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职场 - 专栏

Y世代女性如何缩小收入差距

Amanda Pouchot 2013年04月15日

数据显示,新入职场的女性赚的钱是男性同事的约90%,而且这个差距随着年龄增长还会进一步扩大。如果女性不主动要求涨工资,到60岁的时候,女性累积将少赚50万美元。说起男女同工不同酬,政策和体制因素确实是重要原因,但女性完全可以主动采取行动来减小损失。

    我的一位朋友最近和我谈起了她的一位男同事,这位男同事比她晚一个月入职。“他打算在明天绩效考核时提出加薪10,000美元的要求,”她抱怨道。“我真不能相信他会这么做。我想不到他到这里刚7个月就要求加薪。”

    上周二是同酬日(Equal Pay Day),这凸显了一个事实,2013年女性仍需付出更大的努力才能赚到2012年男性同事同样的薪酬。有关薪酬不平等的讨论都着重于政策和体制歧视,这很重要。但我感兴趣的是在哪些因素上我们个人能够有所作为。在Y世代(Gen-Y)女性网络社区Levo League上,我听过无数像我朋友这样的故事。我意识到:你不一定能得到你应该得到的,你得到的都是你所要求的。

    新入职场的女性赚的钱是男性同事的约90%,而且这个差距随着年龄增长还会进一步扩大。我知道,我的男性朋友与公司协商起薪的可能性比我高四倍,但我毕业后到麦肯锡(McKinsey)任分析师时并没有要求提高起薪。

    像我这样未要求提高起薪的人并不少见。在对Levo League社区进行调查时,我们发现,约75%的人在入职当前的职位时都没有要求公司提高起薪。不要求的结果,可不那么美妙:等到60岁时,这个损失将高达50万美元。

为什么Y世代女性不要求更高的薪酬

    这些女性有无数的借口:“说实话,经过实习期和一段时间的海投简历之后,能得到这份工作已让我倍感幸运,我当时觉得这是一个足够公平的起薪。”或者:“这家公司能招到我,真是他们的运气?我可没这么想过,我想的是能呆在这家公司很幸运。”

    我很少从我的男性朋友那里听到这样的回答。“我每3个月都会要求加薪,从没失败过,”其中有一位这样告诉过我。“公司应当知道我带来了多少价值,我希望获得应有的报酬。”

    女性为何克制自己不提涨工资?一个原因是她们感觉可能需要获得准许。另一个原因则是担心可能有违社会观念。一项“女性为什么不爱协商薪酬?”(Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations?)的研究称,如果一条招聘信息注明“薪酬面议”,女性更可能进行薪酬协商,因为她们认为,这是预期当中应当做的事情。

    谢莉尔•桑德伯格的新书《向前一步》(Lean In)强调了损害女性职业的那些社会观念。随着女性职位的升迁,她变得更有权力,不再那么受人喜爱——而他们的男性朋友会变得更受人喜爱。变得霸道和颐使气指并不一定就等于女性成功。但是,残酷的现实是,如果女性想获得同工同酬,就不能囿于社会观念,不主动要求加薪。

    A friend recently told me about a male colleague; he joined her company one month after she arrived. "He's asking for a $10,000 dollar raise tomorrow at our performance review," she griped. "I can't believe he's doing that. I just can't imagine asking for a raise after only being here for seven months."

    Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into 2013 a woman must work to earn the same pay that her male counterpart earned in 2012. Much of the discussion about pay inequity is focused on policy and institutional discrimination, which is important -- but I'm interested in what factors we as individuals might be able to do about it. After hearing countless stories, like my friend's, from women in the Levo League community, a network for ambitious Gen-Y women, I realize: You don't get what you deserve; you get what you ask for.

    Women make around 90 percent of what their male counterparts make when they first join the workforce, but the gap grows dramatically as they age. I knew my male friends were four times more likely to negotiate their starting salaries than I was, but I still didn't ask for more when I began as an analyst at McKinsey after graduation.

    I'm not the only one who isn't asking. When we surveyed the Levo League community, we found that approximately 75% did not negotiate starting salaries at their current roles. The result of not asking isn't pretty: Women lose out on half a million dollars by the time they are 60.

Why Gen Y Women Aren't Asking for More

    There are countless excuses from women who didn't ask for more money: "Honestly, I felt so fortunate to be given a job after my internship and after sending countless resumes, I thought it was a fair enough starting salary." Or: "Instead of thinking a company is lucky to have me, I'm thinking I'm lucky to be at this company."

    I rarely hear such responses from my male friends. "I ask for a raise every three months without fail," one told me. "The company should know how much more value I bring and that I expect to be compensated for it."

    Why do women keep themselves from asking for a raise? One reason is a need for permission. Another is a fear of going against societal norms. The study "Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations?" found that when a job description says "salary negotiable," women are more likely to negotiate their salary because they think it is expected that they should.

    Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In highlights the societal perceptions that hurt women's careers. As women rise through the ranks and become more powerful, they're less liked -- while their male friends become better liked. Being bossy doesn't always equate with female success.

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