Pay Inequality: Women Do All of the Work, So Why Do We Get Paid Less?

Women, we get the short end of the stick. Not that we weren’t already aware of it.

We do all of the cooking, cleaning, and childcare, PLUS hold down a full-time job. And sometimes other part-time gigs, too (you PF bloggers know what I’m talking about).

So why do men get the bigger salaries?

Women are STILL making only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, on average. Forget you single ladies — you’re only earning a pathetic 57 cents for every dollar your male counterparts earn. And mothers earn 7 percent less than childless women.

We carry the babies, fill your stomachs, scour the pots, and make sure your underwear is clean. We make sure your clothes aren’t a wrinkled mess when you walk into the office in the morning, and some of us (not me) pack you a nice lunch every day.

Sure, we’ve come a long way, but we need to close up the wage gap. Jezebel put up an eye-opening chart that shows what a woman could do with the extra $10,000 a man makes per year, and then what she could buy with that money over a lifetime of work. And as we age, the wage gap becomes even larger!

The Economy’s Not Helping

Who out there has gotten a raise in the past few years? How about a bonus? You’re the lucky ones. Many people — both men and women — have had stagnant incomes.

We women work our asses off 24/7, and some of us haven’t even seen a cost of living raise in 4-5 years. I do realize it depends on the industry, but if we’re not given a chance to advance, how can anyone not expect morale and productivity to take a nosedive? Many of my male friends have continued to see raises, promotions and bonuses. Most of my female counterparts have not.All the while, prices are rising: gas and commuting, groceries, clothing. You know, the necessities.

Stereotypes Still Exist

A New York Post headline screams, “Wisconsin GOPer: Women make less because ‘Money is more important for men.'” Those are words from a state senator, folks, and I take offense. Money is important to women like me, too — we need it to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads (in Northern NJ, middle class folks need two incomes to pay for the average mortgage), and send our kids to college. Without money, it’s hard to survive. That’s why women want to make as much as the rest of you guys.

Yes, we birth the babies and get time off for that. Have you seen what we go through with pregnancy and labor/delivery? And nowadays, most of us head right back into the workforce after our maternity leave is up. The days of the stay-at-home mom are a thing of the past.

Ironically, Tuesday, April 17 was “Equal Pay Day.” At the current rate, it will take another 45 years to fully close the wage gap. I hope the sexism ends before our children enter the workforce.

Work and Family: It’s a Balancing Act

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I work a full-time job with a crazy schedule that allows me some extra time to do some freelancing writing and editing. I’m not a TV-watcher like my husband, who could spend every minute of the day (and night) in front of the boob tube, so in my free time, I hustle for a little extra money to offset any major expenses and pad our savings account.

Now that we have Baby Frugalista — who turned 1 year old on Groundhog Day, and will always be my “baby,” no matter her age — I’ve sought out fewer gigs so I can spend more time with her. It’s a no-brainer, but it gives me more pleasure to spend an hour at the park with her than to write an article. But with the costs associated with raising a child (CNN reports a 40% increase in the cost of raising a child in the past decade), such as food, clothing, daycare and saving for college, I find that we could use that extra money.

Compromise

After our daughter was born, I was on maternity leave for 6 months. So not only was I not getting my usual salary, I wasn’t freelancing, either. When I went back to work, I was able to find a balance — I’d only take on freelance assignments if I would be able to complete them in the evenings after the baby went to sleep. That meant not working on projects on my days off or weekends. As she settled into a bedtime routine, I found that this is what has worked for me. We still have family time, and I still get to keep my skills sharp and increase our cash flow.

The good thing is that I can accept most projects offered to me, but I’ve also turned down a few that didn’t fit into my self-imposed limitations.

It’s just one of the ways my life has changed since her birth. As parents, you’re supposed to make sacrifices for your children, and I do so willingly and lovingly.

Working parents — how have you sacrificed when it comes to balancing work and family?