New Rule: Don't Trust. Verify.

Don’t Be fooled

Mind the Pay-Gap

NEW RULE: Begin with the assumption that your failure to progress is on them, not you.

I was reminded of the need to suspect and verify by a recent New York Times expose on a secret wage and promotion gap at the biggest mid-market diamond retailer in the country.

Dawn, a store manager and sales super-star, found out about the pay issue “by accident.”

She had helped recruit a woman - Marie - who had sold a million dollars’ worth of jewelry in one year. When Marie asked for a raise, the manager told her she was already making more than any other salesperson in the store.

But Dawn – who was also a manager with knowledge of the payroll - knew that wasn’t true. And the lie bothered her.

That night, after everyone had gone home, she closed the door to the administrative office and took out all the payroll records and spread them out over the desks. One by one she saw it: There were seven women and five men who were counted as full-time sales associates. In only one case was a woman making more than a man, and it was only when you compared the highest-paid woman with the lowest-paid man."

But, you say, I don’t have access to payroll records. What can I do?

Several things.

First, if anyone tells you that you’re making more than anyone else in your job role, ask to see the records. If management raises privacy concerns, tell them you’ll be happy to see the numbers with the names redacted (now that the entire nation knows what the term “redacted” means).

If that’s not your style, ask your allies what they think of your manager’s statement that you’re the highest earner.

John told me I was making more than any fourth year attorney in the firm. Do you think that could possibly be true?

I have no idea. What are you making?

$250 grand including last year’s bonus.

Well, John isn’t right. I know for a fact that Richard made $300K.

These are the kinds of scripts we write for our clients. Often, we’ll roleplay these scenarios so you can get comfortable saying what needs to be said in your own voice. Not ours.

Our strategy. Your voice.

That’s just how we roll.

Victoria PynchonComment