International Women's Day
International Women’s Day is today. It is a fitting celebration for the most important person in most of our lives. Wife, mother, aunt, sister, daughter or business partner, these remarkable people have long nurtured, assisted and even led the world since time began.
I have always been aware of the campaign “equal pay for equal work.” And though I understand and support the cause, I could never really understand those who didn’t pay men and women the same salary for an equal amount of work. Generations ago, when most women did not hold positions in the work force, there were antiquated notions about men needing more money to support a family. That never made much sense even then, to the single working mother who was struggling to raise a family on a single salary. Still, old ideas die hard and most legislation then and now is passed by male legislators. That is changing over the last generation, with the entry of more women into the political arena. They bring with them refreshing notions of fairness and equality long missing from governmental bodies.
Most of my own working life was spent working in public service in New York State. Gender equality, equal pay and many other similar notions were at the very top on all public employee’s agendas at bargaining time, and well they should be. More than half of the public work force is female. And in large part there is equality of pay at most levels of government.
So, although I read, hear and understand that there are pay inequities in the private sector, I never really understood the rationale for them. Why would you not compensate all employees fairly when they performed the same functions? It never made business sense to me. Really valuable employees are not so common a resource. You would think, like most good business people, that you would do everything necessary to make stellar achievers feel appreciated and secure, so that they would continue to produce for you. I know that whenever I encountered an employee, of either gender, who really made me look good, I did everything but shined their shoes to make them happy producers. Bless them all for their diligence.
Ability is gender neutral, so rock on sisters at every level. Make Employers pay you and appreciate you for what you are worth. And let them value you for the assets that you contribute to a company or organization’s success.
Joseph Xavier Martin