Last week, I found out that a colleague of mine was suddenly laid-off. He had no advance warning, was a top performer, and didn’t see it coming. Needless to say, he was shocked. And terrified to be undergoing a job search with thousands of others in Silicon Valley.
Of course, my gut reaction to my colleague’s departure was an immediate increase in my worrying about my own job. It feels like every day there is a new company is announcing the downsizing of their employees. Add to it the stock market taking more dips than a speedy rollercoaster, my feeling nervous about my own job security is inevitable. That is, until my spouse pointed out that men taking the majority of the hits this time around.
Could my gender actually save my job?
With the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now surpass men in the labor force. Taking the majority for the first time in US history, the proportion of women who are working has changed very little. Instead the increase of women in the workforce is due to over 80 percent of the job losses hitting men.
So while I personally feel a little safer about my job security, I know that my spouse is at more risk to lose his job. Which ultimately is a lose-lose situation for our family.
Furthermore, I’m nervous that more women in the workplace could result in lower salaries overall. Combined with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, I fear that corporations will lower men’s salaries to women’s levels instead of raising women’s salary to men’s levels. Sadly, pay parity may not come from women rising up.
Let’s not forget that for every $1 a man takes home, a woman makes roughly 80 cents (more or less depending on your field). Are more men are being laid off because women are just as educated and hard working but are considerably cheaper?
I hope not.