In 1963 the Equal Pay Act was enacted and other bills followed like the Equality Bill to address gender pay gaps. Given the decades of attention this issue has received, why is the salary gap still alive and well in all industries to include Microsoft Dynamics. I was reminded of this issue when I read an article yesterday on MSDynamicsworld.com.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with and understand the concept of ‘rivers run deep’. When it comes to cultural and social issues as related to gender wage inequality, this analogy holds true. These issues run very deep and the root cause is not only cultural and generational but also complex. There is no ‘one reason’ and there are mountains of research papers, statistics, books and articles written annually on the subject.
Although I believe that a couple of theories mentioned in the MSDynamicsworld article are contributors to the wage gap, with Trish Boccuti’s comments regarding negotiating being one that is founded on research and fact, I think others such as family vs. career are not as carefully thought through, don’t hold up under the light of research and unfortunately serve to blame women and create complacency; “well, it is what it is, therefore I must accept that this is a result of my choice” rather than encourage true and lasting change.
Although I am a supporter of and contributor to MSDynamicsworld, I was disappointed with them for not taking more time to develop the article, call in some experts and post information that debunks the myths and brings to light some of the true causes and solutions regarding this subject. The article falls flat and unfortunately does more harm than good so I hope that MSDynamicsworld regroups and take another run at it.
While we are waiting for that, I thought I would take a few minutes to share my thoughts on the subject. First, the disclaimer. I am not an expert in the field and do not position myself as one. I have three daughters, one granddaughter and one goddaughter. I have many other women in my life that I care deeply about and am invested in seeing them excel. I am also heavily invested from a coaching, mentoring and support perspective when it comes to helping women and men excel on their path and am always encouraging and recruiting women for the Technology field. The thoughts I share are gleaned from personal experience, my work in coaching and mentoring women and studying issues like the gender pay gap.
I know there are major contributors to the gender pay gap that are not related to the choice of motherhood and family. I also know that you can have motherhood, family and a successful career. I can show you many, many women who do it and do it well. My daughter Cassie lives this everyday as a female entrepreneur and coaches other women in business to do the same.
Myth number one debunked: You can’t have a healthy, happy family and a successful career life at the same time. Why not? Who says so? Lots of women do it. If that statement were true why is it that a man can walk away from a job, serve time in the military or reserves, come back to their job at the same pay and go forward like he was never absent. Men have frequently and consistently been able to take time away from their careers to meet military obligations, deal with medical issues or care for family and return to work at the same pay and with the same opportunity as when the left or they close the salary gap significantly faster than women.
So why is this happening for men and not women. It is because companies, employers and cultural values support the concept of men taking time off for military duty and family related issues but do not support the same for women (taking time off or working part time to care for the family). The blame should not lie at the feet of women and women should not be made to think they must choose or get their house in order or any other similar concept. Instead we need to affect change with regard to societal values, deep seated gender biases and must empower women to expect more and not settle.
Women bring incredible value to the workplace. Their attention to detail, intuitive and creative talents, ability to multi-task while keeping things moving forward in an organized manner, achieving objectives, etc. are sometimes unmatched by their male counterparts. We must help women to be aware of the value they bring and empower them to negotiate from a position of strength.
I believe women have to stop thinking of the salary gap in relationship to a choice between family and work in order to begin effectively addressing the issue and making a change for themselves, current and future generations. Given that, what are some of the social and cultural issues that contribute to pay inequality (same pay for same work and skillset).
Traditionally and generally speaking, men learn from the early years on that life is a team sport. You support your team while excelling in the position you’ve been designated. Women on the other hand, traditionally and generally speaking, learn to compete against other each other, vie for attention, etc. Team sports for women, really just started taking hold in the last generation or two and it will take many centuries to catch up to the levels men have achieved. Team sport for men has been around for centuries. In business many of the analogies used in the board room, meetings etc., come from the world of sports (hit a home run on that deal, knocked it out of the park….). In addition to sports men are trained to look out for one another on the battlefield. Traditionally speaking, men are the ones who go off to war and have to look out for each other in the field. Things like, look out for your fellow soldier, wing man, etc., are common concepts drilled into men and terms we hear used frequently in society and business.
To add to the societal and cultural challenges, technology is a male dominated vocation. Therefore, a high percentage of those in a position to make hiring decisions are men. Men often hire men for a variety of reasons. They speak the same language, have common interests, don’t have to be as concerned about what they say and how they say it, have learned to look out for each other, etc.
I understand that wage discrimination remains a battle that we must fight. Today I was reminded that in order to win the battle, we must educate and train women to think about, understand, and address the root cause of the issue as well as give them the tools needed to effectuate change for current and future generations of women. We must work tirelessly to debunk the myths and support women in business. In the end, it is going to be women supporting women and the work of people who want equal pay for their mothers, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, aunts, and nieces that will bring an end to the gender wage gap issue.
While we are working to bring an end to this illegal practice, lets not lose sight of what we are dealing with and the impact we can have on others. There are a significant number of single parent households in the United States (not to mention the world), and of those, the custodial parent is a woman more than 80% of the time. There are multiple millions of children living in these households. These women do not have the luxury of choice when it comes to work. They must work to provide for their family and they deserve equal pay for equal work. That 10, 15 or 20% difference in the paycheck means more to these households than one can imagine. We owe it to these women and children as well as all women to eliminate this life impacting issue in our generation.
I ask those of us who care about this issue to stop blaming the victim and blame the perpetrator. In the end, companies know what they are doing when they perpetuate this life impacting inequality. We must use all the resources within our reach to empower women to negotiate competitive salaries, hold companies to higher standards, expose the practice of gender pay inequality, fine the perpetrators, and eliminate the practice in this generation. Our children and children’s children deserve it. We must fully embrace equal pay for equal skill. If I am generating as much or more good work than my male counterpart, I deserve to be paid as much or more, period.
At the end of the day, women, in all company roles (entrepreneurs, Human Resources, Customer Facing, etc.) must go above and beyond when it comes to supporting women in the workplace. All women who are in a position to mentor women, coach women on salary and benefit negotiation, share salary information that they have, etc., must step out of their comfort zone and take the initiative to help each woman that crosses her path. Men must also do the same because in the end this will benefit the women you care about in your life and the generations that follow.
I encourage each of us to to ask those we’ve helped to find at least one or more women who they can encourage, coach and mentor. Let’s get this ball rolling and gain enough momentum to make it impossible to stop.
Women are strong. We must celebrate, share and display our strength. We must embrace and understand that empowered women who openly display and share their strength are inspiring. We must continue to encourage, recruit and mentor more women into the Technology field, pay it forward and bring the insidious, gender wage gap to an end in this generation.
In the event you were not aware, CRMUG was crazy busy at Convergence this year. They were involved in everything from sessions and roundtables to helping people at the booth, answering questions, breaking bread and more.
Fortunately for me, Tony Stein, CRMUG’s Program Director, was able to break away for a few minutes to chat with me. Hey Tony, take it away!
Now that you have a taste of what CRMUG offers, get over to their site and get engaged today!
Not sure if you’ve had a chance to spend time on the Dynamics Community web site lately. If not, you are probably not aware of the changes that have occurred. I haven’t had much time either so I thought I would take a few minutes at Convergence to speak with Nick Hoban, the Dynamics Community, Project Manager.
Let’s see what Nick has to say about what he has been working on.
If you haven’t visited the community site lately, get over there, create your profile and begin accessing all the great content.
Everyone I spoke with had a great time at Convergence 2013 but there was one booth I visited where people got an extra dose. Let’s find out what all the buzz was about from the one and only Pablo Peralto.
Now is is time for YOU to get CRMGamified and join in the fun today!
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to run into one of my past clients, Jeff Richardson, at Convergence this year. I was the Project Lead for a CRM Online implementation at Jeff’s company, SIAA, Inc. By the way, don’t tell anyone but the SIAA project was one of my favorites. They have a great group of smart people and it was a pleasure working with them.
I was really happy to see Jeff at Convergence and had a great time catching up with him. Since this was Jeff’s first Convergence, I took advantage of the moment and asked if he would share his thoughts. Fortunately he agreed, so without further ado, let’s hear what a first time attendee has to say about Microsoft Convergence.
Would you like to get in on the action next year? It’s not too early to begin planning. Check out what Convergence 2014 has in store for you.
During Convergence I was able to steal some time to conduct a few quick video chats with some of the Microsoft Dynamics Partners and Customers. One of the chats I had was with Chris Wilson from TCC Software Solutions regarding a new and exciting product called Expedite.
There are some pretty cool things about Expedite like:
- It runs on Windows 8 (think Surface for mobile users)
- Allows you to quickly scan a form and effortless add controls
- Publishes the form to the Mobile users
- Publishes the form to Dynamics CRM
- Allows Mobile users to use the form both Online and Offline
- Submits the data to Dynamics CRM when the device is Online
Rather than continuing the feature list, let’s take a few minutes to hear what Chris has to say about the product.
I hope that got quick glimpse into the product piqued your interest. If so, you can visit www.expeditesoft.biz to learn more and request a demo.
A big shout out to the MVP Panel at Convergence for making the Ask the MVP sessions a hit again this year. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Super Stars like Shan McArthur, Daniel Cai, Chris Cognetta, Richard Knudson, Kuba Scalbania, Alex Fagundes, Gus Gonzalez, Jamie Miley, Jerry Weinstock, Julie Yack, Scott Sewell, Mark Smith, Mitch Milam, Matt Witteman, Roohi Shaikh and Neil Benson came together to answer the audience questions about the Dynamics CRM product.
There are several benefits derived from the Ask the MVP sessions that we hold throughout the year for Microsoft Convergence, CRMUG Summit, MSDynamicsWorld.com and others. As MVP’s we have a passion for the product, enjoy interacting with the community and love sharing information and knowledge that helps individuals and organizations effectively leverage the product and eliminate issues that prevent or impede user adoption. The Ask the MVP sessions provide a great forum for us to do just that; provide you with information and answers to your real world problems.
I would like to thank the community and panel for making this year’s Ask the MVP sessions such a great success and look forward to future events. Keep an eye out for Ask the MVP session on the CRMUG and MSDynamicsWorld.com event websites as well as our own personal Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP site.
Here are a few takeaways from the event.
Woohoo! a Big thank you to the attendees for voting us into Top 10 list for Presenter Effectiveness. We Love You too and vote you into the Top 10 list for Awesome Participants!
We also received some great feedback, some of which I plan to incorporate into future events:
Always a great session with the MVP’s- maybe have 1 ask MVPs for developers and a seperate session for business administrators
We agree with the above and wanted to break the sessions out this way but weren’t able to make that happen this time. Hopefully we will have more success for Convergence 2014.
Thought it was a good session. would have been good to have some info on the MVP’s that we could walk out of the session with.
Great feedback and we’ll plan to have some material for distribution at future events.
Awesome Session.. Great to talk to the experts who’s blog we read every day.
Awesome!!! Do this more!!!
Donna did a fantastic job engaging the crowd and the panel. Not all panel members spoke. Learned a LOT from this and it was interesting hearing others’ questions. Room setup of chairs and mics was odd.
Great interaction. Good questions. Very good session
The best part about the CRM product right now is the entire group of MVPs. They provided great information, they are always willing to help, and always have excellent advice.
This was more targeted at the technical side and I am on the business side. For those who are on the technical side I am sure this was a helpful session.
Thank you for all the wonderful feedback. We think the Dynamics CRM customer and partner base are the best and look forward to seeing you in the near future!