Token Dude weighs in on gender wage gap three days later

So, I sat on a panel at the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) National Capital Area (NCA) Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) and Expo last week. How’d that happen? The panel was about the next generation of proposal professionals (a.k.a., “Better Know a Millennial”) and, while there are many young women entering my field, there are very few young men who are (a) known quantities to the APMP-NCA leadership and (b) willing to sit in front of a crowd and answer questions about generational differences in our workplaces.

In short: I was offered the rare opportunity to be a token dude and jumped at it.

The only way you can tell that this isn't a stock photo is because we're not laughing at salad.
The only way you can tell that this isn’t a stock photo is because we’re not laughing at salad. [Source: Lisa Pafe]
Most of the panel was easy. We practiced a few times on the phone, so we all came in with a few canned stories for each of our moderator’s questions. If anything, it got easier at the panel itself because we could finally see each other and figure out who’s about to talk. This was critical for me because, as Token Dude, I didn’t want to interrupt any of my peers and become Token Mansplainer.

But, then we opened up for questions from the audience. And that’s when things got exciting — mostly because I figured there wouldn’t be any. It was the last session before the bar opened, right?

Now, you’ll have to forgive me here because I don’t remember the exact phrasing of the question (thanks, open bar afterward), but I believe someone asked us how we felt about women in our field — proposal and business development — earning $20,000 – 30,000 less a year than men. (If the woman who asked sees this, please correct me if I got this wrong.)

I didn’t answer. For a couple of reasons:

1. I was caught off guard. Remember, the rest of the panel to this point was at least semi-rehearsed.

2. I deferred to the women on the panel. I didn’t want to act as a white knight when I was already sitting with three people more qualified to speak to their own experience.

If possible, I try to only Wayne Knight, never white knight.
If possible, I try to only Wayne Knight, never white knight.

I don’t regret not answering, but after having three days to mull it over, I know how I would respond if, say, I were the only person asked. After all, I may not be a woman in my field, but if the statistic is true — that my peers, including the ones I sat up on that stage with — are being paid less than me for no other reason except their gender, then what does that make me if I’m willing to go along with it?

So, in hindsight (which is how I’m a Jeopardy! champion in my own mind), here’s how I’d answer if ever asked again:

If that statistic — that women in business and proposal development are paid $20,000 to $30,000 less a year than equally qualified men — is true, then that’s abhorrent. Because, for that level of disparity, that means that this isn’t just an issue of one or two men being better salary negotiators than women — it’s companies knowingly paying a large portion of their workforce less across the industry.

It means that, since is the norm, I can only wonder if my own employer does this. That my peers, who are mostly women, are working the same crazy proposal hours I am, yet their work is somehow less valued than mine.

I don’t know if my employer pays women with my same level of experience and ability less than me. I assume not because I’m led by two extraordinary managers who are women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have full control over who does and doesn’t get paid more.

But, I want to believe that, if I found out that my employer does pay unequal salaries and wages for equal work, I would start looking for another job, even if it meant giving up a larger salary.

I don’t want to participate in a system that rewards me and undervalues someone else for an arbitrary reason. Because, if a company can justify discrimination or preferential treatment on the basis of gender — something we all know is wrong — then they can easily undervalue performance for less controversial reasons.

A company that can pay a woman less for being a woman can decide to pass me over for a raise or promotion because of my politics — which are garbage to most government contractors, I’m sure. Or my sexual preferences. Or because I’m not sufficiently manly enough — like I said in the panel, man, I hate golf.

I also said in the panel that I like working for and with women. I want to believe that my peers are as valued by my company as I value them. And I want to work in an environment where all of my colleagues, regardless of identification, are treated fairly because that’s not just good for women, members of the LGBT community, or ethnic minorities — that’s good for everyone.

Anyway, this panel was a great experience, one that I believe will shape my future career. I should probably do things like this more often. And maybe next time, it won’t take me three whole days to form a coherent thought about a complicated issue.

Your Week in Seriously Times: Oct. 7 – 13, 2012

She got into one little fight, and the hotel staff got scared.

Bridal brawls, willies, Sarah Palin, and Halloween costumes — if your pants just got tighter, you’re not alone. These topics got our mongooses frothy over on SeriouslyGuys this week. Here’s the recap:

  • Look out! Here comes the bride, and she’s swinging! (Oct. 8, 2012)
  • It’s not the size that counts, it’s whether you would prefer to enjoy vaginal orgasms. (Oct. 9, 2012)
  • What’s the difference between a starving pit bull in one of those Sarah McLachlan ads and a hockey mom? A fitness book. (Oct. 10, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: I apply that week in Literary Criticism where we covered psychoanalytical theory into your Halloween costume. (Oct. 10, 2012)

Your Week in Seriously Times: Sep. 9 – 15, 2012

Construction workers hope to appease the spider with a human sacrifice.

Spiders, Emma Watson, Titanic, democracy, animal heresies, and freak-nasty ladies — if John Carpenter wrote the screenplay for this week, this is what it’d look like on SeriouslyGuys. Here’s the recap:

  • An endangered spider halted construction on an underpass in Texas. And, there’s only way to kill an endangered spider, which is with a panda loafer. (Sep. 10, 2012)
  • Of all celebrities today, Emma Watson has the most computer viruses. Allohora valacyclovir! (Sep. 11, 2012)
  • “Jack, you can’t come up on the raft. We’re too heavy.” “… Are you still wearing that big ass diamond, Rose?” (Sep. 12, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: By upgrading your national operating system to Democracy®, you have automatically agreed to the user terms. Violating these terms will cause Democracy® to uninstall from your system. (Sep. 12, 2012)
  • Snakes and monkeys are just begging — begging — for a Spanish Inquisition. (Sep. 13, 2012)
  • Women are down for just about anything if you cover it in rose petals first. (Sep. 14, 2012)

Your Week in Seriously Times: Sept. 2 – 8, 2012

Figure 1: Science.

Voice mail, trauma, women, thermal scans, and French condoms — all things that are not made better with booze. Also, they’re this week’s topics on SeriouslyGuys. Here’s the recap:

  • People would rather text after a missed call than leave a voice mail. Who says kids don’t read anymore? (Sept. 4, 2012)
  • Science is trying to figure out why drunk mice can’t recover from trauma. There has to be an easier way to fuck them, guys. (Sept. 5, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: Part 3 of my ongoing series to unravel the mysteries of women, I take a minor scientific discovery and stretch it for my own purposes. Or, as regular readers call it: the uszh. (Sept. 5, 2012)
  • The Greeks are using Predator-vision to identify drunks. Apparently, wearing a goat on your dick wasn’t obvious enough. (Sept. 6, 2012)
  • Condom Town on Fuck River has their day in court and wins. The French are very serious about the sanctity of names. (Sept. 7, 2012)

Women Even See Mysteriously

Let’s go, utero! *stomp stomp stompstompstomp* Let’s go, utero! *stomp stomp stompstompstomp*

Women are a mystery that have perplexed great minds, from Steven Hawking to male Congressmen and, finally, myself. I’ve spent the better part of a year trying to get down to the bottom of the Other Gender (without implying that they’re fat). And, every time I think I’ve got them just about figured out, another question comes up.

So, it’s once more unto the breach, my friends. That is, until that breach secretes hormones to shut us down. Welcome to part three of “Women are Mysterious,” in which I take into account new scientific research that indicates that women even see differently from men …

Colors

According to a recent study published in the journal Biology of Sex Differences, women discriminate between colors much more easily than men do. Meanwhile, men see fine details and movement better than women do. In the end, this is why Pocahontas painted with all the colors of the wind while the male English colonists were sizing her up to ship back to the Queen.

The Human Body

As mentioned above, men are attuned to observing fine details and movement. Men are so good at it, in fact, that they test themselves by going to dimly lit strip clubs. Given the choice of looking at John Wayne or a naked woman, most men would opt for the naked woman. In fact, if looking at naked women was a job, there would be no labor unions because we’d all be happy working 20 hour days, 7 days a week.

Women, however, show more pride in their internal organs, composing entire monologues to their nooks and crannies. External parts are only celebrated if they can be shaped or concealed with new clothing technology, especially when it comes to male parts. Whereas men have many, many nicknames for the penis, women have only one: “it” … or “that” when referred to directly.

Rape

One of the biggest differences in how women see things is rape. When it comes to rape, women seem not to want any part of it. Men, however, understand that rape is how you make new messiahs. 

For some reason, women would prefer to have a choice in whether to keep their rape babies, maybe because the resulting Herculi are always men. This is perplexing to men, because you know who had a pretty sweet gig in history? That chick who got to watch the Romans hang her son up with nails.

Women are so not into rape that they don’t even like jokes about it. This is frustrating for men because they find humor in all types of pain — rape, war, nut shots … Really, when you think about it, the issue here is less that women hate rape and more about how they allow any man inside at all.

Arguments

Men and women equally see themselves as victorious at the conclusion of every argument, even when they lose. The difference, then, isn’t what they see, but how they see it.

Men measure victory in small gains, like, “Hey, I didn’t lose half of my stuff.” Women measure victory in eventuality, “All this shit is mine, anyway.”

“I’ll cut ‘that’ off, too.”

No matter how powerful you may be in Congress, gentlemen, don’t forget: you gotta go home sometime.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#64FE2E” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]This post originally appeared on SeriouslyGuys and HumorOutcasts.[/dropshadowbox]

Your Week in Seriously Times: Mar. 18 – 24, 2012

*ksht* No, what does MINE say? Over. *ksht*

Viking mice, skinny models, coregasms, space madness, and pot unions — believe it or not, this is not Warren Ellis dot Com. To the contrary, they are the topics of this week’s posts on SeriouslyGuys. Here’s the recap:

  • When next the Viking mice arrive, worry not, for some German descendant of the Vandals will crush them while holding a camera. (Mar. 19, 2012)
  • Israel throws a sandwich into our plan to keep breeding beautiful skinny people until they evolve into coat hangers. The end result of our breeding program? The Kwisatz Hatrack. (Mar. 20, 2012)
  • Now we know why men aren’t allowed into Curves: you can’t hear your music over all those mind-bending orgasms the women keep having. (Mar. 21, 2012)
  • Ask Dr. Snee: The doctor is back, and he’s answering spring-related letters from dieters, allergy sufferers, and the patient who broke his heart. (Mar. 21, 2012)
  • If you thought Ashton Kutcher was already insufferable, just wait until he comes back to Earth with Fantastic Four powers. Please, let it be orange rock. Please. (Mar. 22, 2012)
  • Medical marijuana dispensers have started unionizing. Looks like Kevin Smith was on(to) something in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. (Mar. 23, 2012)

Your Week in Seriously Times: Feb. 19 – 25, 2012

Yogis suggest belly-twisting beforehand to wring the toxins out for more productive spitting.

Soccer sucking, magma, spitting, women, booze, and Chuck Norris — What? No, I didn’t go CPAC. Those are just the topics from my SeriouslyGuys posts this week. Here’s the recap:

  • How long do you have to stick with something before you know it sucks? It took one Australian soccer team owner four years. (Feb. 20, 2012)
  • If you ever wondered why astronauts take long, jumping strides on the moon, it’s because THE FLOOR IS LAVA! (Feb. 21, 2012)
  • How to know your beer glass is clean, and what’s an age-appropriate designated driver in what may be the beginning of a new series: I can’t drink it for you. (Feb. 23, 2012)

Women are still mysterious

A little over a month ago, I began investigating the enigmas that are women — these eniginas, if you will — after learning that Stephen Hawking is wasting valuable research time thinking about them. (Get back to your black holes, sir. You study cosmology, not Cosmo.)

Well, it looks like my investigation has attracted the notice of Republican state and federal legislators, who — like Professor Hawking — often have a problem with wasting time on this issue. I’ll admit that my sources are lacking when it comes to the pull of congressional committees as I don’t have the power to summon religious leaders to answer my questions.

Is this how mysterious women have become, that when science fails, we must turn to our culturally relevant mythologies (not this year, Zeus) to finally figure out what makes ladies tick? The answer is, yes, short of asking women, this is the only way to solve the further mysteries of women. Mysteries like …

Mysteries like? Read the rest at either:

Your Week in Seriously Times: Jan. 22 – 28, 2012

What can I say? I love my readers.

Pain, evil beards, the Snuggie, Wheel, and … what was it? Oh, Canada. It was such a slow week that Arizona’s governor made the news for being a bitch to a dark person. Still, here’s the recap:

  • The next time your wife brags that women have a higher pain tolerance than men, you can now reply, “So, you’re just whiny?” Thanks, science for the divorce! (Jan. 23, 2012)
  • The Imagineers have done it again! Looks like the Epcot Ball was a bridge to an evil parallel universe. (Jan. 24, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: Turning blankets into clothes isn’t exactly a new idea. Here’s the history behind the Snuggie: it goes all the way back to the Paleolithic and a caveperson‘s coin purse. (Jan. 25, 2012)
  • Pat Sajak admitted that he and Vanna were drunk in early episodes of Wheel of Fortune. That settles one bet; now let’s find out if Alex Trebek really fed his mustache orphans like I swore he did in the ’80s. (Jan. 26, 2012)
  • I just don’t trust Canadians, with their beady little eyes, yellow heads, hook-like hands, and holes in their feet for locking into place. And now they’re up there, watching us poop. (Jan. 27, 2012)

Your Week in Seriously Times: Jan. 8 – 15, 2012

They were borked by God.

Axe, Polish jokes, James O’Keefe, and pirates finding god — just thinking about it makes me wonder got through the week. Here’s the recap:

  • How many Polish military lawyers does it take to shoot themselves in the head? At least two, because this one’s aim sucks. (Jan. 10, 2012)
  • Sweden gives the official “okey-dokey” to the Church of Kopimism, a religion founded by and for Internet pirates. Because, if anything tones down a socio-political movement, it’s by adding religion. (Jan. 13, 2012)