I once had a job I liked that didn’t pay well, so I interviewed at a local company that was expanding. I met with them twice and they seemed very interested. My interviewer said I’d hear within two weeks. A month went by, I figured I didn’t get the job, and my husband and I decided to start a family. Fortunately for us, I got pregnant very quickly. Three months after my last interview, the company called back and the interviewer said, “We’d like you to come in for one final interview.” I told him, “I assumed I didn’t get the job after I didn’t hear from you.” He said, “We hit some bumps in the road but now we’re ready to hire for the position” and I blurted out, “But I’ve gotten pregnant since then!” BIG pregnant pause. He started to stumble over his words, and never came right out and said it, but I could hear he had no interest in talking to me any further. I knew my rights but didn’t press it, thanked him but declined. Years later, it still burns me.
I was looking for a part time job and came across this small Home Hardware store at my home town. I went in the store and was so intimidated very fast since all the employees were male. I felt a bit uncomfortable. I still went inside and hoped for the best, I mentioned my skills and experience and gave my resume. I was shocked to see the extremely long pause of the old man. He didn’t know what to say. He eventually blurted out , ” what do you know about tools?” . I told him what I knew and added in the end, ” I am a fast learner , and I am willing to learn and improve”. He hesitated for a while then, he said,”I’m sorry , the position is filled”. Walking by the store from my way to school , I still saw the Help Wanted sign.
I was working for a marketing agency for 5 years and the Human Resources position was up for grabs. I have studied at Seneca college and York University for Human Resources. The current human resources manager was a middle-aged male. He was very close with one of my colleague , Eric and they would constantly talk about the sports together. I knew I had to make a strong impression for me to get the position. I went well out of my way to complete projects and stayed back late to help. However, Eric, who was working at the agency for only 3 years, was promoted as the Human Resources Manager.
When Maxine Lampe started her career as a teacher in the early 1970s, the school district refused to give her the head-of-household pay that men received — even though Lampe was the sole earner while her husband was in graduate school. Later, Lampe went into public school administration and found once again that her gender — and marital status — was a factor in her pay. While trying to negotiate her salary, one of the board members told her, “You don’t need as much pay because your husband is a professor and you have enough money.”
Anastasia Engebretson accepted the salary offered to her in her first job out of college. She didn’t know she could negotiate. She found when she arrived for work as a technician that a few men with less education and less relevant experience had negotiated for more pay. “I have a bachelor’s degree in physics,” Engebretson said. “This guy who hadn’t gone to college and couldn’t do mental math was getting paid more.”
Aileen Rizo works as a math consultant at a California county office that supports dozens of school districts. After three years on the job, she said she learned over lunch that a man just hired as a math consultant had started at a much higher salary. After trying unsuccessfully to work out the disparity with human resources, Rizo filed a lawsuit because of her two young daughters. “I don’t want another girl to feel after she’s worked so hard that she’s not worth the same as the man sitting next to her,” Rizo said.