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Determining whether there is a gender pay gap at work

Women in New York may want to research salaries using tools such as Payscale and Glassdoor to ensure they are being paid fairly. Experts say that while the pay gap between men and women is narrowing, it still exists.

One of the reasons for this gap is that women tend to negotiate salary less aggressively than men. They are under pressure to be more likable at work and could be penalized for that perceived aggression. However, companies are increasingly conducting audits to determine whether a gender pay gap exists and adjusting salaries accordingly. When the CEO of Nike was presented with a survey in which women employees reported harassment and discrimination on the job, the company adjusted the salaries of 7,000 employees, and 11 executives lost their jobs.

Statistics show that there is a gap not just in pay, but also in opportunity. Mid-career employees who move into executive positions are 70 percent more likely to be men. They are 142 percent more likely than women to have C-Suite or executive roles by the time they reach their late careers. There are several reasons for this gap in opportunity, which include different attitudes and experiences in the workplace for mothers versus fathers, a lack of role models for women, bias and a lack of connections for women.

There also are many barriers against people reporting discrimination and harassment in the workplace that are based on gender. In some cases, the discrimination is subtle and hard to pinpoint. In other situations, people worry about the effects that reporting the discrimination will have on their careers, including potential retaliation. An attorney may be able to advise a person about whether certain incidents rise to the level of discrimination and how they should be documented. If the person reports the discrimination at work, and the workplace is not responsive, he or she could take legal action.

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