Not NOW and probably not ever. . .

Or, why you won’t catch me signing the NOW petition. Every few years, an “equal pay for equal work” petition circulates. I won’t sign it. Many people are surprised that I am against such legislation. I do believe equal pay for equal work, experience and education. For me, that is the trio that needs to be examined when looking at pay differential. It isn’t just about gender, race or a list of other things that groups point to when circulating petitions.

I worked for a major company and won the highest sales award available. Why? I worked hard. I sacrificed my personal time; I worked nights, weekends and a few times overnight to complete projects. Other individuals in the organization said “men make more than women here.” I knew that was false.

In many districts, school teachers are paid on a matrix of years of experience plus education. Looking at how an individual contributes: education, experience ability to perceive and resolve issues is far more important in determining pay that “equal pay for equal work”. There are few professions where equality is able to be able to be determined. Dr. X is has a better result in performing ACL repair surgery than Dr. Y: lower infection rates, shorter recovery time for patients. However, both are probably paid the same based on our arcane physician reimbursement system.

If I hold a college degree, 5 years experience in a field and the person next to me has a high school diploma and no experience in the field, who do you think should be paid more? Should that matter?

Think about it: really think about it. What happens if the HS graduate has a better aptitude in the area than I do? Should we be paid the same? Does experience equal competency?

We should be paid a fair and equitable wage for our contribution to an organization. Contributions to organizations general are formed through education, experience and depending on the job social location.

When NOW and other organizations can demonstrate quantifiable data to show that an equal comparison is being made regarding salary, I’ll listen to their argument. Until then, please don’t send me a petition to electronically sign. My gender doesn’t play as much of a role in my paycheck as my personal choices in career, education and willingness to make sacrifices. And sometimes, gender might factor in: but until individuals are willing to question the data, we continue to recycle the culture of economic victimization. We are above that. I learned that at the women’s college that granted my degree.


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