Do women really get paid less than men? (And whose “fault” is it?)

!! Touchy subject alert !!

Most people I know, are usually are very reluctant when it comes to saying the amount of salary they earn.
Yet, these people are first in line to complain about how little they earn or show off with their brand new BMW or Gucci bag.

I understand however. It’s a part of privacy.

The reason why I am curious is because it’s always said that women earn less than men.
This is an announcement from our good and reliable (ahum) friend: M E D I A. 
So everybody assumes that this an absolute truth.

The other day my mum “advised” me to go my manager and ask for a raise.
As a woman you probably get paid less!!”.
There goes the cliche again.
“Do you even know what my job is?”, I replied.
End of conversation.
I can’t blame her.
My job title isn’t really a standard one and my tasks are hard to describe if you don’t have any background in this field.
You probably wouldn’t know many people with the same job tittle.

Right after my education, I started working in Denmark.
The salaries are usually higher  than in the Netherlands.
But the cost of living is also shockingly higher.

After some years, I started a job hunt in the Netherlands.
I knew salary negotiation wasn’t going to be easy, but I decided to stay persistent on certain salary range. And I always have.

In the 3 job switches I had in the past 7 years, salary was a topic I would discuss in the first meeting with the potential new employer.
If that’s something we won’t be agreeing on, it’s better to know straight away to not waste each other’s time.
I always kept reminding myself that my CV is more than decent for my age.
Plus, I have never even considered lowering my standard of living.

Sometimes managers tell you to start at a lower salary and promise it will grow.
Don’t believe that, ever.
It will either never happen or not as rapidly as you would want to.

Men might be a bit more arrogant when it comes to salary.
Women might be a bit more insecure or modest.
But I honestly believe that managers admire realistic ambition.

So women all over the world, can you promise to be a bit more persistent but still realistic about salary when you are going to start job interviews?
– Thank you.

Do you think women earn less than men? Who is to “blame?” 

13 thoughts on “Do women really get paid less than men? (And whose “fault” is it?)

  1. We have to collectively take a stand about our salary expectations vs men otherwise we will never get equal pay for equal work. I think here in the UK for many of us it’s quite difficult to sell ourselves and to have that awkward conversation about salary but it’s something we should be doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was once told something which I will never forget:
      “A (friendly) discussion about salary is just as awkward as buying your first bra”.

      In the beginning it be inconvenient to talk to lady in the store and let her help you. But at one point you realize that it’s a very normal thing. Every woman needs it. It’s certainly nothing to feel awkward about.
      And if your cupsize grows, why not your salary ? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly do think women make less. But we have come a long way I don’t think it is as bad as it once was. But I do think that women work in a mans world no matter what field it is in. Because at the end of the day everyone is looking at the bottom dollar. Women just need to more assertive and not afraid of taking a chance.


  3. Generally yes. But, when you’re your own boss, you make the rules. People still want to bargain, as if we were at the street market. I always say, when I go to the supermarket, I don’t ask to pay less. Take it or leave it. That’s my price.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think part of the problem is transparency of salaries – I’ve always tried to base my satisfaction of salary on whether I feel I’m being paid fairly for what I do rather than comparing myself to others, but that can be hard when what people get paid is shrouded in secrecy in some industries. It isn’t often encouraged to openly discuss your pay at work regardless of gender so I think it’s easy to see hows the gender gap came to be. You can go years thinking what you get paid is fair because you have no reason to question it, but them find out someone of similar capability and experience is on 10k more for no apparent reason and that suddenly changes everything – I think it’s very real, but different people will have had very different experiences depending on who they work for which is why it’s hard to measure. But I think the gap exists for sure, and for lots of different reasons. It’s all well and good to say women have the power to negotiate, but that only helps if they are privy to know what their male counterparts are being paid for the same job, and that isn’t always freely available information. Great debate! x


  5. Great advice to talk about salary right away and stick to your guns. I’ve always been happy that I don’t have to have salary negotiations as I don’t think I’d be good at it.


  6. This is a very provocative post. When I talked to women, it depends a lot on their profession and their position too. Also, on their ability to walk away. I am one of those, who have a low pay and I never asked for raise. Who’s fault is this? First, it’s a culture. In addition, a better position requires confidence that I never had ( will not spend five pages on why:). With that being said, I do not want to compromise for another profession, as I happen to like mine.


    1. I am aware of that 🙂 I am just simply sharing my experiences. I have always seen my parents struggling with money.
      I didn’t want to end up in such a situation. I am female and still in the beginning of my career (I’m 27), but that hasn’t stop me from firmly stating my salary expectations.
      That can be done by switching to another company, but you can also ask your current manager for a “personal development plan”.

      What bothers me mostly is that everyone says that women are underpaid. But how does one individual know?
      Media is not a reliable source, never.
      I am currently searching to hire someone. My manager didn’t tell me “If it’s a woman, we will pay her less”. There is a fair salary range we stick to. It depends on someone’s experiences and abilities to grow.


      1. First of all, congrats on being self confident and successful at young age! ( we have more than10 years difference). Regarding the range , well , it can be quite a range. And here is the interesting point about the experiences ( again, it seems, we differ a lot in way how our profession function- as in mine interviews are not to talk about the salary upfront). Anyways, an example from my life: when asked about a procedure , I knew how to do it but my thinking included troubleshooting or the results we might not want. A male colleague of mine simply stated the time that the method will take technically whiteout any consideration for further possibilities- so we ended up with different timeframes. So , besides culture ( I grew up with the idea not to ask for things), and confidence, the way how people are thinking also matters. Now, I do not have statistics on thinking discrepancies- but I bet you can easily find in in some physiology journals. From my side, I do not think one is better than another, but they are different and this is beautiful.


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