Gender Pay Gap

I chanced upon this article this morning and yes it happened and it is a reality for me.  When I graduated, I had high hopes that I will be part of the whole employment pyramid and will rise above the corporate ladder.  I thought of being the head of my firm and will be the master of my time.  I never considered that I will have and raise a family.  I was idealistically independent.  However a series of events led me to believe that I was not fit to be employed in a private firm let alone handle one.  I felt more at home with academic work so I pursued my masters degree and worked full time (but still contractual) in government office. I eventually got married and had a kid.

There came a time when I was up to apply for a permanent position.  Since this is a government office, all openings must be publicly announced and applied.  My officemates were also welcomed and encouraged to apply for the position. One of the other two applicants was my officemate who was male, single, and competent. The other one was a male outsider.  I know that my boss will have a hard time choosing which one of us will take the slot.

The evaluation has two parts.  Part I is the technical evaluation that is computed based on a criteria to get the number of points.    This includes the educational attainment, the performance ratings, achievements, trainings, and the like.  Part II is the subjective component which includes the assessment of non-quantitative things like appearance, commitment, attitude, etc.  To make the long story short, I did not get it.

So I asked to see the evaluation sheet.  I saw that I was in the lead for Part I and then rated way below in Part II.  Our difference was about 0.05 points or somewhere along that line.  It got me thinking that it may have something to do with my dependability since I was married and Julia was only 5 years old.  My situation was unlike my officemate who is single and available for overtime and weekends.  There were also times when I was absent when Julia is sick. I don’t really blame them for considering these issues.

Eventually I did get the job when they reassessed the computation.  The application process became an eye opener and a reality check for me.  That even if I try to be more proactive, there will be instances that will require my absence and it is mainly rooted to the fact that I earn less than Henry.  There will always be someone who has to be absent for domestic and kid related reasons and that someone is the one with the lower paying job.  While I love being there for my kids, this situation impacts my chance of being promoted or being assigned to handle harder, time-consuming jobs.  And then eventually widening our salary gap even more.

So, what am I to do? Should I be content with this or should I do something about it? That — I have to think about some more.



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