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October 1, 2023

Female Big 4 CPA: ‘My Performance and My Compensation Do Not Match’

Just wanted to say that this article (“Women, Can You Love Your Job But Still Be Pissed About Your Compensation?”) really struck a nerve, because it is TRUE!

This week in particular, I found myself having this exact conversation on multiple occasions. I absolutely love my job, my team, and the partner I work for, but I am grossly underpaid (and my firm often disgusts me). My boss made more as a fifth-year in 1999-2000 than I make now… 21 years later.

I have a unique set of technical skills and I have always been one of the highest-rated employees in my service line. If any reasonable person glanced at my employee file, they would quickly see that my performance and my compensation do not match. Yet, here I am, chugging along, getting paid significantly less than my male peers, telling myself, “It’s OK. You like your job. It will all work out one day.”

How long will I continue to tell myself this lie? Who knows! I think at some point you just block it out of your mind because how else do you live with yourself? How can you preserve your self-worth and self-respect knowing that you are willing to accept less and allowing the firm to take advantage of you? That feels awful. That makes you feel like a victim. So, much like a victim in an abusive relationship, you try to eliminate this cognitive dissonance and you tell yourself, “It’s OK because I still love my job.” Pathetic as that may be.

Anonymous Big 4 CPA

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  1. OMG, someone thinks they’re underpaid? That’s never happened before in the history of business.

  2. How do they know that the men of similar or equal qualifications and performance are getting paid more? There is no context for how they came to this conclusion. If it is true and they know for sure then that’s a real issue. This could also be based on an assumption or rumor.

  3. I was struck by the fact that there was no mention of having a constructive conversation with the right person(s) about this- present the facts, and ask for equal pay. Like a man would. They are not going to fire you for that. Why look inward and try to calm yourself when this sounds so very unfair?

  4. Are you kidding me? Maybe you should work at a place that values your unique skill set. It has nothing to do with being a woman.

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