A lot has been said recently about the gender pay gap. In particular, there is a lot of debate about the causes.
Is it simply sexism on the part of the employers, or is it something more institutional?
(Sidenote: I’m leaning more on the institutional side. Message me if you want to know more.)
But what isn’t really being spoken about is how we, as men, can help.
Now, you might not even think this is your responsibility. You might see this as a female problem.
But if you saw a dog about to be hit by a car, you’d probably want to help it, right? You wouldn’t just sit back and say, “Well, maybe the dog shouldn’t be in the road.”
Unless you would say that. Then you’re a monster.
My point is, we should help. Not because we have a duty to, but because we want to help our fellow human beings.
The first step we can take is to talk about it. Acknowledge that there’s a problem.
Then, we could speak to women about it. They’re the victims here. Let’s find out what they have to say. Just google it and you’ll find loads of stuff to read up on.
In terms of more concrete things we can do…
How about being more open about what we earn? Speak to your colleagues about how much you get paid. Compare your payslips.
We have this weird idea that pay should be a taboo subject. Maybe this pay gap is exactly why that started?
Talk about it.
The other main thing we can do is show solidarity, show our support. If a woman believes she isn’t being paid enough, back her up.
Help her out when she confronts the boss. There’s power in numbers.
On a systematic level, help to encourage girls to pursue the traditionally male subjects, like Maths and Science and technology.
Tell your daughters that they can do whatever they want, be whoever they want.
This isn’t just their issue. It’s ours too. Closing this gap is crucial to achieving equality.
And it starts here and now with us.