend: “I like having more money, but I was making enough before.” So my viewpoint may be skewed; I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.

    And yes, I've looked at places like glassdoor.com and see for my experience/skills/etc, I'm not getting paid fairly. But, what would I do with another $X? I live quite nicely within the salary I get now.

    Are you maxing out your 401k and IRA? You won't be making this kind of money for the rest of your life, nor will you always be working at a place that offers a 401k. Between my 401k, IRA, catch-up contributions and the post-tax-contributions my 401k plan offers, I'm socking away about $35k this year for retirement. It is a nice amount (my brother is torqued off because it is more than his gross income), but I won't have this career forever, nor will I always be working in places where 401k plans are offered to lowly contractors.

    As for the "everything we invested in him/her", I have no clue what that means. I've been paying for my own continuing education out of my own pocket and am working towards another bachelors for an exit plan out of IT. The age discrimination is fierce and all the older programmers I know personally mention hitting brick walls getting hired after about 54-55 years old.
  • Herr Otto Flick 2012-10-02 12:51
    brazzy:

    Please explain. If an individual salary of a woman is 75% of an equally educated and experienced male colleague in the same department, isn't that the most crystal clear example of wage discrimination?


    Equally educated and experienced does not mean equally productive. One can earn more than someone with the same or better education, the same experience, doing the same exact job as them - even in the same team - if one is more productive.

    Education and experience get you the job, but if you aren't productive, don't expect to get the same as productive members of your team.
  • neminem 2012-10-02 12:52
    la Forge:
    Unions are just the workers, united in their goal for a better deal.

    That might be true some places. I have no doubt that in the case of most unskilled labor - farm work, mining, putting anything together on an assembly line, etc. - a union effects is basically nothing but positive changes for the workers. I've heard of a decent number of cases, though, where a particular union charges a lot, completely locks out anyone who doesn't pay it from getting a job in that field, and then, lacking anything truly important to complain about, starts trying to micromanage silly things like desk arrangement or snack providing or exactly what the company is or isn't allowed to advertise.

    More relatedly to the original statement, it would no longer surprise me like it used to if there were some slight residual - presumably mostly-unconscious - sexism on the part of those responsible for hiring and salary decisions... but my girlfriend (who also works in IT) did also bring up an interesting hypothesis on this subject a couple weeks ago, that in this field, a person's salary depends a lot on how much -they- think they're worth, and more so, how forward they feel like they can be in telling their boss, or their boss's boss, that they deserve more. She feels the average guy is more likely to feel confident in asking for more and bigger raises than the average girl, which might well be true. I just don't have that confidence, even if I do think I'm pretty good at my job... she does, and makes a fair bit more than me.

    On the other hand, she also works crazy overtime for no additional pay, and I go home after 40 hours a week every week. I don't think I'd trade with her. :p
  • Ralph 2012-10-02 12:56
    When I've been a hiring manager, I haven't had the option of paying whatever I want to a candidate. It isn't my money; I'd happily give you $200K if I could. Instead, the HR people define a range and the budget people say you can spend up to $XXX and that's that.

    So my goal is to get the best candidate I can find who will accept $XXX. I don't care if that is a male, female, robot or Martian, just so long as they know their stuff and can do the job. I'm going to design interview questions in hopes of teasing out as much detail about your knowledge and skill as I can in a few short minutes. Then comparing all the candidates I'm going to make an offer to the one that seems most qualified. Why would I do otherwise?

    Of course I know that some people will insist on negotiating, so my first offer is going to be a few thousand lower than my limit. I can negotiate up to that limit. After that, if you say no and walk away, there's nothing I can do but move on to the next candidate.

    So I would say no matter what you're offered, ask for about $5000 more. Then see what they counter-offer. That's probably about as high as they can go.
  • ping floyd 2012-10-02 12:57
    golddog:
    ... I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.


    Have a couple of kids and you'll find out quickly.
  • bene 2012-10-02 12:58
    anon:
    boog:
    Latty:
    women don't enter the industry

    Who cares? I don't see a lot of female auto mechanics either. I don't see a lot of male interior decorators.
    Clearly you need to watch more TLC.

    Great job diffusing the issue. I'm sick and f***ing tired of people ignoring obvious facts and trying to PC every issue that exists. Certain career paths don't appeal to women.
  • galgorah 2012-10-02 13:04
    Brad:
    This female pay discrepancy has been thoroughly debunked. Employers in this country aren't paying women less. The average pay for women is less in large part due to the fact that women often take the middle portion of their careers off to raise kids (thank God for the women who do that) and as such their career average salary is lower and also because women *in general* aren't as motivated to advance to tech-lead and such.
    There are differences between men and women (vive la differnce).
    This one women *might* not be getting her fair share, but there is no systemic problem.

    I worked for a company that was completely unfair to women compared to men. It should also be noted that they treated their employees as sub humans in general. The company was run like a frat and all secretaries were blond with stilleto heels. The company was very mad men in style.
  • jhriv 2012-10-02 13:12
    I work for a public university. Not only do we lack rules against asking about salaries, every year the Sacramento Bee publishes our salaries.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 13:13
    ping floyd:
    golddog:
    ... I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.


    Have a couple of kids and you'll find out quickly.


    Truer words haven't been spoken since humanity invented money.

    la Forge:
    My workplace is unionized. Our facility is raking it in for the owners (75 workers; c. $30,000,000 profit per annum.) We earn 50-100% more than workers at similar, non-unionized workplaces in the same area.
    ...
    /anecdote


    Where do you work and do you have any openings?


  • Sociopath 2012-10-02 13:19
    I work for a public university. At this place, employee salaries (all of them, including mine) are a matter of public record. Nobody need guess if they are making significantly less than their co-workers.
  • Slapout 2012-10-02 13:19
    I won't say that the pay gap doesn't exist. I can say, however, that it doesn't exist where I work. Here, every position is assigned a pay rate. Everyone working in that position makes the same thing. The pay rate is set before anyone is even interviewed for the position, so it doesn't matter if they're male or female, they are paid the rate assigned to the position.
  • Remy Porter 2012-10-02 13:32
    I think one thing you'll find is that:
    a) older, established companies with a high sensitivity to risk
    b) companies that have a large amount of union labor (even if the IT jobs aren't unionized)
    c) government offices

    all tend to be places where the pay-gap is much more controlled. My day job fits (a) and (b), and as a result, it's very aware of how people get paid. There are salary "bands", and if you're hiring for one band, then most of the work of picking a salary is done, minus a little flex for negotiation.

    It probably helps that most of our "greybeard" mainframe coders are women, as is most of the middle management. As a result, a lot of our out-of-college recruiting brings in female candiates.
  • savar 2012-10-02 13:36
    The big problem with this whole thread is that nobody can see beyond their own experiences. "Unions suck," says the guy who has only observed union fraud and waste. "Unions rule," says the guy who's grandmother was saved by a union. "Don't ask about salaries," says the lady who would get fired if she did that. "Go ahead, ask about salaries," says another. Business practices vary among countries, market sectors, and personalities. It's very hard to generalize

    I would say this thread has been hijacked, but I think Remy hijacked the article itself. Let's revisit BH's original question:

    BH:

    I’m honestly worried that I really am making only 71% of what my male co-workers are making. How can I know if this is true?


    Remy paraphrases this question:

    Remy Porter:

    The real core of your question is this: “Is my salary fair?”


    That doesn't seem like the core of the question at all; in fact, that looks like a *very different* and much more subjective and argumentative question.

    One answer to BH's question is quite simply to find out what other people in her group are making. Nobody has exactly the same ability and credentials, so comparing salaries is still quite subjective, but that is the actual "core" of BH's question.

    BH can learn those salaries by asking, of course, but most people I know would not tell their salary to anybody but a family member or trusted friend. Another tactic -- if this is a small company -- is to become buddies with somebody who knows salaries: owner, project manager, HR, payroll, the office gossip, etc. Go out to lunch with that person or get some drinks together.

    A slightly different, but more direct approach is for BH to share those concerns with her manager. I personally like direct approaches.
  • D-Coder 2012-10-02 14:03
    Delve:
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    Anketam:
    One slight problem with the second part of your argument, there are quite a few politicians (in both parties) and bureaucrats I would love to see thrown in jail. Killing them just makes them martyrs.


    Anarchy has room for neither jail nor martyr.
    Oh, now we're making up rules for our anarchy? If I want jails and martyrs in my anarchy, then by FSM I'll have them!


    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.
    My anarchy is ass-free. Perhaps you should think about why your anarchy is assful.
  • Dave 2012-10-02 14:09
    I'm unable to speak to the pay gap from experience, but I *can* speak to the benefits of at least asking for your salary to be re-examined.

    At my last job, I felt like I could ask for a bump pursuant to some really stellar stuff I'd done that year. As background, my team had been moved under a new reporting chain and merged with another team just a few months before. So I just casually asked my boss if there was any room for an increase; he said he would have HR review my grade/position against the other similar ones across the company.

    Well, before HR could finish that review, the boss discovered that when my team had merged with his, we were not assigned the appropriate new positions for the new job functions (or something)! The boss canceled the HR review also, since they were reviewing my salary against the wrong peers, and simply had them correct my position in the system. That correction alone landed me, and the other guy on my team in a similar position, something like a 15% raise on the spot!

    Always worth at least getting some eyes on your situation.
  • Kevin 2012-10-02 14:20
    You are very right. Any company that isn't interested in an employee because of gender, religion, race, or anything else that has zero impact on your ability to contribute to the bottom line doesn't deserve the benefit of your talents. Let those companies find themselves losing out to those that hire good people and treat their people well.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 14:24
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.
    My anarchy is ass-free. Perhaps you should think about why your anarchy is assful.


    I already know. Because it's populated with real people and real people are asses. What've you got in your anarchy? Or do you force a strict assectomy policy?
  • jay 2012-10-02 14:28
    I don't doubt that women on the average make less money than men do. The question is whether this is the result of discrimination or different lifestyle choices.

    Like, as someone pointed out, many women take time off in mid-career to raise children, while men rarely do. Similarly, at least among people I've worked with, women are far more likely to put in their 40 hours a week and then go home to take care of house and family or other interests, while men are more likely to be willing to put in extra hours.

    Is it better to spend more time with your kids and make less money? If on their deathbeds Alice is surrounded by her loving children with fond memories of all the time they spent together as they were growing up, while Bob dies alone in a nursing home, is Bob really better off because he made 20% more money in his life?

    I've seen studies that have found that women who do not have children and who put in the same hours that men do make slightly more than the average man.

    I think the reality is that people who devote their lives to their jobs make more money than people who split their lives between work and time with family, community, or even hobbies. You make your choices and you accept the pros and cons. It's rather unfair to say that you want all the advantages that come from spending more time with your family and then complain because you do not make as much money as the person who devotes his life to the company.

  • Arvind 2012-10-02 14:33
    Brad:
    Employers in this country aren't paying women less.

    TRWTF is assuming that everyone lives in a specific country. Let me guess, US of A? A bigger WTF is that the comment becomes a featured comment on an article which talks about discrimination.
  • jay 2012-10-02 14:37
    Frankly, every place I've ever worked has struggled hard to get more women in IT. I've rarely known what my co-workers are paid, but at least in terms of hiring people in the first place, I have never seen any sign of discrimination against women. If anything, they are given extra consideration and preference.

    But I'll tell you what, if you're really convinced that women are underpaid, here's an idea I'll give you absolutely for free on how you can fight the problem and at the same time get rich yourself:

    Start a business hiring exclusively women, and pay them 90% of what the average man makes. Then if women are really paid only 75% of what a man gets for the same work, you should easily be able to get the most qualified women to flock to your company for an immediate 20% pay raise. Plus you'll still be paying 10% less than your competitors for the same work. Thus, you'll have the most qualified people AND significantly lower labor costs. You should be able to trounce the competition.

    The fact that there aren't a thousand companies out there doing this is strong evidence that women are not underpaid. You can't expect me to believe that EVERYBODY is biased against women. Including the companies owned by women.
  • D-Coder 2012-10-02 14:42
    Delve:
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.
    My anarchy is ass-free. Perhaps you should think about why your anarchy is assful.


    I already know. Because it's populated with real people and real people are asses. What've you got in your anarchy? Or do you force a strict assectomy policy?
    How could I? It's an anarchy.
  • jay 2012-10-02 14:44
    RE asking co-workers how much they make: I recall when I got my first real job the boss made a comment about not discussing salary with co-workers, and he added that if two people do tell each other their salaries, whoever is making less is going to be unhappy, so what's the point? (I suppose it's really a little more complicated than that: If someone with a demanding job, lots of responsibility, required to put in long hours, many years experience, etc, found out he was making just $1000 a year more than a part-time, newly-hired clerk, he might be upset that he wasn't making ENOUGH more, but you get the point.) I understand why companies routinely tell employees not to share salary information. It's just asking for trouble.
  • Bobrot 2012-10-02 14:48
    golddog:
    First, I think I must say that I'm in the category of Remy's friend: “I like having more money, but I was making enough before.” So my viewpoint may be skewed; I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.


    You don't have children, do you?
  • Paul 2012-10-02 14:49
    jay:
    Start a business hiring exclusively women, and pay them 90% of what the average man makes. Then if women are really paid only 75% of what a man gets for the same work, you should easily be able to get the most qualified women to flock to your company for an immediate 20% pay raise. Plus you'll still be paying 10% less than your competitors for the same work. Thus, you'll have the most qualified people AND significantly lower labor costs. You should be able to trounce the competition.
    Exactly. End of thread. Any alleged discrimination, if true, is an opportunity for someone else to come along and ultimately delete the discriminating company.

    Unless, of course, the D.C. is protected by bailouts, or laws against competition, or similar legal barriers to the necessary cleansing action of the free market.
  • C-Derb 2012-10-02 14:55
    BH:
    Dear WTF, I am a female web developer. That’s not the WTF. I’m honestly worried that I really am making only 71% of what my male co-workers are making. How can I know if this is true?
    -BH

    TRWTF is that Salary.com knows if you are female or male and automatically adjusts salary ranges up or down accordingly.

    Oh. Wait. They don't have that feature?

    Then I guess TRWTF is BH: Find out the salary range you should be at and compare it to the salary you are at.

    This is almost as stupid as people who type "Who is Neil Armstrong?" into Twitter instead of Google.

  • jay 2012-10-02 14:57
    Delve:
    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.


    Has it occurred to you that people who do not want to join a union may take that position because they do not agree with the unions goals, or do not think that the union is pursuing those goals in the right way?

    You appear to think that other people should be forced to join an organization that you like, so that it will have more political power and thus be better able to accomplish the goals you favor. Regardless of the opinions of the people who where forced to join against their will, perhaps forced to give their money to further goals that they, in fact, oppose. Yes, I understand that YOU think the unions goals and methods are just obviously good and right. But obviously other people do not -- such as the poster that you just criticized.

    How would you react if, say, the Republican Party proposed that all Americans should be forced to become dues-paying Republicans because, after all, that party is trying to make the country a better place and needs more support. I'm sure the Republicans are just as convinced that their goals are good and right as the unions are convinced about theirs.

    Freedom is such a pain when other people want to do things that you disagree with.
  • AN AMAZING CODER 2012-10-02 15:00
    I have issues with the whole gender pay gap issue. It assumes that "because males and females are doing the same job, they're doing it at the same value." That may or may not be true. You can't say that because developer A and developer B do the same job (have the same title and grade) that they are _worth_ the same salary. And what does "same job" even mean?

    There are certainly industries where you can easily measure the pay gap, but service industries aren't it. You can certainly show that women working shipping docks are paid less for the same amount of work, but there's no way to show the value add of a female network administrator over a male network administrator even when their job titles are the same.

    But I would be silly to suggest that there is NOT bias in IT. My point is, stop using salary to show bias.
  • AN AMAZING CODER 2012-10-02 15:05
    jay:

    I think the reality is that people who devote their lives to their jobs make more money than people who split their lives between work and time with family, community, or even hobbies. You make your choices and you accept the pros and cons. It's rather unfair to say that you want all the advantages that come from spending more time with your family and then complain because you do not make as much money as the person who devotes his life to the company.



    This, goddamnit. This.

    Similarly, I recently got into an arugment with someone after I said "don't choose IT or Software just for the money, you'll never make it." My point was similar -- you won't make over-the-curve salary in this field if it's not a lifestyle choice instead of a job.
  • jay 2012-10-02 15:08
    just stop it:
    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?


    Who is to say what is "fair"? There are many factors that go in to determining salary besides years of education required.

    Every now and then someone will point out that garbage collectors in their city make more than teachers, and they will say how unfair and generally screwed up this is.

    My response is always, Okay then, why don't you quit your job as a teacher and become a garbage collector?

    I've never gotten a straight answer to that question. I strongly suspect the real answer is either, (a) What?! I wouldn't want a dirty, smelly job like that! Or (b) Because being a teacher enables me to help mold the next generation, to perform a valuable service to society, etc.

    In other words, (a) because that job is unpleasant, and (b) my current job is more interesting and rewarding. Which is exactly why garbage collectors are paid more. The job is unpleasant, boring, unrewarding, brings no social status, etc etc. The only reason anyone would do it is for the money.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 15:15
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.
    My anarchy is ass-free. Perhaps you should think about why your anarchy is assful.


    I already know. Because it's populated with real people and real people are asses. What've you got in your anarchy? Or do you force a strict assectomy policy?
    How could I? It's an anarchy.


    Then either your anarchy has a population of 0, you lie, or people are never asses. Which is it?
  • Delve 2012-10-02 15:17
    jay:

    In other words, (a) because that job is unpleasant, and (b) my current job is more interesting and rewarding. Which is exactly why garbage collectors are paid more. The job is unpleasant, boring, unrewarding, brings no social status, etc etc. The only reason anyone would do it is for the money.


    Logic away migrant farm workers then.
  • Mike 2012-10-02 15:18
    Every computer class I've ever taken (and there have been a lot) have been at least 90% male. There's no discrimination there, just self selection. Pay the tuition and you're in.

    Sure guys may ask you for dates -- but there's an easy solution to that. Retaliate. Punish them. Do unto others the horrible things they are doing unto you. Ask them for dates, since that seems to be so awful.

    Unless you don't believe in equality. Unless you think males and females are fundamentally different somehow. You sexist pig.
  • Mark 2012-10-02 15:20
    Finding out what co-workers make in order to give you confidence to demand more is risky. You can end up damaging your reputation and theirs. Besides, that's just substitution of another persons negotiating experience for your own. Maybe you are actually worth MORE. Do you just want what someone else makes, or do you want what you are worth? I think most people in an organization who are paid top salaries have had to learn along the way what their worth was and not be shy about proving and demanding it. It's another type of experience that needs to be gained on the job. It's analyzing the situation, drawing your own conclusions and being ready to take that chance when you make your demand. If you succeed, you'll also learn why it is hard to advise another person how to do the same thing. No one else is with you all the time and can see what you see.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 15:43
    jay:
    Delve:
    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.


    Has it occurred to you that people who do not want to join a union may take that position because they do not agree with the unions goals, or do not think that the union is pursuing those goals in the right way?


    Then they need to be part of a solution instead becoming a problem in their own right. In short, fix their union or start their own.

    jay:
    You appear to think that other people should be forced to join an organization that you like, so that it will have more political power and thus be better able to accomplish the goals you favor. Regardless of the opinions of the people who where forced to join against their will, perhaps forced to give their money to further goals that they, in fact, oppose. Yes, I understand that YOU think the unions goals and methods are just obviously good and right. But obviously other people do not -- such as the poster that you just criticized.


    Do not presume to read my 'agenda' from the contents of one obviously inflammatory sentence.

    jay:
    How would you react if, say, the Republican Party proposed that all Americans should be forced to become dues-paying Republicans because, after all, that party is trying to make the country a better place and needs more support. I'm sure the Republicans are just as convinced that their goals are good and right as the unions are convinced about theirs.


    Your analogy is fatally flawed in that there is a diametrically opposed group known as 'Democrats' to which a dissenter may flee. Indeed there is even a common middle ground known as 'Independants' to serve as a last resort should both of the aforementioned be deemed unsuitable. In the case of labor there is only the employee and the employer. And possibly the union. And in that relationship the employee has power if and only if
    1. said employee offers special benefits (a rare skill or notoriety)
    or
    2. said employee has a majority of the extant workforce willing to walk for them

    jay:
    Freedom is such a pain when other people want to do things that you disagree with.


    Like standing up for decent treatment. Such a pain when people want to be able to live a decent life. You could, perhaps, study the genesis of unions and contrast that with working conditions and union presence in various global economies. Perhaps you could then go on to consider whether we're really so far away from whence we come that we can afford to denigrate, revile, and and dismantle those structures that brought us across so short a distance.
  • Jack 2012-10-02 15:44
    I work for a private company, not the government. So, we can't just print money whenever we feel like it. Every dollar I spend on your salary has to come from investors.

    Why do investors give us money? Only one reason. They're hoping we will give them more money back later. It's called Return On Investment.

    So the only way I can pay someone say $80,000 is if the company gets back more than $80,000 from that investment. If I pay you $80K and what you do ends up being worth only $79K then I'm losing money for my investors and failing to do my job. If I pay you $80K and you produce something worth $100K then sweet, and I'll keep as much as I can of the extra $20K because that's what the investors (indirectly) hired me to do.

    If you get wise to the $20K I'm making off you and ask for a cut, you may get it so long as there's enough left over. But the closer you get to taking 100% of what you produce, the more likely I can find someone else that will accept a little less. And I'll happily pay a hotshot who produces $140K a lot more than one who produces only $100K. It isn't about gender. It's all about Return On Investment. I'm not hired to care about anything else.
  • Joe 2012-10-02 15:50
    Your Name:
    In the public sector, everyone's salary is public information, and somehow life still goes on.


    Salary, yes. The extracurriculars (bribes, or if you prefer a more gentle term "campaign contributions") are a closely-guarded secret.

    That's how you end up with a former assistant-DA who has been on public (and published) salary his entire career enter congress as a multi-millionaire.

    I'm sure it's entirely because he saved every penny he ever earned and got a legitimate 300% annual return.

    --Joe
  • D-Coder 2012-10-02 16:02
    Delve:
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    D-Coder:
    Delve:
    My anarchy could kick your anarchy's ass. Assuming it could be bothered to stop kicking its own citizens' asses long enough to try.
    My anarchy is ass-free. Perhaps you should think about why your anarchy is assful.


    I already know. Because it's populated with real people and real people are asses. What've you got in your anarchy? Or do you force a strict assectomy policy?
    How could I? It's an anarchy.


    Then either your anarchy has a population of 0, you lie, or people are never asses. Which is it?
    Wow, you're really concerned about assness. Perhaps you're taking this entire thread too seriously.
  • GoodDog 2012-10-02 16:05
    ping floyd:
    golddog:
    ... I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.


    Have a couple of kids and you'll find out quickly.

    Well, not *that* quickly -- he won't really find out until they start driving and go to college.

    But, yeah, it is entirely possible to spend "the kind of money we make" and then some, when you have a family to support.

    That said, I'm in agreement with the rest of golddog's post, in that I don't know how much my teammates make, and I don't want to know. I do want to know the median salary for my position in my geographical location, so I can tell when I'm being severely underpaid. Other than that, I make what I make. If it's enough to meet my family's needs, awesome. If it's not enough, I improve my skillset as needed and look for another job where I can make more. If it's still not enough, I cut down on my expenses. Simple as that. We women are such a rare beast in IT that it's really hard to say if we as a group are being underpaid because of our gender or not. But even if we are, there's not much we can do about it. I prefer to do the best I can with the skills I've got, and not worry about what everyone else makes compared to me.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 16:09
    jay:
    just stop it:
    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?


    Who is to say what is "fair"? There are many factors that go in to determining salary besides years of education required.

    Every now and then someone will point out that garbage collectors in their city make more than teachers, and they will say how unfair and generally screwed up this is.

    My response is always, Okay then, why don't you quit your job as a teacher and become a garbage collector?

    I've never gotten a straight answer to that question. I strongly suspect the real answer is either, (a) What?! I wouldn't want a dirty, smelly job like that! Or (b) Because being a teacher enables me to help mold the next generation, to perform a valuable service to society, etc.

    In other words, (a) because that job is unpleasant, and (b) my current job is more interesting and rewarding. Which is exactly why garbage collectors are paid more. The job is unpleasant, boring, unrewarding, brings no social status, etc etc. The only reason anyone would do it is for the money.
    Or they do it because they are an ex-felon and that is the best job they can get. Just because I would not want to do it, does not mean you should pay someone else more to do it.
  • Karl 2012-10-02 16:09
    Joe:
    Your Name:
    In the public sector, everyone's salary is public information, and somehow life still goes on.


    Salary, yes. The extracurriculars (bribes, or if you prefer a more gentle term "campaign contributions") are a closely-guarded secret.

    That's how you end up with a former assistant-DA who has been on public (and published) salary his entire career enter congress as a multi-millionaire.

    I'm sure it's entirely because he saved every penny he ever earned and got a legitimate 300% annual return.

    --Joe
    But "campaign contributions" go to the "campaign" not to the politician's own pocket. There are extensive reporting requirements designed to show that it is spent on the "campaign" not on yachts etc.

    Politicians make most of their money by insider trading -- knowing in advance where the government's hammer is going to land next. For example in my city a local pol knew they were planning a new stadium. So he bought up the real estate at the probable site. Then he sold it to the taxpayers at a substantial markup.

    (We'll skip for now the question of why the taxpayers have to furnish a business place for the sports industry. I can't get them to build a structure for my use.)

    Anyway, about the only way to really prevent abuse of power like this is to take away the power from the abusers. Smaller government! It improves things for everyone, except the thieves. But then we don't really want to improve things for the thieves, do we?
  • Delve 2012-10-02 16:11
    GoodDog:
    ping floyd:
    golddog:
    ... I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.


    Have a couple of kids and you'll find out quickly.

    Well, not *that* quickly -- he won't really find out until they start driving and go to college.

    But, yeah, it is entirely possible to spend "the kind of money we make" and then some, when you have a family to support.


    Don't forget the performance PC (plus upgrades), iP*s, next year's iP*, MMO subscriptions, and etc. ;)

    Nevermind the cost of trips to the museum and other sundry experiences that every child deserves.
  • Old fart 2012-10-02 16:18
    in the eighties I was moonlighting for a gun shop that was on the cutting edge of technology, programming an inventory application on an Apple II in GW Basic. I went in one day and noticed that all the employees were pissed about something. Turns out that one of the disgruntled employees was upset about being the lowest paid employee. He had fished the carbon sheet from the payroll out of the trash and was able to read the amounts of all the employees paychecks from the carbon paper. He then typed up a list of all employees and their salaries and posted it in the breakroom bulletin board. Then everybody was upset.

    So maybe it's better if you don't go there.
  • Nexzus 2012-10-02 16:19
    I'm a government worker in a province with disclosure laws. Google "My Name" Salary, and it's the fourth goddamn result, along with expenses.

    It blows.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 16:20
    Delve:
    jay:
    Delve:
    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.


    Has it occurred to you that people who do not want to join a union may take that position because they do not agree with the unions goals, or do not think that the union is pursuing those goals in the right way?


    Then they need to be part of a solution instead becoming a problem in their own right. In short, fix their union or start their own.
    So... you want me to form a union against unions? In that case I will call mine UAU (Union against UAU)! That should handle everyone creating counter unions.

    Delve:
    jay:
    Freedom is such a pain when other people want to do things that you disagree with.
    Like standing up for decent treatment. Such a pain when people want to be able to live a decent life. You could, perhaps, study the genesis of unions and contrast that with working conditions and union presence in various global economies. Perhaps you could then go on to consider whether we're really so far away from whence we come that we can afford to denigrate, revile, and and dismantle those structures that brought us across so short a distance.
    Unions serve a good purpose but the longer they stay around in a company the more corrupt they become (All power corrupts). They may be good for the first 30 years but the next people that come in will start abusing the power, and if not them then the next. If unions were created existed until it was sure that the culture has changed in the company to something that better protects and cares for its employees and then disolved I would be more inclined to support them. The fact they stay around for so long can cause long term damage and eventually kill the company.
  • Anketam 2012-10-02 16:25
    Old fart:
    in the eighties I was moonlighting for a gun shop that was on the cutting edge of technology, programming an inventory application on an Apple II in GW Basic. I went in one day and noticed that all the employees were pissed about something. Turns out that one of the disgruntled employees was upset about being the lowest paid employee. He had fished the carbon sheet from the payroll out of the trash and was able to read the amounts of all the employees paychecks from the carbon paper. He then typed up a list of all employees and their salaries and posted it in the breakroom bulletin board. Then everybody was upset.

    So maybe it's better if you don't go there.
    And he did this in a gun shop?! Is he nuts?!
  • Delve 2012-10-02 16:38
    Anketam:
    So... you want me to form a union against unions? In that case I will call mine UAU (Union against UAU)! That should handle everyone creating counter unions.


    I meant a second worker's union. Don't like the UAW? Start your own auto worker's union.

    Anketam:
    Unions serve a good purpose but the longer they stay around in a company the more corrupt they become (All power corrupts). They may be good for the first 30 years but the next people that come in will start abusing the power, and if not them then the next. If unions were created existed until it was sure that the culture has changed in the company to something that better protects and cares for its employees and then disolved I would be more inclined to support them. The fact they stay around for so long can cause long term damage and eventually kill the company.


    The goal is to have balance in both sides. If one side of the relationship has more power than the other then eventually that side will, as you say, corrupt. Balance should keep them in check. Lacking a union or any form of organization the employees are naturally the weaker partner and thus ripe for exploitation.

    I think you might also be conflating the hierarchy of a union with the concept of organized labor. If the power of an organization, any organization, is compressed down to one or a few individuals without any oversight then you're going to have problems.

    In the ideal case you propose where a company 'reforms' and becomes a good partner to its employees a union should have no cause to make use of its power. In which case they cannot cause any harm to the company. Reality is, of course, much messier and divorced from such idealized considerations.
  • Delve 2012-10-02 16:46
    D-Coder:
    Wow, you're really concerned about assness.


    Damn! Did you find my porn collection?
  • BetterCallSaul 2012-10-02 16:56
    Here is a salary checker that can give you a baseline for your area: http://www.jobsearchintelligence.com/NACE/jobseekers/salary-calculator.php
  • Meep 2012-10-02 17:11
    BetterCallSaul:
    Here is a salary checker that can give you a baseline for your area: http://www.jobsearchintelligence.com/NACE/jobseekers/salary-calculator.php


    Try glassdoor.com for a baseline for your company.
  • Someone You Know 2012-10-02 17:39
    G.F.:
    Geez and macaroni, it feels like I'm arguing with morons.

    Welcome to TDWTF. YHBT. HAND. And all that nonsense.
  • e 2012-10-02 18:00
    I'm a woman developer, and I have 15 years experience in the industry. I am also the sole source of income for a family of 4, and even though I have a child still in grade school, I am willing (and do) put in extra hours, often more than my male counterparts, though I am salary and get no additional monetary compensation for it.

    I recently discovered that the amount I make now, with 15 total years experience and 5 with my company, is what they are willing to pay someone just starting, with 5 years experience in the field. I blame the headhunters, told me what to ask for, without telling me how much they were actually willing to pay me - no doubt because I'm a woman. While it was a substantial raise over my previous employer, it was still considerably less than what I could have ask for.

    However. Knowing I am the only support for a family of 4, and that I'm trying to send a child to college, my employers haven't made a move to correct the pay discrepancy. I know my fellow male coworkers make more than me. Substantially more than me. For doing the same job. I will hopefully rectify that soon, without having to seek other employment, because I like the people I work with directly, and the company in general.

    There is a pay gap. It has nothing to do with taking time off to raise kids - my youngest is 12, and I have worked her whole life, missing out on all those wonderful things you speak of, first steps and school plays and what not, not because I didn't want to be there, but because they need a roof over their heads and food in their bellies (their father jumped ship shortly after my last was born.)

    So explain then, since I'm missing out on hobbies, friends, and time with my family, why I should make 70% of what my male counterparts make?

    jay:
    I don't doubt that women on the average make less money than men do. The question is whether this is the result of discrimination or different lifestyle choices.

    Like, as someone pointed out, many women take time off in mid-career to raise children, while men rarely do. Similarly, at least among people I've worked with, women are far more likely to put in their 40 hours a week and then go home to take care of house and family or other interests, while men are more likely to be willing to put in extra hours.

    Is it better to spend more time with your kids and make less money? If on their deathbeds Alice is surrounded by her loving children with fond memories of all the time they spent together as they were growing up, while Bob dies alone in a nursing home, is Bob really better off because he made 20% more money in his life?

    I've seen studies that have found that women who do not have children and who put in the same hours that men do make slightly more than the average man.

    I think the reality is that people who devote their lives to their jobs make more money than people who split their lives between work and time with family, community, or even hobbies. You make your choices and you accept the pros and cons. It's rather unfair to say that you want all the advantages that come from spending more time with your family and then complain because you do not make as much money as the person who devotes his life to the company.

  • Loren 2012-10-02 18:09
    I'm a lady, and a very well paid developer. If you are worried that you're not making the same amount as your co-workers check Salary.com. I've found their information to be solid. When you find out that you are underpaid ask for more. There is a fair amount of evidence that women are underpaid because they don't negotiate as hard as men. So ask for it, if they won't pay find another job that will - if you really want to stay you can go back to your manager with an offer letter and see if they'll top it.

    One advantage to being a woman in development is that I've never had trouble finding work. Generally us ladies get along well in male dominated departments, and folks like to be able to claim the diversity that we provide - it makes old white men feel protected from discrimination suits.

    After three jobs in two years I've finally found a keeper, and I've seen 8k plus raises with each change. If you're not being paid fairly go somewhere else, there are lots of jobs out there.
  • Loren 2012-10-02 18:15
    " I will hopefully rectify that soon, without having to seek other employment, because I like the people I work with directly, and the company in general. "

    That's your problem right there. Women are more loyal to their companies, and willing to take a hit for the team. If you ask for a raises and don't get it, know management doesn't respect your contribution and you need to find new management. There are lots of jobs out there, go get a better one.

  • neminem 2012-10-02 18:15
    Loren:
    I'm a lady, and a very well paid developer. If you are worried that you're not making the same amount as your co-workers check Salary.com. I've found their information to be solid. When you find out that you are underpaid ask for more. There is a fair amount of evidence that women are underpaid because they don't negotiate as hard as men. So ask for it, if they won't pay find another job that will - if you really want to stay you can go back to your manager with an offer letter and see if they'll top it.


    Except that, if you happen to be, as the person you were responding to is, a single parent providing for four children, and the company knows it, and the company is being run by a sociopath (which many companies are - it's a great trait to have if you're running a major company), the responce is likely to be laughter. You're going to throw out a job that pays enough to support your kids, in exchange for hopefully finding a better one later? Yeah frelling right you are.

    There are a lot of companies that are happy to take full advantage of peoples' desperation. After all, the entire purpose of a company is to make money, right? Anything that makes more money, and isn't at a high risk of losing more later, they should do it. Cook the books? Just don't get caught. Steal from your grandmother? Just don't get caught. Kill people that snitch on you? Just don't get caught. Right?
  • Tom 2012-10-02 18:27
    neminem:
    After all, the entire purpose of a company is to make money, right? Anything that makes more money, and isn't at a high risk of losing more later, they should do it. Cook the books? Just don't get caught. Steal from your grandmother? Just don't get caught. Kill people that snitch on you? Just don't get caught. Right?
    That's why the penalties for breaking the law should be high enough to more than offset the potential gains from doing so.

    For example: Are you a convicted monopolist? Slap on the wrist. You get to keep the billions in ill-gotten gains.

    Example 2: Complicated financial schemes that divert profits down path one and risks down path two until the whole economy collapses? No worries. Here's a trillion or so in bailout money. Plus 40 billion a month, just for additional jollies.
  • LJW 2012-10-02 18:55
    In my experience as a software developer and IT consultant, I'd say there is some pay differences anytime there is a minority in the population. However, from my own experience, men as well as women get shafted on pay because employers can get away with it.

    I've noticed in situations where I advanced and a fellow female employee did not, the difference was I was more aggressive. I demanded the promotion. I made myself important to the project AND made sure everyone knew it. Not all, but a lot of the women I've worked with assume promotions will come due to merit. I thought the same thing when I was younger. That's all BS! The same thing happens to men. I was told to work hard and I would be noticed. That's all BS. Don't believe it. That something they tell everyone to get more out of you!

    Guess what, employers don't want you comparing salaries for this exact reason! I've been a manager in a couple of software dev groups and I didn't care if people compared because my salaries were due to real performance differences. You want more, do more.

    Lastly, the tried and true way to get a raise is get another job. It's just a fact. I've only had one employer in 20 years realize that giving me the raise was warranted AND cheaper than hiring a new employee! The rest, they will always be numb to the reality.

    Once, I got a 31% raise by changing jobs. I was offered a "raise" by my current employer. I declined. I told them they could no longer afford me. The HR group was telling me I was crazy when I asked about the salary ranges before I found the new job. Guess what? They will always do that to you.

    I've found it takes about 4 years for any employment situation to turn to crap. Do your 4, find another gig. It's easy and gives you a lot of varied experiences. :)
  • Old fart 2012-10-02 19:12
    Well said. If this forum had a "Like" button, I'd click it.
  • Kirving 2012-10-02 19:20
    Average percentage provides possible _evidence_ of gender discrimination. It does not however prove it happens (correlation does not imply causation). If a male does create more value for the company he should be paid more, and inversely if a female creates more value for the company she should be paid more. This is called being gender-blind.

    Honestly at some big companies that have a good portion of women in IT and engineering, there is a lot of discrimination against males. People should get paid what they DESERVE, and what they deserve is based on the job they personally do, not what other people in the company make. When women work as hard, as long, and as well as a male counterpart there is anecdotal evidence that they tend to make more.

    This suggests statistically for whatever reasons males create more value for companies as employees (whether that be less time off, more extra hours, or whatever).
  • Anon 2012-10-02 20:08
    Mike:
    So the advice in this article is to put up with discrimination and be satisfied?

    No, this is wrong. Yes, the advice at one level is practical in that there will always be differences between individuals and that's life, it isn't fair. But that is completely different from accepting institutional sexism in the work place.

    What is the advice for black people who get paid less? That's life and if you don't like it you have a personal problem?

    Disgusting!!!


    That's not even remotely similar to what the article suggests.

    Strawman arguments are lies.
  • Jeff 2012-10-02 20:10
    I tried to get a job, but they told me I would be paid a lot less because I was old, fat, bald and male. So I decided not to work at that strip club.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-10-02 21:39
    just stop it:
    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?
    Spoken like someone who has never worked at ups. First, they only hire drivers from within the company. You HAVE to start out loading trucks.

    THAT JOB SUCKS!

    Second, the wait list to get a driver job is about 5 YEARS. In other words, you have to do strenous physical labor loading boxes into trucks for 5 years before you can even think about getting the next job opening.

    Third: Ups drivers work from sunup to sun down. 70+ hours a week is EXPECTED. You are EXPECTED to either deliver all your packages OR have a slip that explains why not for each package before you aim your truck back to the hub.

    So no, for the work and effort those people have to go through to earn their 80k a year, I do NOT envy them 1 bit. What good is a good paycheck and good perks if you spend every waking minute earning it. All a ups driver has to look forward to is a cake and the icing of "WTF did i do with my life" regret at the end of that term.

    Anketam:
    Or they do it because they are an ex-felon and that is the best job they can get. Just because I would not want to do it, does not mean you should pay someone else more to do it.


    Felons have a very hard time getting hired because packages cross state lines and as such they have to adhere to a shitton of federal regulations.
  • Jamie 2012-10-02 22:02
    Brad:
    This one women *might* not be getting her fair share, but there is no systemic problem.
    I'd argue that there is a problem in the IT industry for this sort of thing. I don't think the main motivator is sexism, however. Let me explain.

    Assume that the male IT stereotype is true (We all know it is to an extent). Most male IT enthusiasts went to school and uni in there own group of other (Mostly male) IT enthusiasts. In University, I had a choice on which group I could to my main (Final Year) IT project with. A group of guys, or a mixed group. I was more comfortable choosing the group of guys, even though I knew everyone in both groups to some extent. I wouldn't say I'm shy, but I certainly have more experience socially with a group of other guys, then I do with a mixed group (The balance was 50/50 in the other group). The choice had nothing to do with who I'd rather work with.

    The first job out of uni I took had an extreme approach: No girls. No girls on the sales team, no girls on the development team. One girl in the office of 30, and she was the Human Resources officer to boot. And the owner's wife. The reason? "They couldn't handle the pressure".

    That is shit that needs to be fixed. Even one occurrence of that is too much, IMO.
  • Ken 2012-10-02 22:08
    Jeff:
    I tried to get a job, but they told me I would be paid a lot less because I was old, fat, bald and male. So I decided not to work at that strip club.
    That's it? You just let them get away with probably the most blatant example of age and gender discrimination ever?

    You should sue them.

    And then sue every patron who doesn't tip you as generously as the other entertainers.
  • Jamie 2012-10-02 22:20
    Jamie:
    The reason? "They couldn't handle the pressure".
    Sorry, very important correction, the reason was "They can't handle the pressure".
  • Loren 2012-10-02 23:00
    neminem:
    Loren:
    I'm a lady, and a very well paid developer. If you are worried that you're not making the same amount as your co-workers check Salary.com. I've found their information to be solid. When you find out that you are underpaid ask for more. There is a fair amount of evidence that women are underpaid because they don't negotiate as hard as men. So ask for it, if they won't pay find another job that will - if you really want to stay you can go back to your manager with an offer letter and see if they'll top it.


    Except that, if you happen to be, as the person you were responding to is, a single parent providing for four children, and the company knows it, and the company is being run by a sociopath (which many companies are - it's a great trait to have if you're running a major company), the responce is likely to be laughter. You're going to throw out a job that pays enough to support your kids, in exchange for hopefully finding a better one later? Yeah frelling right you are.


    Well... you could always go find another job without leaving or saying anything at the one you are at. If you think they're a bunch of bastigages then don't show your hand till you have a good one. Get the an offer letter, then negotiate at your current employer if you would rather stay. If they won't pony up the cash you know you have an option. Mind you, this is IT I'm talking about, we're not in the nation wide job market, there is a labor shortage, you just pick another job off the job tree.

    Not to sound like a jerk but, folks get screwed when they show loyalty to companies, even good companies run by good people. I've worked at small companies with good people in charge, but they would have fired me in a heartbeat if that's what it took to maintain their standard of living. I like these people. That's just business. As employees we should be business savvy too. That means it's okay to look for another job. It's okay to get negotiate all the way to an offer letter on a job you don't want to take. And, liking the people you work with is no reason to stay if you are not respected, ie paid well.

    There are lots of jobs, go get a good one.
  • male 2012-10-03 01:09
    At one job, when I selected whom would be hired among all of the male and female applicants, guess who the biggest complainer was when I selected a female.

    [spoiler space]

    [spoiler space]

    My girlfriend.

    Among those applicants who still wanted the job after being interviewed, I hired the ones who appeared most qualified. My girlfriend's complaint didn't stop me. My girlfriend worked in a different industry. She had no thought of applying for a job that she wasn't suited for, so that's not what she was jealous about. Just what kind of pr*ck would hire another female.
  • DB 2012-10-03 02:30
    neminem:
    Loren:
    I'm a lady, and a very well paid developer. If you are worried that you're not making the same amount as your co-workers check Salary.com. I've found their information to be solid. When you find out that you are underpaid ask for more. There is a fair amount of evidence that women are underpaid because they don't negotiate as hard as men. So ask for it, if they won't pay find another job that will - if you really want to stay you can go back to your manager with an offer letter and see if they'll top it.


    Except that, if you happen to be, as the person you were responding to is, a single parent providing for four children, and the company knows it, and the company is being run by a sociopath (which many companies are - it's a great trait to have if you're running a major company), the responce is likely to be laughter. You're going to throw out a job that pays enough to support your kids, in exchange for hopefully finding a better one later? Yeah frelling right you are.

    There are a lot of companies that are happy to take full advantage of peoples' desperation. After all, the entire purpose of a company is to make money, right? Anything that makes more money, and isn't at a high risk of losing more later, they should do it. Cook the books? Just don't get caught. Steal from your grandmother? Just don't get caught. Kill people that snitch on you? Just don't get caught. Right?


    The penetration rate of sociopaths holding a CEO title is around four percent (4%). This low percentage cannot represent the majority that you speak of.
  • James 2012-10-03 03:33
    This is one aspect affecting the average, but there is empirical evidence that women are made lower offers for *the same job*: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109.full.pdf+html

    Also, I don't have the study for this one on hand, but women are significantly less likely to receive a pay rise when they ask than men.

    People who dismiss the entire effect as 'it's all because women leave work to have babies' also need to stay away from statistics, economics, and finance, all of which are complex systems with many factors. And sneaking in that 'almost' doesn't save you.
  • James 2012-10-03 03:34
    James:
    This is one aspect affecting the average, but there is empirical evidence that women are made lower offers for *the same job*: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109.full.pdf+html

    Also, I don't have the study for this one on hand, but women are significantly less likely to receive a pay rise when they ask than men.

    People who dismiss the entire effect as 'it's all because women leave work to have babies' also need to stay away from statistics, economics, and finance, all of which are complex systems with many factors. And sneaking in that 'almost' doesn't save you.


    Derp, that response was to this:
    Oh for crying out loud:
    The "paygap" is an average across all industries, levels of education and experience. Almost all of it is explained by the fact that women, more than average, make choices that don't necessarily maximize lifetime income but instead maximize happiness, family, or whatever.

    For example, women on average work fewer hours per week (outside the home) than men.

    For example, women tend to be the ones who have babies and take extended time off of work (slackers!).

    Anytime someone mentions this 75% trope in the context of an individual salary -- that the women in a department are paid 75% of what the men are for equivalent work -- anyone who thinks that should stay away from statistics, economics and finance. Please.
  • agtrier 2012-10-03 04:01
    I don't know about the situation in the US, but in Germany, there is a very good study run every year the the "C't" magazine where they poll thousands of IT professionals for their income and qualifications and publish the results.

    It certainly helps to see if you're under- or overpaid. Unfortunately, I always seem to fall into the first category :-/

    ag.
  • Mary Davey 2012-10-03 04:15
    I'm an elderly female computer geek in a young man's world, so I am very much aware of discriminatory treatment. My boss is currently starting the procedure to "assess" me - meaning downgrade me or even get rid of me. I only need to stall the process for a few months and I'll be too close to retirement to make it worth their while.

    I'm not going to go away and raise a family or anything like that - not at my age.

    I do have a rather good view on the male/female aspects of being a software engineer as I was male when I joined this company.
  • EncoreSpod 2012-10-03 04:18
    The big problem I find with any job is that they are a business, your pay is just another bill they'd rather keep to a minimum and they know there is no such thing as market forces involved in deciding how much it is going to be (as mentioned in the article, golf can often be a bigger earner than professional aptitude).

    I only look for a job for two reasons, because I want more money or because I don't have a job at all. From the employer's point of view, why should they pay me that extra money when they can hire someone who is desperate for a job at all on a lower rate, thus I have never succeeded in getting a new job whilst currently employed, I've had offers but been expected to take a deal that is effectively more for less so I've always turned them down.

    Recently however I did find a way out of the trap, its something I learnt from my boss at my previous job and its horrid, I've always hated it, I feel dirty doing it myself but its a pure simple fact of; if you can't beat them, join them.

    The answer is playground games, nothing to do with anything practical or intellectual, its all a game of who is the biggest neanderthal. This might explain why some women get stuck with lower salaries in general so take my tip, fake it. Act like you are a stupid, testosterone driven, bullish ignorant man.

    Strange as it seems, that's how it works, being a considerate, professional, knowledgeable employee with a good scientific approach to your field balanced against the realities of business... is not going to get you a pay rise.

    I realised this in my previous job where I found myself doing more and more advanced work for the same pay, every time I reasoned with the boss for more I was of course given excuses and you can see his point. Why should he pay more for my services if he doesn't have to?

    So I started working to my job description and not doing the more advanced work, they found they had come to rely on it and pushed me for more, I refused. They took to harassment and bullying to try and force it out of me, I took to raising that matter officially with the higher management and so on... Obviously by this point I had ruined my political standing and lost any chance of ever climbing the monkey pecking order.

    In the end as much as they wanted and tried to get rid of me they couldn't, in a bang per buck sense although I never got a pay rise I was doing better, I had been filed away in a corner and left to my own devices, they couldn't fire me but they didn't want to deal with me so I did less work for the same money. Obviously this is not real a win, but it did teach me something.

    I had personal reasons for wanting to leave and I was sick of the dead end, so I moved on.

    Cue putting it into practice.

    I'm working at a new job and I come up with a bit of software that doubles their production throughput by removing a bottleneck, so I show it to them but hold it back, I'm not giving it away and hoping for a kind reward, its just not going to happen. They want to offer me a better fulltime position so I start negotiating pay, we decide on a figure but I never get a formal offer.

    My contract comes to an end, about ten minutes before the end of the last day I'm saying my goodbyes and the boss realises now is the time. He hands me an offer, for HALF the money we agreed on.

    I can see his thinking "This guy will be so desperate for another job, he will take whatever he is given."

    I laugh, I walk out. I make out I couldn't take his offer even if I wanted to because he didn't give me ample notice, I pretend I have other work lined up for the next two weeks. I also make it clear I will ensure everyone else knows that he went back on the agreement we made. I can get away with all this because I still have his production doubling software and no-one else at his company knows how it works, otherwise they would have already done it.

    In the end I get taken on at the rate we agreed with an agreement in writing that I will get an extra 25% added to that after the first six months. I also make sure I get a written job description showing exactly what is and isn't my job so that when the inevitable extras do come along, I can bargain for more leave, more pay or whatever I happen to fancy at the time.

    You might look at the story and think they took me on because I had skills they really wanted but if I hadn't been manipulative, bullish, stubborn and confident to the point of arrogance I would have been doing it for half the salary I'm on now.

    I got the pay I felt I deserved because I wouldn't settle for less, if I had budged so much as a micron they would have leapt on that sign of weakness and tried to take a lightyear. So not only did I not step back, I drove forward and showed them "If you think you can push me into a corner, be prepared for me to push back."

    So the two things we can take away from this are A. If you aren't happy with the money in your current job, there is nothing you can do about it. You've been doing this job for that money already and any attempt to change that isn't going to work. So have the guts to go elsewhere.

    B. Always remember when you are in with a chance of a new job that you do have something they want otherwise they wouldn't be considering you for a job in the first place, they just want to try and get it on the cheap. They will make out that they can hire someone else for less money and its true, they can! However they didn't choose that person, they chose you because they know you are better. Let them hire the cheaper version, if they are prepared to accept lesser quality. Hold your ground and don't make the same mistake you did in your last job, prove you can do more yes, but don't do it until they pay you.
  • Marvin the Martian 2012-10-03 04:36
    What is hilarious is the (featured) comments saying that there's no pay gap. Especially after one quoting the oft-cited PNAS paper showing that (in science, which should be more meritocratic than other jobs) there is a very real, very measurable gap.

    But the problem with comparing wages is that by definition, half your peers make less than the average (median) pay, so they demand a payrise, so the average increases, so now some others are below-average even though they are doing exactly the same job at the same pay as yesterday. That's how executive salaries have gotten hopelessly out of hand, to many multiples of their underlings' salaries --- e.g., civil servants' collective bargaining strongly curbs salary growth.
  • Spaatz 2012-10-03 06:19
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    The big problem in IT is a tendency to lowball, and taking a lowball salary screws you later on. For example, if you were making $60k but were laid off, you might settle for a job offering $45k rather than have no income at all or meager unemployment. But now a new job will look at the fact you're making $45k and, instead of saying "The market rate is $65k, we will pay you that and make you WANT to stay here" they think "This person is only getting $45k. We can offer $50k and save $15k off market rate" and then wonder why that person only stays long enough to find a higher paying job.


    That's the law of supply and demand.
    If you are unemployed and really NEED income, it is better having a 45k job than not having a 60k job. The first produces 45k income and the latter 0k income.
    Of course, you could push the ante and say "I will work only for 60k and no less" but if there are many, or enough candidates, willing to work for less than 60k, you are screwed up and jobless. Salaries don't reflect actual objective productivity, but the metting point of supply and demand. This is economy 101.
  • Spaatz 2012-10-03 06:26
    [quote user="DB"][quote user="neminem"]

    The penetration rate of sociopaths holding a CEO title is around four percent (4%). This low percentage cannot represent the majority that you speak of.[/quote]

    I'd love to see the research this figure came from... Links, pls. Maybe you mean that 4% of the sociopaths make it to CEO postions, and cosindering how scarce they are, the we have quite a big bunch of sociopaths running business? ;-)
  • Anketam 2012-10-03 08:27
    PiisAWheeL:
    just stop it:
    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?
    Spoken like someone who has never worked at ups. First, they only hire drivers from within the company. You HAVE to start out loading trucks.

    THAT JOB SUCKS!

    Second, the wait list to get a driver job is about 5 YEARS. In other words, you have to do strenous physical labor loading boxes into trucks for 5 years before you can even think about getting the next job opening.

    Third: Ups drivers work from sunup to sun down. 70+ hours a week is EXPECTED. You are EXPECTED to either deliver all your packages OR have a slip that explains why not for each package before you aim your truck back to the hub.

    So no, for the work and effort those people have to go through to earn their 80k a year, I do NOT envy them 1 bit. What good is a good paycheck and good perks if you spend every waking minute earning it. All a ups driver has to look forward to is a cake and the icing of "WTF did i do with my life" regret at the end of that term.

    Anketam:
    Or they do it because they are an ex-felon and that is the best job they can get. Just because I would not want to do it, does not mean you should pay someone else more to do it.


    Felons have a very hard time getting hired because packages cross state lines and as such they have to adhere to a shitton of federal regulations.
    My comment about felons had to do with garbage truck drivers not UPS truck drivers.
  • Realistic Employee 2012-10-03 11:04
    Many people say:
    -You deserve what you are worth.
    -You should be paid a living wage.
    -Race and gender should not factor into pay.
    These are all great statements in an ideal world. The truth is you get paid what the business you work for can afford. They budget a certain amount when interviewing for a position. They will pay you any salary below their budgeted amount that you negotiate. Your skills, race, and gender determine if you get the interview and the position. Although it is common practice to pay people of a certain race or gender less, it is more often the case that these individuals will not be hired in the first place.
  • Rogue_Leader 2012-10-03 12:22
    Something that no-one talks about:

    In order to equalise salaries between men and women, employers have frozen increases, or pegged superannuation at below inflation and using part of the savings to increase womens' pay to the (reduced) level of mens' pay.

    The effect of this?

    Employers save money by paying a lower average salary, and real household income has fallen despite most households now having two wage-earners, leading to parents' having to spend more on childcare and a generation of children who've grown up with absent parents.

    Still, you know...at least it's fair.
  • GoodDog 2012-10-03 13:01
    jay:
    I think the reality is that people who devote their lives to their jobs make more money than people who split their lives between work and time with family, community, or even hobbies. You make your choices and you accept the pros and cons. It's rather unfair to say that you want all the advantages that come from spending more time with your family and then complain because you do not make as much money as the person who devotes his life to the company.


    This has been my experience as well, except I'm not complaining. After two back-to-back maternity leaves, followed by immigration, I had to start over at an entry level. However I was very driven, had a very supportive family, put in the extra time and effort, learned new skills on my own, and tripled my initial salary in three years. But at that point, I came to a place where I had to choose between, on one hand, risky jobs with no benefits, no flex time, at startups that could go belly up any minute, but where I'd have a better chance of growing professionally, and, on the other hand, stable jobs at Fortune 500 corporations, with amazing medical insurance for my kids, flex time that I could use whenever a kid would be sick or in the ER, job security, good pay, good bonuses, but they would be dead-end jobs that would erode my skillset and make me less marketable in the future.

    I chose the fortune 500 companies. And I'm still wondering if my choice was right.

    I am absolutely positive that, if I hadn't taken time off with the kids, and if I hadn't opted for family-friendly jobs later on, I would now be making more by a large margin. But what could I do? I had a family that needed to be taken care of. I still missed the school talent shows, movies with kids, camping trips with kids and such (due to being on call 24x7 for most of their preteen years), but at least, when they were in surgery or ER, I was there, and I never had to worry about how I'd pay their medical bills. I like to think of it as, I invested in my kids, and, since I am happy with the way they turned out, I got good payoff on my investment. May their careers be better than mine.

    FTR, I know a few men that made the same choice, with similar results. But you're right that it is mostly mothers who choose to go that route. Also, I haven't really met anyone, man or woman, who'd "devote their life to the company" (yikes -- I can understand devoting your life to doing something you love, but to a company -- unless you're the owner? I don't get it), but that's probably because I've mainly worked for the Fortune 500s.
  • Tangurena 2012-10-03 13:08
    Spaatz:
    neminem:


    The penetration rate of sociopaths holding a CEO title is around four percent (4%). This low percentage cannot represent the majority that you speak of.


    I'd love to see the research this figure came from... Links, pls. Maybe you mean that 4% of the sociopaths make it to CEO postions, and cosindering how scarce they are, the we have quite a big bunch of sociopaths running business? ;-)


    One source of the 4% number comes from the book:
    The Psychopath Test
    http://www.amazon.com/Psychopath-Test-Journey-Through-Industry/dp/1594488010

    I've also seen the 4% number refer to the total population in the book The Sociopath Next Door
    http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/0767915828/

    For entertainment: http://www.sociopathworld.com/
  • Publius 2012-10-03 13:14
    Old fart:
    ...He then typed up a list of all employees and their salaries and posted it in the breakroom bulletin board. Then everybody was upset.

    So maybe it's better if you don't go there.


    Why does this remind me of the first two minutes of this video?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyE0IE6EA1s
  • Don Marti 2012-10-03 13:31
    How a group can calculate the average salary, without anyone revealing his or her salary to anyone else:

    http://www.cartalk.com/content/coney-island-crab-cake-company?answer
  • Nick V. 2012-10-03 13:55
    One common trait I have seen among women: they are too faithful to their employers and like to remain in a failed relationship longer than their male counterparts would. And guess what? They do the same with their private relationships. Women seem to like stability a lot more than men and are less likely to look around.

    Agree, disagree, call me a macho or a sexist, I don't care, that's the way I see it.

    I have seen a lot more turnover among my male than my female counterparts. At my previous job, where I stayed three years, only two of the female employees left the company while half of the males did, with equal size gender contingents.

    I advise you to upgrade your resume and to "go get it". If you have an established job, highball the salary request. Of course you need to show up professionally dressed, something gender neutral, like a female dress suit. And you need to ace the interview.

    My personal experience is that, when you ask for a high salary, you usually get it, or get something slightly lower, because having the intestinal fortitude (see how I avoid the gender-specific imagery) to ask for it often means you have the skills to request it.

    A manager wants a few reliable key players and often can afford it. Someone who is gutsy, sure of herself and knows how much she is worth is likely to be a key player who will be reliable and stay a long time with the company. And that's where the faithfulness of female employees towards their employers will play to your advantage. Many dudes would leave 1-2-3 for a $5K pay raise, few women would.

    Finally there is no issue with contacting a head hunter and telling him (or her): "Find me my $85,000 job". Or even "Find me my 6-digit job".
  • GoodDog 2012-10-03 14:41
    Nick V.:
    One common trait I have seen among women: they are too faithful to their employers and like to remain in a failed relationship longer than their male counterparts would. And guess what? They do the same with their private relationships. Women seem to like stability a lot more than men and are less likely to look around.

    Agree, disagree, call me a macho or a sexist, I don't care, that's the way I see it.

    Nick, I'm not going to call you anything, because you're right. This is my job #5 in 15 years, and I hate hate hate changing jobs. So yeah, will put it off for as long as I can. In addition to liking stability, seniority, the window cube that you eventually find your way into if you're with a company long enough... here's what I really dislike about any new job. I walk in the door on my first day, and am introduced to my new team -- mostly guys or all guys. My teammates then spend the first few months doubting me at every turn, second-guessing everything I do, and expecting me to break everything at any minute, purely on the basis of me being a woman. Then after 4-6 months, all of a sudden comes respect, and I can finally relax and do my job without having to explain myself to everybody. But, while I'm new, just because I'm a woman, I'm automatically assumed to be brain-dead, and have to work twice as hard to prove myself as any guy. Every. single. job. It gets annoying pretty quickly. Since I'm not there to change the world and magically rid people of their prejudices, I've just come to expect it at any new place. Which is why I'm never in a hurry to get to one. Pretty sure I'm not the only woman in IT to have this experience. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I file this under "life isn't fair, get used to it" - but this may be one reason why you've seen lower turnover in women.

    Nice one with "intestinal fortitude", by the way!
  • jay 2012-10-03 15:14
    Delve:
    jay:
    Delve:
    Oh, yes. I'd be outraged if I had top pay dues to an organization so that they could bring the full strength of the workforce to bear against the natural greed of the employers in salary negotiations.


    Has it occurred to you that people who do not want to join a union may take that position because they do not agree with the unions goals, or do not think that the union is pursuing those goals in the right way?


    Then they need to be part of a solution instead becoming a problem in their own right. In short, fix their union or start their own.


    So if someone thinks that the very idea of a union is fundamentally flawed, like, say, he believes that people should negotiate with their employer individually, or he thinks the government should protect workers' interests through labor laws, or he believes that unions inevitably become corrupt and some radically different organization is needed, or whatever, that the only appropriate response is ... to work within the system that he believes is fundamentally flawed.

    Again, you are starting from the assumption that everyone MUST agree with you, and if they say they don't, they are either lying or have some minor technical objection.

    If the Ku Klux Klan comes by recruiting, I do not join and pay dues and work from within to make it less racist. I refuse to join.

    Delve:
    jay:
    How would you react if, say, the Republican Party proposed that all Americans should be forced to become dues-paying Republicans because, after all, that party is trying to make the country a better place and needs more support. I'm sure the Republicans are just as convinced that their goals are good and right as the unions are convinced about theirs.


    Your analogy is fatally flawed in that there is a diametrically opposed group known as 'Democrats' to which a dissenter may flee. Indeed there is even a common middle ground known as 'Independants' to serve as a last resort should both of the aforementioned be deemed unsuitable.


    I was not using the example of the Republican Party as the opposite of a union, but simply as an organization that, like a union and like many other organizations, collects money from people in order to pursue its goals. And just as I would object to the Republicans, Democrats, or any other political party having the power to force me to pay dues to further goals that I may or may not share, so I object to the idea of a union being able to force me to pay money to further goals that I may or may not share, or to support a hierarchy that I may or may not approve of. I would have the same objection to being forced to join an environmentalist group, a civil liberties group, a gun-rights group, a religious group, an atheist group, etc etc. My objection is not to unions per se, but to the idea of being forced to support an organization whether I agree with that group's goals or not.

    Delve:
    In the case of labor there is only the employee and the employer. And possibly the union. And in that relationship the employee has power if and only if
    1. said employee offers special benefits (a rare skill or notoriety)
    or
    2. said employee has a majority of the extant workforce willing to walk for them


    First of all, we are back to this same issue: In YOUR opinion, a union is a good thing because it evens the playing field between employee and employer. Fine. Maybe so. I am not saying that you should not be allowed to form a union or to join a union. Go right ahead. More power to you. I am saying that I object to ME being forced to financially and politically support an organization regardless of MY opinion about its goals and methods, just because YOU think that it's a good organization.

    On the specifics: As an employee I have one very effective bargaining chip to use against an employer who does not pay me an adequate salary, provide decent working conditions, etc: I can quit. Unless someone is literally a slave, he has that option. I make pretty good money and have a nice job, and I am not a member of a union. Even if the worker has few special skills, the employer still needs SOMEBODY to do this job, and if his pay or working conditions are bad enough, no one will want to do it. But let's suppose you find this logic unconvincing. Fine. Join a union. But don't try to force ME to join one.

    Delve:
    jay:
    Freedom is such a pain when other people want to do things that you disagree with.


    Like standing up for decent treatment. Such a pain when people want to be able to live a decent life. You could, perhaps, study the genesis of unions and contrast that with working conditions and union presence in various global economies. Perhaps you could then go on to consider whether we're really so far away from whence we come that we can afford to denigrate, revile, and and dismantle those structures that brought us across so short a distance.


    We could debate whether the improvement in conditions for workers is due to unions or to other factors, like increasing technology and capital investment. There are plenty of people in the US who live quite well who are not members of unions.

    But again, we are discussing two very different questions. (1) Are unions a good thing? And (2) Should people be forced to join a union?

    Let's say that I concede to you on question #1 100%. The only reason why software developers, lawyers, doctors, and engineers make good money and have good working conditions is because they have such strong unions. Fine.

    I still strongly disagree on #2, and that is the point I started out objecting to. I don't care how obviously wonderful an organization is. I don't think I should be forced to join it if I do not agree with its goals and methods. That is what we call "freedom". The fact that you think an organization is good is not sufficient reason to override my freedom.
  • jay 2012-10-03 15:19
    Delve:
    jay:

    In other words, (a) because that job is unpleasant, and (b) my current job is more interesting and rewarding. Which is exactly why garbage collectors are paid more. The job is unpleasant, boring, unrewarding, brings no social status, etc etc. The only reason anyone would do it is for the money.


    Logic away migrant farm workers then.


    I assume that migrant farm workers take these unpleasant jobs for the money. Sure, it's not much compared to what you and I make. But it's pretty good compared to what they could make back in their home countries. Do you really suppose that migrant farm workers had the option to get jobs as college professors but turned it down because they prefer working in the hot sun for 12 hours a day?

    The average American or European garbage collector can demand a higher salary because he has lots of other options. Probably not as an engineer or a lawyer or some other high-paying field, or he'd be doing that. But there are other unskilled or low-skilled jobs he could take that are more pleasant and otherwise more desirable. And that don't pay as much money, because they are more pleasant and otherwise more desirable.
  • jay 2012-10-03 15:25
    Anketam:
    Old fart:
    in the eighties I was moonlighting for a gun shop that was on the cutting edge of technology, programming an inventory application on an Apple II in GW Basic. I went in one day and noticed that all the employees were pissed about something. Turns out that one of the disgruntled employees was upset about being the lowest paid employee. He had fished the carbon sheet from the payroll out of the trash and was able to read the amounts of all the employees paychecks from the carbon paper. He then typed up a list of all employees and their salaries and posted it in the breakroom bulletin board. Then everybody was upset.

    So maybe it's better if you don't go there.
    And he did this in a gun shop?! Is he nuts?!


    If there's any place you DON'T want to go on a shooting spree, it's in a gun shop. I saw a story in the news recently about a guy who tried to rob a gun shop with a knife. Guess what happenned to him?

    If I ever decide that I want to become a mass murderer and shoot as many random people as I can before they get me, I'll do it at a place that has a sign on the door saying "No guns allowed".
  • Bob 2012-10-03 15:26
    The original study that everyone cites about 75% is flawed. It grouped all workers in a profession together regardless of specialty.

    Should a GP make as much as a heart surgeon whose immediate actions mean that people live or die?

    A GP makes on ave about 150k/yr. A cardiac surgeon makes 500k easily. GP's are about 50% women. Cardiac surgeons are about 16% women. Lumping them together skews the difference in pay.
  • JJ 2012-10-03 15:49
    Nick:
    Good advice, but I respectfully disagree. You should never be satisfied with your pay. Once you are, you'll stop striving to better yourself, stop being competitive with your peers, and stop being recognized as an outstanding achiever. Once you're happy, you've lost the game.

    You and I are playing a different game. The goal of mine is to be happy. I don't want to spend my entire life constantly striving for more. I want to get somewhere I'm comfortable with and...be comfortable.

    Just because you're one of those "it's all about the journey" people doesn't mean that those of us who prefer the destination are wrong.
  • Delve 2012-10-03 16:12
    jay:
    But again, we are discussing two very different questions. (1) Are unions a good thing? And (2) Should people be forced to join a union?

    Let's say that I concede to you on question #1 100%. The only reason why software developers, lawyers, doctors, and engineers make good money and have good working conditions is because they have such strong unions. Fine.

    I still strongly disagree on #2, and that is the point I started out objecting to.


    Your entire post is effectively just the above; indeed that seems to be the entirety of your complaint with unionization as an institution. And you would tear down the entire institution based on this single point. We can disagree about the value of required membership. Unless I'm mistaken however the implementation of unions is largely more flexible than that. In short, I believe organizations are not legally obligated to put themselves in a position where they are required to hire union. That's part of the check on union power. Perhaps my understanding is mistaken.

    Unless I'm wrong, then, what this boils down to is you would do away with unions entirely simply because some companies signed a contract with their union(s) that might not be good for them (and I know I've heard of businesses that are very happy with their unions, in these very comments in fact as well as other places). And you accuse me of trying to impose my vision of the world on other people? Fie on thee, troll.
  • Delve 2012-10-03 16:28
    jay:
    Delve:
    jay:

    In other words, (a) because that job is unpleasant, and (b) my current job is more interesting and rewarding. Which is exactly why garbage collectors are paid more. The job is unpleasant, boring, unrewarding, brings no social status, etc etc. The only reason anyone would do it is for the money.


    Logic away migrant farm workers then.


    I assume that migrant farm workers take these unpleasant jobs for the money. Sure, it's not much compared to what you and I make. But it's pretty good compared to what they could make back in their home countries. Do you really suppose that migrant farm workers had the option to get jobs as college professors but turned it down because they prefer working in the hot sun for 12 hours a day?

    The average American or European garbage collector can demand a higher salary because he has lots of other options. Probably not as an engineer or a lawyer or some other high-paying field, or he'd be doing that. But there are other unskilled or low-skilled jobs he could take that are more pleasant and otherwise more desirable. And that don't pay as much money, because they are more pleasant and otherwise more desirable.


    Ah, I'd love to have a garbage collector teaching my children. Not.

    The job requirements are low, consisting only of heavy lifting, and one presumes that many if not all migrant farm workers would be capable of filling that position. Why then are they not if it can't be because they are unqualified?

    Conversely if the nearly equally skilled position of migrant worker (glossing over for a moment the skill requirements of harvesting for which a garbage collector has no analog) is so much better than that of garbage collection (as judged by the lower pay comparable to the anecdotal number you blithely put forth as a reference point for the salaries of all garbage collectors) why are not all garbage collectors standing at the fields clamouring for a place? I heard this morning that the apple orchards in Washington, as a single example, would love the help.

    My point is that you've boiled it down to two numbers and a couple of assumptions about the relative difficulties of the task. I could as easily have argued from that direction as well. I personally know a couple of teachers that would happily trade their jobs for garbage collection if they didn't like children so much, and I wager most garbage collectors if put in front an average grade school classroom would ask where the truck was parked after the second day; regardless of the pay involved. They are completely different skill sets requiring very different resiliences simply to survive the workday. Attempting to compare them is futile and attempting to reduce the discussion to some kind of objectivist minimalism is ludicrous.

    Nevermind that all salaries are set by the related budget requirements not the relative job requirements.
  • Warpedcow 2012-10-03 16:33
    So here's the proof there is no gender wage gap, or if there is, it's because women are less productive, on average, by an equal amount as the pay gap...

    Hypothesis: women get paid less for equal work.
    Logical effect of this hypothesis being true: Zero percent unemployment for women, high unemployment for men. Why? Well DUH! If you can get equal work for less pay from a women WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EVER HIRE A MAN?

    So the fact that there is no gender unemployment gap proves there is no wage gap.
  • Dan 2012-10-03 17:20
    Delve:
    all salaries are set by the related budget requirements not the relative job requirements.
    Salaries, like all other prices, are set by:

    1. Agreement between the buyer and seller, or

    2. Force. Someone who is willing and able to hurt you demands you will do this at this price or you will not do that at that price. (Example: if you have sex with someone and the price is greater than zero, men with guns will kidnap you.)
  • Chris 2012-10-03 18:46
    Brad is simply wrong here. Social scientists have now realized that the "human capital model" that was once thought to explain the differences between the salaries of men and women is in fact insufficient to do so. (It's called the "human capital model" because it relies on the notion of different amounts of "investment" by an individual in a career, i.e. working overtime = good, taking time off to rear children = bad.) See, for instance the recent journal article by Lips: "The Gender Pay Gap: Challenging the Rationalizations. Perceived Equity, Discrimination, and the Limits of Human Capital Models." Sex Roles, 10.1007/s11199-012-0165-z.

    But that's OK. No one expects men to worry their pretty little heads about the systematic (mis)treatment of their co-workers, even if finding out about it would only require walking over to a neighbor's cubicle and asking. Oh, there isn't a woman in the next cube? Well, then don't you think that that should be a clue that something is deeply wrong with the treatment of women in tech?
  • neminem 2012-10-03 19:16
    Nick:
    Once you're happy, you've lost the game.

    In other completely unrelated news, I just noticed this post, via someone's quoting of it, and hence lost the game.

    And I'm not even completely happy! At least not about my salary. But I'm willing to put up with a salary that is not amazing (but entirely respectable and which gives me the ability to do pretty much anything I want to do short of buying crazy property), because I'm happy with basically everything else about my job, and don't feel like looking for higher pay at the probable expense of having a job I actually like (being that you can't always tell that before you've actually been hired and started working there, at which point it's kinda too late to go back.)

    But anyway, my main point is, The Game.
  • Pat 2012-10-03 19:44
    Chris:
    Brad is simply wrong here. Social scientists have now realized that the "human capital model" that was once thought to explain the differences between the salaries of men and women is in fact insufficient to do so. (It's called the "human capital model" because it relies on the notion of different amounts of "investment" by an individual in a career, i.e. working overtime = good, taking time off to rear children = bad.) See, for instance the recent journal article by Lips: "The Gender Pay Gap: Challenging the Rationalizations. Perceived Equity, Discrimination, and the Limits of Human Capital Models." Sex Roles, 10.1007/s11199-012-0165-z.

    But that's OK. No one expects men to worry their pretty little heads about the systematic (mis)treatment of their co-workers, even if finding out about it would only require walking over to a neighbor's cubicle and asking. Oh, there isn't a woman in the next cube? Well, then don't you think that that should be a clue that something is deeply wrong with the treatment of women in tech?
    Chris (nice choice of name),

    There is a woman in the cube next to me. Her boss is a woman. Her boss is also a woman. My boss (someone else) is a woman. We all work in I.T.

    At the best paid job I ever had in my life, my boss was a woman, her boss was a woman, and the vice president (next level up) was a woman. I imagine they all made more than me, since my compensation was visible to them.

    But your cube-next-door test is not scientific, merely anecdotal and suffers from small sample.

    So did the scientists who researched this topic explain why an employer would knowingly and willingly pay more for a less qualified, less productive male, when they could have had that more qualified harder working female?
  • Pat 2012-10-03 19:48
    Pat:
    So did the scientists who researched this topic explain why an employer would knowingly and willingly pay more for a less qualified, less productive male, when they could have had that more qualified harder working female?
    ... and why women don't go start companies that preferentially hire women, thereby kicking the butts of companies that prefer unproductive expensive men?
  • Norman Diamond 2012-10-03 20:03
    GoodDog:
    But at that point, I came to a place where I had to choose between, on one hand, risky jobs with no benefits, no flex time, at startups that could go belly up any minute, but where I'd have a better chance of growing professionally, and, on the other hand, stable jobs at Fortune 500 corporations, with amazing medical insurance for my kids, flex time that I could use whenever a kid would be sick or in the ER, job security, good pay, good bonuses, but they would be dead-end jobs that would erode my skillset and make me less marketable in the future.

    I chose the fortune 500 companies. And I'm still wondering if my choice was right.
    Your choice was right. Very few startups survive. The reason you read news articles about startups that make it big is that they are news, they're the 1%. If you take a job at a startup you have a 99% chance of ending up in the 99%, getting a salary of zero, and getting lowballed by all future potential employers.

    GoodDog:
    Also, I haven't really met anyone, man or woman, who'd "devote their life to the company"
    OK, you haven't ever seen Japan, no problem. Now, lifetime employment was always more or less a myth, it used to cover around 30% of employees, those had full time jobs at Japan's Fortune 500 but not even those who had part time jobs at the same companies, i.e. not women or people with too much education or whatever. Now lifetime employment probably covers 10%. But a lot of employees still devote their life to the company because society expects it.
  • Norman Diamond 2012-10-03 20:15
    Warpedcow:
    Hypothesis: women get paid less for equal work.
    Logical effect of this hypothesis being true: Zero percent unemployment for women, high unemployment for men.
    You need to add another hypothesis, that there are no women who are unqualified for the positions available (so there are no women who are unemployed due to being unqualified for the positions available). But on the whole I agree with your logic.

    Warpedcow:
    So the fact that there is no gender unemployment gap proves there is no wage gap.
    Oops. You need to hypothesize that there is no gender gap. The reason you need that hypothesis is that it isn't a fact. The fact is that the unemployment rate for women is often lower than the unemployment rate for men. The wage gap, offensive as it is, is likely part of the reason for that. So on the whole I agree with your logic, but you need to check your facts.
  • Bigears 2012-10-03 20:26
    The only time you get "what you're worth" is when you change jobs. The longer you stay in one job the more underpaid you will become. Sad but true.

    Your manager's job is to retain you at the minimum cost; it's nothing personal. The longer you stay, the less likely you are to leave, the less cost required to keep you.

    There may be good reason to stay put; interesting work, the people, the flexibility, etc, but "market rate salary" will not be one of them.

    So dust off the resume, apply for another job, get offer, allow current job to make counter offer (or not). That is the only way to get market rate for both boys and girls. Unpleasant but true.
  • A 2012-10-03 21:14
    This is a wonderful talk that shows how Alex hits it right on the head and why it's not what you make compared to other that matters, but what you make compared to your needs:
    Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation
    The fact is, anyone has a reason to worry whether they're not paid enough because of discrimination or something else unfair: female, too old, too young, too brown, not close enough to the boss, whatever. It's pointless. Figure out how much money you want for your own life style (including pension, health care, family needs, etc.) and if you can't get that, then you're not paid enough.
  • Zerg Russian 2012-10-03 22:06
    A lot of people have given good advice, but I haven't seen this one yet: lie about your salary. The fact is that you're going to need to get a new job to make more money. It's never made a lot of sense to me, but that's how it is.

    So, start looking. Often times, companies won't advertise what they're looking to pay new employees. Instead, they ask what you're making, which is considered rude by anyone in any other situation. For whatever reason, recruiters are able to call people up all day, every day, ask them what they're making, and get honest answers. Then, they go back to their clients, send a list of resumes and the corresponding prices at which they can be bought. I'm almost always asked in interviews, too. If you're certain that you're being underpaid, there's no reason not to inflate. They'll never ask your former employers, who are almost certainly forbidden to tell, anyway.

    Of course, you'll also need to be good at what you do, so if you aren't, you should get on that. Assuming you're there, the reason that you aren't getting paid as much is almost certainly because you haven't demanded as much, rather than because you have a vagina. It happens to a lot of boys, too.
  • James 2012-10-04 06:18
    Warpedcow:
    So here's the proof there is no gender wage gap, or if there is, it's because women are less productive, on average, by an equal amount as the pay gap...

    Hypothesis: women get paid less for equal work.
    Logical effect of this hypothesis being true: Zero percent unemployment for women, high unemployment for men. Why? Well DUH! If you can get equal work for less pay from a women WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EVER HIRE A MAN?

    So the fact that there is no gender unemployment gap proves there is no wage gap.


    Nope, because there are NUMEROUS studies showing that women are perceived as less competent when their sex is known, but that effect goes away when their sex is hidden or they are said to be male (both men AND women do this, btw). For example, identical CVs with male names get more 'offers' than female names. Female musicians playing behind a curtain are rated as more technically proficient when the listeners are told the performer is male. Jokes written by women are rated as funnier when the author is listed as a man.

    Your 'proof' only works if everyone assumes that a woman would do the job as well as a man, which isn't true.
  • Cbuttius 2012-10-04 07:27
    GoodDog:
    This has been my experience as well, except I'm not complaining. After two back-to-back maternity leaves, followed by immigration, I had to start over at an entry level. However I was very driven, had a very supportive family, put in the extra time and effort, learned new skills on my own, and tripled my initial salary in three years. But at that point, I came to a place where I had to choose between, on one hand, risky jobs with no benefits, no flex time, at startups that could go belly up any minute, but where I'd have a better chance of growing professionally, and, on the other hand, stable jobs at Fortune 500 corporations, with amazing medical insurance for my kids, flex time that I could use whenever a kid would be sick or in the ER, job security, good pay, good bonuses, but they would be dead-end jobs that would erode my skillset and make me less marketable in the future.

    I chose the fortune 500 companies. And I'm still wondering if my choice was right.


    Maybe it's the UK or the agencies round here or the way things work round here, but

    1. I have been looking for a job in a "startup" for years and never found one. All I ever get back from the agencies when I ask for a start-up or green field is "oh, we were recruting for one a few months ago" and I have missed out again.

    2. I have never been able to take a step back and go in anything (usually a new technology or business area) at "entry level", the consequence being I am pretty much where I was around 10 years ago in technological terms. Ok, small slow progress, but nowhere near the incredibly rapid progress my career made between 1997 and 2002.
  • Hackwar 2012-10-04 07:51
    Sorry, but that is absolute bullshit. Yes, there is ONE study that says women get paid as much as men except for the time that they take off to raise kids. On the other hand, there are about a gazillion studies that show that women get paid less, simply already because the boss assumes the woman could get pregnant/ill oftener/less productive. At the same time, there are no studies that seriously show that women cost their employer more than men in the same position.

    Last but not least: In what kind of fucking retarded time are we living where people are effectively discriminated against for having children and trying to raise them good? We should actually have incentives for people to become parents instead of doing the opposite.
  • Jack 2012-10-04 08:00
    Hackwar:
    In what kind of fucking retarded time are we living where people are effectively discriminated against for having children and trying to raise them good? We should actually have incentives for people to become parents instead of doing the opposite.
    We do. The more kids you have, the more tax breaks for the poor you get.

    But why should an employer pay those incentives? It is not in the employer's interest for you to be at home popping out babies instead of assembling cars or whatever.

    Anyway, the world does not have a severe shortage of people! We should be rewarding people for doing the environmentally responsible thing, not for mindless reflexive breeding.

    By the way I think you meant "raise them well" not "raise them good". Apparently somebody did not raise you well. Let's hope you don't pass that sloppiness along to another generation.
  • Delve 2012-10-04 08:43
    Dan:
    Delve:
    all salaries are set by the related budget requirements not the relative job requirements.
    Salaries, like all other prices, are set by:

    1. Agreement between the buyer and seller, or

    2. Force. Someone who is willing and able to hurt you demands you will do this at this price or you will not do that at that price. (Example: if you have sex with someone and the price is greater than zero, men with guns will kidnap you.)


    I'll admit, I oversimplified there. Supply/demand economics does play a role. However in civilized circles, which is what we seem to be discussing here, the concept of corporal force simply does not apply.

    Even granting that admission the single overriding factor is budget. You simply do not pay an employee more than you can afford to budget for them (after accounting for projected profit gains). There are myriad factors involved in compensation decisions but the hard fact is if the employee demands more than what you can budget for them then that employee simply takes themselves out of the supply pool of your hiring (or continued employment) decision.
  • Mary Davey 2012-10-04 09:41
    This is not a scientific study, it's just my personal experience.
    In April 2011 I received a small pay rise.
    In April 2012 nobody in the company received a pay rise.
    Now I am suddenly overpaid and they might have to cut my salary or get rid of me.
    What's the missing factor?

    Since the last pay review I have transitioned. I used to be a man and now I'm a woman.
  • Jimmly 2012-10-04 10:40
    Mary Davey:
    This is not a scientific study, it's just my personal experience.
    In April 2011 I received a small pay rise.
    In April 2012 nobody in the company received a pay rise.
    Now I am suddenly overpaid and they might have to cut my salary or get rid of me.
    What's the missing factor?

    Since the last pay review I have transitioned. I used to be a man and now I'm a woman.


    You've made HR angry by forcing them to figure out how to alter the gender field in their personnel database.
  • Mary Davey 2012-10-04 11:41
    HR were fine. They had changed my name and photo within an hour, plus an "Oops, are you a Miss/Ms/Mrs?" within the next hour. IT Support took two weeks to change my name on a couple of dozen databases and get most of them right.
  • Delve 2012-10-04 11:48
    Mary Davey:
    HR were fine. They had changed my name and photo within an hour, plus an "Oops, are you a Miss/Ms/Mrs?" within the next hour. IT Support took two weeks to change my name on a couple of dozen databases and get most of them right.


    Typical :(
  • Sectoid Dev 2012-10-04 14:50

    Let's take UPS drivers, for instance. After 78 years they make about $80k (before overtime) and have great benefits. they require no higher education and you can learn their job in a week. Literally. Is that fair? I think it isn't. $80K plus benefits for doing a grown-up version of a paper route?


    That would be a paper route with literally a couple hundred stops that are not immediately next to one another (like a postal carrier) where you are frequently pushed to deliver more stops per hour each quarter while driving a large vehicle in sometimes bad weather. Yeah those slacking bastards, how dare they make more money than I think they're worth?
    If it's such a great overpaid job, then run your ass down there and get one.
  • Sectoid Dev 2012-10-04 14:57
    Christy:

    And sudo doesn't ask me "Are you sure you want to be root, little lady?".


    That's hilarious!
    I am so recompiling the sudo binary on my system
  • jay 2012-10-04 15:49
    e:
    I'm a woman developer, and I have 15 years experience in the industry. I am also the sole source of income for a family of 4, and even though I have a child still in grade school, I am willing (and do) put in extra hours, often more than my male counterparts, though I am salary and get no additional monetary compensation for it.

    I recently discovered that the amount I make now, with 15 total years experience and 5 with my company, is what they are willing to pay someone just starting, with 5 years experience in the field. I blame the headhunters, told me what to ask for, without telling me how much they were actually willing to pay me - no doubt because I'm a woman. While it was a substantial raise over my previous employer, it was still considerably less than what I could have ask for.

    However. Knowing I am the only support for a family of 4, and that I'm trying to send a child to college, my employers haven't made a move to correct the pay discrepancy. I know my fellow male coworkers make more than me. Substantially more than me. For doing the same job. I will hopefully rectify that soon, without having to seek other employment, because I like the people I work with directly, and the company in general.

    There is a pay gap. It has nothing to do with taking time off to raise kids - my youngest is 12, and I have worked her whole life, missing out on all those wonderful things you speak of, first steps and school plays and what not, not because I didn't want to be there, but because they need a roof over their heads and food in their bellies (their father jumped ship shortly after my last was born.)

    So explain then, since I'm missing out on hobbies, friends, and time with my family, why I should make 70% of what my male counterparts make?

    jay:
    I don't doubt that women on the average make less money than men do. The question is whether this is the result of discrimination or different lifestyle choices.

    Like, as someone pointed out, many women take time off in mid-career to raise children, while men rarely do. Similarly, at least among people I've worked with, women are far more likely to put in their 40 hours a week and then go home to take care of house and family or other interests, while men are more likely to be willing to put in extra hours.

    Is it better to spend more time with your kids and make less money? If on their deathbeds Alice is surrounded by her loving children with fond memories of all the time they spent together as they were growing up, while Bob dies alone in a nursing home, is Bob really better off because he made 20% more money in his life?

    I've seen studies that have found that women who do not have children and who put in the same hours that men do make slightly more than the average man.

    I think the reality is that people who devote their lives to their jobs make more money than people who split their lives between work and time with family, community, or even hobbies. You make your choices and you accept the pros and cons. It's rather unfair to say that you want all the advantages that come from spending more time with your family and then complain because you do not make as much money as the person who devotes his life to the company.



    e:
    However. Knowing I am the only support for a family of 4, and that I'm trying to send a child to college, my employers haven't made a move to correct the pay discrepancy.


    That may be your problem right there. I would be very surprised if any company just out of the blue offerred you a pay raise because they knew you needed more money. My daughter just started college, and my boss did not come to me and offer me a pay raise because he knew I needed the money. When my son was racking up big medical bills, my boss did not offer me a pay raise because he knew I needed the money. Whether you're a man, a woman, or an alien from Arcturus, that's not how real life works. The boss may be a nice guy and stretch things here and there for someone in trouble, but a company is not a charity. In the long run, he can't pay you based on what you need or think you need. He can only pay you based on what you contribute, or he'll quickly go broke and then he won't be able to pay anyone.

    If you want more money, ask for a pay raise. Point out what you contribute to the company, not how much you need. If they say no, look for another job. When you apply for that new job, ask for what you believe you're worth. And "worth" here is calculated by how much income you bring to the company and how much other people doing similar work are paid. If you're working just as hard as any man, putting in just as many unpaid overtime hours, are just as smart and capable, etc, then they should pay you the same as they would pay a man. If they won't, then go someplace else. If literally 100% of the businesses in the country will not pay you what you think you're worth, then maybe your expectations are unrealistic. They can't ALL be sexist pigs.



  • jay 2012-10-04 16:21
    Delve:
    jay:
    But again, we are discussing two very different questions. (1) Are unions a good thing? And (2) Should people be forced to join a union?

    Let's say that I concede to you on question #1 100%. The only reason why software developers, lawyers, doctors, and engineers make good money and have good working conditions is because they have such strong unions. Fine.

    I still strongly disagree on #2, and that is the point I started out objecting to.


    Your entire post is effectively just the above; indeed that seems to be the entirety of your complaint with unionization as an institution. And you would tear down the entire institution based on this single point. We can disagree about the value of required membership. Unless I'm mistaken however the implementation of unions is largely more flexible than that. In short, I believe organizations are not legally obligated to put themselves in a position where they are required to hire union. That's part of the check on union power. Perhaps my understanding is mistaken.

    Unless I'm wrong, then, what this boils down to is you would do away with unions entirely simply because some companies signed a contract with their union(s) that might not be good for them (and I know I've heard of businesses that are very happy with their unions, in these very comments in fact as well as other places). And you accuse me of trying to impose my vision of the world on other people? Fie on thee, troll.


    Just to drag this argument on for another post or two, I'm sure if we just have a couple of more exchanges one of us will be convinced that the other is completely right :-) ...

    "Your entire post is effectively just the above"

    Umm, yes. This conversation began when I objected to your statement that people should be required to join unions so that the unions would have more bargaining power. That is what I objected to.

    "And you would tear down the entire institution based on this single point."

    Umm, I never said that I thought that unions should be banned and all union organizers dragged out and shot. I have no objection to you forming a union and seeking to convince others to join.

    That said, this not some tiny little point. To some of us, freedom is an extremely important thing, and being forced to support organizations that we disagree with politically and financially is not some trivial technicality but a full-scale assault on the very concept of freedom.

    It's obviously not a tiny little point to the unions, either. They fight tooth and nail for the right to force people to join their organization.

    If unions would abandon the idea of getting special legal privileges for themselves, like employees being forced to join and employers being forced to recognize them, and if they abandoned violence and intimidation as tactics, and instead operated as associations of free people negotiating freely with employers, I think they would find that the political opposition and antipathy to them would largely evaporate.

    I would never dream of accusing you of "trying to impose [your] vision of the world on other people". I would only make such accusations against someone who brazenly said that people should be forced to support organizations that he approves of whether they like it or not, and that if they object to such organizations, the only acceptable form of opposition is to join the organization and continue to pay dues and give it political support while working from within to attempt to make changes. You'd never say anything extreme like that, would you? :-)
  • jay 2012-10-04 16:31
    Cbuttius:
    GoodDog:
    This has been my experience as well, except I'm not complaining. After two back-to-back maternity leaves, followed by immigration, I had to start over at an entry level. However I was very driven, had a very supportive family, put in the extra time and effort, learned new skills on my own, and tripled my initial salary in three years. But at that point, I came to a place where I had to choose between, on one hand, risky jobs with no benefits, no flex time, at startups that could go belly up any minute, but where I'd have a better chance of growing professionally, and, on the other hand, stable jobs at Fortune 500 corporations, with amazing medical insurance for my kids, flex time that I could use whenever a kid would be sick or in the ER, job security, good pay, good bonuses, but they would be dead-end jobs that would erode my skillset and make me less marketable in the future.

    I chose the fortune 500 companies. And I'm still wondering if my choice was right.


    Maybe it's the UK or the agencies round here or the way things work round here, but

    1. I have been looking for a job in a "startup" for years and never found one. All I ever get back from the agencies when I ask for a start-up or green field is "oh, we were recruting for one a few months ago" and I have missed out again.

    2. I have never been able to take a step back and go in anything (usually a new technology or business area) at "entry level", the consequence being I am pretty much where I was around 10 years ago in technological terms. Ok, small slow progress, but nowhere near the incredibly rapid progress my career made between 1997 and 2002.


    Based on my own purely anecdotal experience: Employment agencies do not work with start-ups. They work with big, Fortune 500-type companies. Maybe this is because start-ups can't afford to pay the employment agency's fees on top of what they have to pay the employee. Maybe it's for some other reason. But if you want a job with a start-up, I think an employment agency is just not the way to find it.

    The jobs I've gotten with small companies years ago were all found through direct advertising by the company in a newspaper. I got my present job, which is with a small company, through an ad on a programming-related website. (Not this one, sorry.)

    Others have told me they got jobs with start-ups and other small companies through friends and personal contacts, though that's never worked out for me.
  • AndyCanfield 2012-10-04 16:49
    If you make less than the market rate, you will feel cheated. If you make more than the market rate, you will be terrified that the boss will discover it and fire you. If you make exactly the market rate, you will feel like an banana in a grocery, gradually turning black. Forget market rate; be what you are and grab what you can. The world does not owe you fairness.
  • AndyCanfield 2012-10-04 17:05
    If you really want to match your salary against everyone else's, become tech support for the payroll system.
  • Eberhard Lisse 2012-10-04 17:25
    And you are male, right?

    el
  • Jonas 2012-10-05 07:36
    golddog:
    First, I think I must say that I'm in the category of Remy's friend: “I like having more money, but I was making enough before.” So my viewpoint may be skewed; I can't see how people in this industry can possibly spend the kind of money we make.

    And yes, I've looked at places like glassdoor.com and see for my experience/skills/etc, I'm not getting paid fairly. But, what would I do with another $X? I live quite nicely within the salary I get now.


    I'm in that position as well, but my view is that the main measurement of "how much does the company appreciate what I do" is how much they spend on me, salary being the largest portion of that. So I ask for raises based on the value I see me adding to the company in relation to how much I think I've increased that value input. If there were other ways the company rewarded me, they would be taken into consideration, but in most cases the paycheck is the only one.

    In addition to money I expect respect for my work, but that'll never show up on the radar of management when it comes to determining your value amongst the bean counters so I can't ignore the money.
  • Mark 2012-10-05 15:04
    I used to work for a University. All salaries made by employees were publically posted online.
    I loved that.
  • GoodDog 2012-10-05 16:03
    AndyCanfield:
    If you really want to match your salary against everyone else's, become tech support for the payroll system.

    QOTD! :D
  • GoodDog 2012-10-05 16:10
    jay:
    Based on my own purely anecdotal experience: Employment agencies do not work with start-ups. They work with big, Fortune 500-type companies. Maybe this is because start-ups can't afford to pay the employment agency's fees on top of what they have to pay the employee. Maybe it's for some other reason. But if you want a job with a start-up, I think an employment agency is just not the way to find it.

    The jobs I've gotten with small companies years ago were all found through direct advertising by the company in a newspaper. I got my present job, which is with a small company, through an ad on a programming-related website. (Not this one, sorry.)

    Others have told me they got jobs with start-ups and other small companies through friends and personal contacts, though that's never worked out for me.
    Recruiters do work with at least some startups, in my location. (Though ads and personal connections are never a bad source, either!) My problem right now is that 10+ years with the Fortune 500s have just about disqualified me for a startup. I got a job with a startup once (through a recruiter), but the company did so well, it was eventually acquired by a Fortune 500, and here I am back to square one.

    I'll admit that there's good and bad in both situations. Either way, you acquire new skills. It's just that the skillset isn't the same. What works for one type of companies doesn't seem to work for the other, and vice versa. My impression is that learning, and using, new technologies happens more naturally at small companies. Large places tend to have huge, stable systems in place that are too big to upgrade.
  • Pete 2012-10-05 16:28
    OP says "It is getting better- women between the ages of 20 and 24 make about 93% of what men make for the same job".

    Is it just me, or does it feel as an indicator that things are NOT getting better, but simply the salary gap is small at the beginning and then explodes at the (modern average) child-bearing age ?
  • Norman Diamond 2012-10-05 23:59
    GoodDog:
    jay:
    Based on my own purely anecdotal experience: Employment agencies do not work with start-ups.
    Recruiters do work with at least some startups, in my location.
    In my experience recruiters will work for any client who pays them -- and will also work with any client who promises to pay them, until the promise is reneged upon.

    GoodDog:
    My problem right now is that 10+ years with the Fortune 500s have just about disqualified me for a startup. I got a job with a startup once (through a recruiter), but the company did so well, it was eventually acquired by a Fortune 500, and here I am back to square one.
    I envy your luck. A recruiter got me a job at a startup, it ended up in the 99% (bankrupt due to mismanagement), and every skill that I gained there was counted against me by Fortune 500s after that.

    GoodDog:
    My impression is that learning, and using, new technologies happens more naturally at small companies. Large places tend to have huge, stable systems in place that are too big to upgrade.
    Yes. If you learn that fact early enough, then you'll know to learn new technologies on your own as a hobby but do not mention them on your resume. If your employer decides to migrate and you have the skills, that will be the time to mention it.
  • Beta 2012-10-06 11:34
    Christy, I'll posit that everything you say is true, and that you'd be a good employee, coworker and boss (or at least, that your shortcomings would have no correlation to your sex), and that once I got to know you I'd have no qualms about having you as any of those three.

    But in my years in IT I have seen women get away with crap that would never be tolerated from a man. I have seen a woman who couldn't do math at my 7th grade level put in charge of a (small) aerospace project, and allowed to shift the blame for her mistakes onto her subordinates. Of the technically incompetent, ethically empty middle managers I've seen, the majority have been female even in male-dominated environments, especially in companies that boasted about diversity and "breaking the glass ceiling". I have seen women play for sympathy with soft voices and downcast eyes when they were in the wrong and get it. I have seen more than one female colleague burst into tears when she couldn't get her way, and to my shame I've caved (which I guess makes me part of the problem). I have been accused of sexual harassment by a woman who imagined I was stalking her (emphasis on "imagined", I wasn't interested in her and had never so much as asked her out)-- I had to spend months fighting that; she was not punished.

    For that reason, I do feel wary about female coworkers and subordinates, and downright alarmed when I get a female boss. Although I have no problem at all working with (or under) a woman who knows a technical field better than I do, and I think I have always made fair, sex-indifferent hiring recommendations, I am happier -- at first -- when the result is that I'll be working with men, and if not for my sense of fair play I'd hire that way and pay a premium for it. Every coworker like you makes this feeling weaker; every one like her and her and her makes it stronger.

    It is quite possible that men display equally egregious sex-linked misbehavior, and I'm just not seeing it. But when I see it I speak out against it, and I just don't see women speaking openly against other women. That's what it'll take to make me truly not care whether the new sysadmin is an XX or an XY.
  • EmperorOfCanada 2012-10-06 23:47
    A buddy was slid a job offer by the HR person. He then said, "Before I look at this keep in mind that even though it is against company policy I will know half the salaries in development within a week. If anyone is paid 5% more for doing the same job or if anyone is paid more for a lesser job I will quit on the spot."
    The HR person took back the offer. My bud was a bit worried that it was a permanent take-back. 10 minutes later the HR person came back with an offer. Months later the HR person confessed that the offer went up $25,000. Needless to say my bud had a collection of skills that they were desperate to get.
  • z 2012-10-07 06:18
    Sure - there is a gap in pay between women and men.
    However, after analyzing the *specific* choices that affect a salary, you will find that men and women tend to make different choices - each with an impact on his/her expected salary.

    This book (link below) explains these specific choices and roughly how much they influence a wage. Reading this, gives anyone (man or woman) a good gameplan for how they would like to balance their work/life choices:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Men-Earn-More-Startling/dp/0814472109/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1349603709&sr=8-4

    Although.. if I go by my experiences (about 20 years in the finance/IT industry) there is a gap; - a woman optimizing her earning potential in my industry, will mostly out-earn a man doing the same.
    I believe that this is starting to become visible, as mentioned in increasingly in the press (for instance: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2010-09-01-single-women_n.htm ).
    On a few occasions when I've been in direct negotiations with potential senior staff, I have found myself directly ordered to "hire the female" even though the female with the lowest wage requirement was demanding more than 50 % of the salary demanded by her male competition (and at *all times* did the woman have significantly less of a track-record than the men).
  • johnnie 2012-10-07 09:11
    That's a really interesting suggestion.
    Please try it out and let us know what happened !

    I've got a sneaky suspicion that you'll find that as a woman, you'll get more replies than a man.

    I remember a headhunter who told me straight:
    - if you give me the name and contact details of an engineer, I'll give you 100 USD.
    - if you give me the name and contact details of a FEMALE engineer - I'll double it to 200 USD as they have a higher market value.
  • Bob Jenkins 2012-10-07 19:41
    Check glassdoor.com for your area at least
  • Owen 2012-10-09 19:38
    That is true. Also, once an employee is undervalued, a company will always undervalue that employee. They don't just suddenly say "hey, he's doing great work and deserves 40% more" it's more like "we can't give out more than 10% raise for that position"
  • buggie 2012-10-10 18:28
    The studies I've seen say it both ways.

    Some of the studies _do_ look at lifetime earnings and utterly fail to take into account total hours worked and things like that. Criticizing those studies is fair as you're trying to make apples and oranges comparisons.

    However, at least some studies of university profs salaries found that women do earn less in even when only looking at women later in their careers who had not ever had kids. IIRC the least discrepancy was in IT fields though.
  • sstair 2012-10-11 11:59
    At IBM before the tech bubble burst, I had just left to go to a startup, but was having lunch with my old teammates. I had heard of a couple IBMers getting a $50K retention bonus (you had to give it back if you left the company within two years). So I asked my friends, "What are you going to do with your bonus?". Turned out, IBM was only giving the bonus to younger developers who they thought might leave the company.

    One guy gave his notice that same day....the other guy took until the end of the week.

    Sure, talking about money might make someone mad, but maybe they SHOULD be mad.
  • Panda 2012-10-11 18:42
    I haven't seen a lot of headhunters giving useful ranges... I get vague numbers anywhere from half what I'm making to twice what I make, but that doesn't really make them all reasonable or ones that would follow through.
  • @marytoves 2012-10-12 02:37
    As a female web developer, I made exactly half of what my equal-level male counterparts did. I know, because I was close with the other devs on my team -- and as the only female web dev at the time, they coached me on a few things. If you feel like you're getting shafted, you probably are. And bringing that up to your management probably won't help. The only way out of this situation is to move into another position and demand to be paid what you are worth. You can find out median salary ranges for employees in your line of work, doing what you do, in your area through Salary.com.

    Some employers feel like they shouldn't make as much of an investment in their female employees because many women cut off their potential by leaving the workforce to have children. Consequently, their more sound investment is perceived to be in the male employee who may stay with the company through transitional life phases. It sucks -- but that's at least part of what it is.

    I will never, ever let another employer take advantage of me the way my previous company did. You have to do your research. And you have to get out of there.
  • Huh? 2012-10-19 15:44
    You show up to work, you get paid. Contract complete, justice is served, there is no problem to speak of. If you don't like it, leave.

    These are the basic rules of economics for--wage earners.
  • Simon K 2012-11-09 09:04
    There's only one not-that-offensive way to start talking about salary:
    "I'm making X."
  • Hired Mind 2012-12-04 03:40
    The 'paygap' is most definitely NOT real, or at the very most, it is minimal.

    Look at the link first link from the BLS you posted in this article - I mean, actually READ it this time, don't just skim it. There is zero attempt made in the study to compare apples to apples.

    The fact is, yes, if you add up the salaries of all the men in the country, and divide it by their number, you will get a higher number than if you do that for all the ladies. Why? Because men and women CHOOSE DIFFERENT CAREERS. Women (on average!) spend fewer hours per day, per week, per year, and per lifetime at work. As a result, as they get older their total experience in their field is lower than that of their male counterparts, hence, lower pay.

    If men and women did the same jobs, in the same numbers (which is the only way that 71% number could possibly be accurate), then the following could NOT possibly be true: men make up 92% of workplace deaths (http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0010.pdf). So, women and men choose different jobs.

    Still don't believe me? Ask yourself: when is the last time you saw a female garbage collector? Sewer worker? Power line worker? Certainly they exist, but they are few and far between.

  • NX 2013-03-18 08:20
    Well, I don't know how does it look in your country, but where I live female is significantly worse worker than male. Why? Couse there are policies that make them more priviliged. For example, women tend to take care of children, wich means long, payed vacation, while men don't. In case of exhausting, devastating or dangerous job women have strict limits, while men will pull as much as you tell him, and nobody cares about limits. Also, you can't fire male worker since his vacation started, and you can't fire female worker since she requested vacation, as well as you can't fire pregnant worker. And then, she will request payed vacation. And when she's not pregnant you have to deal with PMS.
    Statisticaly gender DOES have impact on the job getting done, so I'm not surprised that average salary also varies.
  • Derf 2013-08-05 21:19
    As far as i know, the only way to get a decent raise after acquiring technical skills is to quit your job and get another one. It cost nothing to ask, but be prepared to get denied and have to look for a new job.