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What Can Working Moms Do to Promote Equal Pay?

By Dan Atkerson on June 08, 2016

Maternity leaveThe Wall Street Journal recently published a study showing that the wage gap has a more noticeable effect on highly educated women. These women often make more than those who are not as well educated, but continue to earn far less than their male coworkers.

What’s more disturbing is that working mothers have it even worse. Working moms often find it difficult to make as much as their coworkers, and that’s if they’re able to go back to work at all. Many new mothers find it hard to go back to work after spending time with their children, either because their old employer is reluctant to take them back in the same position or pay, or new employers refuse to hire them.

How Can We Change Gender Inequality at Work?

In order to make significant changes, we all have to do our part. For working moms, this is what you can do to promote equality in the workplace.
  • Don’t Apologize. Many working mothers feel like they have to apologize for balancing work and home life, and are far less inclined to ask for a raise or promotion. Leaving work no later than 5, or missing an afterhours work gathering, for example, are nothing to apologize for. In fact, a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows that working moms are usually more productive than others.
  • Be Clear with Your Supervisors. Most working mothers regularly talk with male supervisors who are often unsure or nervous about how to approach them. Many men may assume that mothers prefer more flexibility to more pay. They may also assume working moms would rather have less responsibility. Even if they are trying to give you what they think you want, their actions could be construed as gender discrimination. The easiest solution is to always be clear with your manager that you want to be paid the same as your male colleagues.
  • Start Networking. Women typically spend more time working, and less on networking than their male counterparts. Networking is one of the best things anyone can do if they are seeking career advancement. Don’t be afraid to make yourself visible to other companies, and reach out through networking platforms.
If we all become advocates for gender equality in our places of work, discrimination and unequal pay will eventually be a thing of the past.

Dallas employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson has fought hard against gender discrimination in the workplace for more than 20 years, and is always ready to go another round.

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