Exposing South Carolina's sexism
by TallyInsider, Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:29:00 AM EST
The State, Columbia's newspaper, recently updated its online database of state employee salaries. After the initial fun of looking up Spurrier's and Bowden's paychecks (Spurrier makes more by the way), I turned my attention to a state agency I used to work for, and where many of my friends still do. There, in excrutiating clarity, was a listing of every employee making more than $50,000 a year.
I was shocked and dismayed. I had left after I was given a former co-worker's job, and was expected to keep doing my own. I asked for her old title. Denied. Asked for an early annual review (aka raise). Denied. Fed up, I left for the private sector with a 43% raise of my own making.
Now, here in black and white, is a very glaring picture of exactly how bad the discrepancy is between the women and the men at the South Carolina Research Authority. There are two female VPs. They don't crack 6 figures. Maybe that's not such a big deal, but men with lesser titles make more than them. A lot more. The Accounting Manager (male) makes more than his boss (female). A project manager (female) makes $16,000 less than another project manager (male). To put that into perspective, she has more responsibility, more experience, and more tenure. And he was removed from the program and placed into another for general incompetancy.
In response to the outcry, the CEO gathered everyone for a meeting. Said he didn't want to hear any griping and that in his opinion, there was no glass ceiling. End of story. OK, that's great and everything, but he has the wrong definition here. No one's saying women can't climb the ladder. They just aren't paid anywhere near equal to the men. And no one wants to acknowledge the discontent. I know for a fact the women are the workhorses, with the men as figureheads. Operations would implode if the women left en masse (which I hope they do). The nerve of these people.
So what's the next step? EEOC complaint? Class action lawsuit? HR already has a ton of documentation of years of complaints - they've proven themselves to be largely ineffective. Just have the women leave? What about the ones who come after? And if no one fights this now, will this problem still exist when my daughter enters the workforce?
I know this exists everywhere, but it's very demoralizing to have it out there, plain as day.