For #WomensEqualityDay, I recalled a wonderful story told to me just a couple years ago. We talk a lot about employers and companies providing equal pay for women, but we don’t talk a lot about our (meaning women’s) own perception of worth. The story is short and sweet and comes with a great lesson about equality being not just about how others value us, but about how we value ourselves.
A dear friend who was working in a managerial position pretty high up the food chain at Hewlett-Packard told me about an interview process which was very enlightening. He was called in to assist with a department’s hiring process for a rather important position. They had winnowed it down to a handful of candidates. He was to interview a few and provide his recommendations.
He interviewed a young man for the position, who was in his estimation qualified and a good fit. If he had been the only candidate, he would be offered the job right then and there. However, there were more people to interview. No one was better suited until he interviewed a young woman. She not only interviewed very well and had an exceptional résumé, but she had more to offer in terms of her breadth of knowledge and skills. She really wowed him. Then, as with all the other interviews, he asked her what her salary requirements were. When she replied with a number that was several thousand dollars less than the male he had interviewed earlier, he was taken aback. In front of him sat a person who he felt was exceptional and he could’ve simply passed her back to HR and the department without another word. Instead, he bluntly told her exactly what to say and do when they offered her the position,”You’re going to be offered the job for <insert amount the young man had asked for> and you’re going to say that you are really looking for $20,000 more and you need to think about it. And, when they offer the job for your amount, you should take it.”
My friend was recounting this story so that I wouldn’t undervalue myself, my experience, my skills and talents. So, when it comes to equal pay, equal treatment…anything striving for equality between women and men, it may just begin with how we as women value ourselves. That being said, this is a great article about Women’s Equality this #WomensEqualityDay and I deserve a pat on the back for making sure it didn’t stay inside my head! If you’d like to pay me for this great story, well, just make sure you pay a man the same amount…for the same work. ;-D