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“I fell off my chair.” the day they discovered the salaries of their colleagues and friends

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Since becoming a journalist, I have worked on the topic of equal pay. A topic that is unfortunately inexhaustible given the slow pace of progress. remember that in 2024 women will still earn 24% less than men for the same position in the private sector. Which remains an improved version of reality, as comparing the two salaries would still require doing so at equivalent ages and experience levels, but that’s another topic.

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However, something has changed for some time now. Women are starting to give up, yes. Not just asking for a raise, but realizing they had to. But investigating. From their side. And openly. During interviews, more and more of them, occupying high positions, confide to me that recently they have been found because of leaving a few minutes unattended on the table. And they opened it. Click clack, iPhone, photos.

The wage war is “it’s Marseille, baby”.
Predrag Popovski/Getty Images

Élisabeth Moreno, the former head of Lenovo France and former minister for gender equality, remembers the day when, running late to finish a file, she saw a series of printed letters at the photocopier, which had been left there, bemused or slightly. tired HR manager… “I read them. And I fell off my chair,” he says to this day with a trace of surprise on his face. At an advanced stage in his career, he discovered how much his daily companions actually earned. More precisely, how much less he earned than them. This episode opened his eyes forever.

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In his latest book, Gentlemen, one more effort (Éditions Flammarion) Elisabeth Badinter confirms this. the women whistle the end of the match. They would no longer accept, the philosopher argues, the rules of the game that predestined them as eternal losers. Does the government undertake the transparency of salary slips? Women finally dare to talk about money. And the least we can say is that the subject is very opaque. Have you tried it around? Ask co-workers you’re close enough to if they’ll agree to disclose their salary, the amount of perks or bonuses, and you’ll also disclose yours. Thrills are guaranteed. The result may hurt. Fortunately, the surprise effect is sometimes numbing. Like taking off a bandage, it stings a little at first, but at least you’ll know exactly where you stand. You will even see very clearly.

The former is fascinated by kindergarten

I advise you to try the exercise with others as well. Recently, as I was discussing with a friend who is negotiating to leave his company, the compensation he was hoping to get elsewhere and to give him a better return, I sat down to hear the amount requested, which meant a much higher salary than the mine. while he works fewer hours than me and with much more flexibility in the equivalent sector. We discussed it. He explained to me how he built this annual salary, lower on a fixed basis, more on bonuses and contracts that he reported directly to his employer.

Could we have had this conversation two years ago? He gave me courage. First, because the salary thresholds that seemed difficult to reach for us, good students that we are, are not so difficult. And then, because, as in mathematics, the more we talk about numbers, the more they become a language. The edges of progress are established in our heads, energy flows through our veins, the well-known feeling of a cheater once sits in his corner. Talking about the value of other people’s work helps us appreciate our own. And this is the best service we can collectively provide to ourselves.

Learn how to have fruitful conversations
Mary Long/Getty Images

My diagnosis

If you also feel that the revaluation of your 500 euro gross salary is a mountain climb, you can:

– to be trained by a man. Which, in aerospace terms, and in terms of acceleration, should be equivalent to Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound.

– make a table of numbers. The salary of your colleagues in the same position, yours, base, whatever. And use it.

look Madame Figaro Business master classes dedicated to money.

– study the topic. Keep up the conversation with your friends, always. Who spends what in their relationship? How much is left for them? Have they installed or are they installing? Here again you can be very surprised. Same with your husband. can we list each person’s savings (and number of accounts) on a white sheet? A small inventory that has no object other than knowledge. I could not say otherwise. talking about money is the best way to progress.

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To ponder before the next letter.

“Money is like talent. you don’t have to have it to talk about it.” Jules Renard (Remastered).

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” Woody Allen

“Ignorance of the facts does not protect you from the consequences.” Anonymous proverb.

Source: Le Figaro

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