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Equal Pay: Myths and Facts

While women have made strides in the corporate world, the pay between males and females is still unequal, and research has shown that the gap is growing. 

Not only are women getting paid less than men for the same jobs (with the same skills and experience) but there are other issues that women face which show that gender discrimination in the workplace is an issue that needs urgent attention.

To mark Equal Pay Day today, we want to debunk the myths that surround this controversial topic.

Equal Pay

MYTH: Women Don't Ask For More Money

During discussions on equal pay for men and women, what is often said is that women don't negotiate for better salaries either during the interview process or after they have worked in that position for some time.

FACT: "Studies have shown that when women do negotiate, whatever tone they take, it can have a negative impact on their chances of being hired for the job. That's one myth is time to kill for good," says Sophie Walker, leader of the UK's Women's Equality Party.

MYTH: Taking Maternity Leave Is A Right That Is Respected In The Workplace

Women going on maternity leave is a right enjoyed by women and one would expect that it would not have a big impact on their return to employment. 

FACT: "If you are not visible at work, or your CV has a gap that is non-work related (such as maternity leave or taking time off to raise your children) your prospects of earning a salary on return to work, irrespective of your skills, are not outstanding," says Professor Anita Bosch, lecturer at the University of Johannesburg's Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management.

MYTH: Men And Women Earn The Same Once They Become Parents

While one might not think someone's pay may increase simply because they recently became parents, studies have shown that employers take that into consideration when considering an employee's salary.

FACT: "However, while mothers earn significantly less than childless women with the same characteristics - referred to as a motherhood penalty - fathers earn somewhat more than the childless men with the same characteristics - referred to as a fatherhood bonus," Bosch wrote in her women in the workplace research paper.