BOSTON (CBS) — In many ways, politics in 2018 has been driven by women in terms of voters, politicians, and key issues. One such issue is equal pay. Jon Keller’s guest this Sunday was Katie Donovan, an expert on pay equity and the founder of Equal Pay Negotiations LLC.

Donovan said women are still being stiffed at about the same rate today as they were in 2000 when it comes to equal pay. “We haven’t figured out a way to make fundamental changes that are sustainable,” she said. “Right now we are at an 80 percent of what women earn compared to men. On average, median pay, full-time working.”

That percent has fluctuated slightly above and below 80 percent over the years.

“Women aren’t getting paid the same in the same jobs and women aren’t getting promoted at the same rate as men. So Lean In and McKinsey does a report every year and women make up 48 percent of the staff, entry-level positions. But move up just one level to manager and only 38 percent, we lose 10 percentage points right from the beginning. It’s hard to make that up later,” Donovan explained.

So what’s caused the problem? “A lot of the big practices assume we are already equal,” said Donovan.

Massachusetts has a law that bans salary history. Donovan explained the reason behind that was partly because “When you go to apply for a job, they ask you what you make in your current job and the job before and the job before. And then they actually give you an offer based, partly or wholly, in what you were making before. Regardless of what the job you were applying for should pay. So if you’re underpaid by 20 percent, as women are, how do you catch up if you’re always using that underpayment as part of the equation?”

She said if that question comes up on an application, leave it blank. If it comes up in person, simply say, “I’m surprised you’re asking it, I think it’s no longer appropriate.”

According to Donovan, a study showed women are asking for raises at the same rate as much but not receiving them. “So that is another one of the issues. What unconscious bias is happening during the actual negotiations? I always recommend to clients on the corporate side is that you actually a ‘rules of engagement’ because you everyone is treating everyone the same but they’re not.”

The rules of engagement need to be objective.

“I actually tell my clients on the employee side, take off your wedding ring. Don’t mention family, don’t mention that you’re looking forward to your trip with your husband. Let them assume whatever they want. It’s none of their business.”

Comments (2)
  1. Pb Brown says:

    Overall, women are getting what they “earn.” As a whole, they retire earlier, work fewer hours per week, take time off more often (usually for childcare), and choose to work in easier, lower-paying careers. This has been proven in study after study.