“Her Husband’s Onsite… She Doesn’t Need A Salary Hike!” Huh? Isn’t My Salary For My Work?

Posted: May 15, 2019

An employee’s salary hike should depend upon their work and effort, right? Then why did this woman’s boss decide that she didn’t ‘need’ a hike because her husband was posted onsite? Is her salary just an optional ‘add-on?

“Her husband’s onsite, she carries an iphone; so she doesn’t need the salary hike”.  Yes, these are the exact lines by my manager while we were in a casual tea break with the entire team. I couldn’t understand why he said so and took it lightly, while the guys in the team laughed and giggled.

However, while I ignored his statement in front of the team then, it still kept banging my head again and again. Was it actually a joke? Did he really mean so? He must be just kidding was what I was trying to convince myself.

The next day I was sitting with some of my female colleagues, and this topic was touched upon. They reacted on the manager’s words, and asked me to talk to him.

The diversity ratio of my team is around 15%. So ‘subtle’ sexist jokes, passing such work related remarks on female colleagues, was something which was often ignored and taken casually considering our male colleagues were our friends. Comments like “Your salary is your pocket money”, ” Why do you need to come to office, yours is just a secondary income” etc etc eventually became a part of our tea time discussions.   Of course we did not like such nonsense thoughts of our friends and tried to hint to them of our disapproval during such talk, but they wouldn’t understand.

Well, coming back to my manager’s comment, I realised that he was getting influenced by such comments in the team, and his comment was not merely a comment, but he actually believed that. To solve the issue, I had to set up a meeting with him to discuss on this further. Also, in parallel, we alerted our male colleagues to refrain from such taunts, and that we would need to contact HR if they didn’t.

When I spoke to my manager about it, his ‘witty’ smile irritated me like anything. He said he didn’t really mean it like that, and it was all unbiased. Eventually, I did get the hike, though it was low, but then I couldn’t argue with him any more.

But this incident made me think about the reality that women are still being judged based on their husband’s work. I come to office, I deliver projects, I work weekends and late nights just to ensure project dates are not missed. My sweat and blood has gone into this project! So how come the hikes and promotions are being decided upon by my husband’s onsite trip?

Nevertheless, I am happy that I was able to at least go and talk to the manager and other guys of the team, and got the things straightened.

As women, at times we tend to ignore things which might turn out to be like digging our own grave later. It needs to stop; we shouldn’t have to tolerate this nonsense any longer. Take charge of your rights, and let’s work together on bringing this change.

Have you encountered such an instance in your personal or professional life?

Image source: shutterstock

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