I need to complain about my workplace. I’ve known for a while that there’s a gender pay gap at my work (I’ve heard this from multiple people in HR and staff in the organization who work on gender issues. It’s not a secret). I decided to bring this up with my boss a few weeks ago and ask for a raise. I work in the public sector and salaries over a certain level are made public, so I looked at the salary list to see what my coworkers at the same level make, and confirmed that yeah, they all get paid more than me. There’s only one other person at my level who doesn’t make enough to have her salary listed publicly (so presumably she makes around what I do) and it’s the only woman of colour at my level in my area.

So I brought this up with my boss and asked for a raise, and she said that she was aware that I was getting paid less and would look into whether I could get a raise to be on a level playing field with a male coworker (though she couldn’t make any promises). So it was great that she was supportive, but also infuriating that I have to push to get paid at the same level as this guy. I’ve been doing this job for 5 years, and he’s been here for 6 months and is less qualified and is somehow making more than me. And I’m still the one who has to do extra work like filling in for my boss when she’s away, which is a good development opportunity for me, but also if I’m the one you trust to do this why the fuck am I getting paid less?

It has been really hard to stay motivated at work knowing I’m underpaid. I kind of knew it all along, but seeing the numbers and hearing it from my boss was really demoralizing. Why work hard to do a good job when my work won’t be valued? It is extra frustrating because the senior leadership talks about equality, and specifically how the gender pay gap is a problem, but they’re introducing policies that make the pay gap in their own organization worse.