Now let’s get one thing straight – I’m no feminist. But – there is an inequality in the workplace. This isn’t the written version of a bra-burning, it’s simply a feeling that has led to observation. And, after a little digging, I found that I wasn’t the only one to make this type of observation. I found study after study on the impact your relationship status has on your performance, perception, and monetary worth in the workplace. And this isn’t only impacting the female employees – male employees are feeling it too.
The fact that men typically earn more than women in the workplace has become widely accepted (again, anyone can find study after study documenting this fact). However, recent surveys of the American workforce revealed that there’s a shift in power happening. The full time salaries of young women were 8% higher than those of the young men in their peer group. Now, as a young woman, I’m happy to hear this – but I’m also suspicious. What’s behind this “women on top” shift?
After some more digging, I find my answer. There’s a caveat to this study! The women who were making more money were the ones who were unmarried, childless women under the age of 30 who live in cities. The rest of the working women – even those of the same age, but who are married or don’t live in a big city – are still on the “wrong side” of the wage divide.
So now, not only are women battling the wage-war with men – but with other women too. The “family women” versus the “single ladies”. Once again, I did some digging – finding several articles from single women who felt they were treated unfairly by their colleagues or managers for not having children or a spouse. For example, one of the articles stated “the flexible 40 hour work week is typically reserved for parents, while those without children are expected to spend extra hours at the workplace because they don’t have anywhere better to be”.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has seen this type of scenario play out – where an employee’s work schedule has been planned around a daycare pick up or some sort of after school class – but it doesn’t bother me. Children are a huge responsibility – that’s a universal understanding – so I can’t quite fully support the women who feel they’re being treated unfairly because they don’t have a family to tend to.
In fact, single women should be celebrating! This is good news! Not that I’m saying inequality in the workplace is acceptable – because it’s not – and if you feel that your place of employment is treating you differently for the wrong reasons, you should definitely talk to someone about it (as in HR). However, I’m certainly not upset over the fact that I’m likely to make more than my peers – both men and women. That is – assuming I stay single!