Im not sure why anyone was surprised yesterday when they found out the men were being paid more than the women, it is happening in just about every organisation throughout the country. Of course some will come back and say they have transparent pay structures with grading that all can see, but I guarantee where men and women sit within that pay grade is different.
Very early on in my career, I was told by my boss that I had potential to do well within the organisation I worked in, I was reasonably popular, I worked hard and I was loyal. All qualities that would work well for me in my career. So with this ringing in my ears, and my appraisal pay rise, I worked my proverbial "ass" off.
At the same time a guy who did the same job as me, who I was good friends with decided to go to HR and ask what my salary was (you could do this back then). One night while drinking with him and some other colleagues, he told me he couldn't understand why I put all the hours in that I did when I was the lowest paid assistant buyer in the company. I was devastated, I felt so betrayed by the business, and it changed my relationship with my work colleagues. However at 19 it was also a valuable lesson. Firstly knowing what your colleagues earn hurts! secondly I decided from that moment on, I was worth what I was willing to ask for. I negotiated for a living, if I couldn't get what I thought I was worth, I would move on. On one occasion I did just that, I told my company what I wanted as a pay rise, they refused, I handed my notice in, they then offered my asking price..I walked away.
You see the measurement of your worth has to come from within. Yes it makes me cross that women aren't paid equally to the men, but if you take the sex out of the equation and ask am I being paid what im worth, it makes the conversation less emotive, but also more motivating.
That said it would of made me laugh if all the BBC ladies had phoned in sick this morning!!