Perrin sent me a link to this spoof of The Little Mermaid‘s song, “Part of Your World.” The music, the girls, the dreamy faraway gazes, all make for a mildly funny parody of the whole Disney princess schtick–but the topic of the lyric is not Get the Prince, it’s equal pay!
Earlier this week, I had a meeting with a really high-powered lady who has a big deal job in a mostly male industry. She was a confident and masterful person. You could really feel her presence in the room the whole time. But as we discussed some questions she had about managing gender in the workplace, she mentioned that she knew she was paid less than the men in her company who do the same job. She feels she can’t complain without ruining her career–it’s one of those “small circle” fields where just bringing up the topic could ruin her.
It just made me sick. Not that I wasn’t sympathetic to her plight. I totally was. But I kept thinking, “What is wrong with us as a society that it is ok to pay this woman less just because she is female? And what is even more wrong with us that this is her shameful secret–like it is somehow her crime, not theirs?”
So when I watched this little video, I have to admit that it gave me a poignant feeling. The message was clear: “This is a simple matter of fairness. There is nothing but arrogance behind inequality in the workplace. What is wrong with us?” I thought of that high-powered lady and the feeling in my gut, thinking about how many other women I knew in the same bind. Folks, this has got to stop.