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Women, Can You Love Your Job But Still Be Pissed About Your Compensation?

If there was such a thing as a “I love my job” gap, men and women would be equals, according to the latest U.S. salary survey from the Institute of Management Accountants. And that boggles my mind because, as we all know, women’s salaries in accounting are definitely not equal to men’s.

So as a woman, can you love your job even though you’re not paid as much as the dude in the office next to yours who has the exact same job title?

I decided to ask the woman with whom I share a home office (i.e., bedroom) for her opinion. She works in the banking industry, which like accounting is historically (and currently) dominated by old white guys. As a woman professional, she believes loving what you do for a living has nothing to do with having a compensation package that is competitive with her male colleagues.

“I still believe you can love what you do but still be disappointed that you’re not compensated appropriately. One has nothing to do with the other,” my wife told me. “Your passion for what you do is controlled by you. To an extent, your salary is not. It’s set by the company. Can you go out and find a new job that pays more? Maybe. But the fact is men make more money than women. Can you go out and demonstrate by burning your bra? Sure. But it won’t change that fact. Women have made so many advancements for rights but not when it comes to compensation to our male counterparts.”

So basically my wife agrees with the IMA’s findings on job characteristics and satisfaction by gender:

There are many factors that contribute to job satisfaction, including salary and other benefits. When asked if their salary was competitive compared to their peers, 66% of CMA respondents agreed, compared to 56% for non-CMAs. The percentage is also higher for men (68%) vs. women (57%). Seventy-three percent of all respondents said they love their jobs, and this is the same regardless of gender or certification. This shows there are other factors contributing toward job satisfaction in addition to compensation.

How bad is the salary gap between men and women among the IMA’s membership? Overall, women earn 86% of men’s median total base salary and 84% of men’s total compensation.

“I’m not surprised,” my wife said. And you shouldn’t be either.

Here are a couple of charts that provide a salary breakdown by gender in regards to age range and management level:

So women accountants, is my wife nuts or do you agree with what she said?

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