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September 28, 2016


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mary ann

Whenever I see an email from your blog in my inbox, I feel a burst of joy.

I left my job and set up a business with my husband as I couldn't deal with the mentality in the offices where I worked. However, it wasn't just the men; I had a few women bosses who weren't much better.


So since we're finally tired of 8 years of everything being about race, do we now get to spend the next 4 with everything being about gender...?



Syd, love your blog and appreciate this post. As a semi-retired lawyer who went to law school back in the 1970's when only 25% of the class were women, I have had experiences similar to yours. At the beginning of my career, I got comments that I looked too young to be a lawyer and that I wasn't "mean enough" to be a good lawyer. Later on in my career I actually had legal documents I prepared signed off by a male attorney junior to me with my name appearing nowhere in the document even though the work product was 100% mine. In my semi-retirement I am self-employed and find that most of my clients are women. It is wonderful! I can totally understand where Hillary is coming from. The battles for equality are far from over as a certain party is working hard to deny women even their reproductive rights. Civility is sadly lacking and it seems for some party is more important than country. I will be glad when this election is over and my hope is that once elected the President, House and Senate all work together for the good of the country. Wishful thinking, I know.

Angela Nicolini

Hi Sydney… Just now catching up on your blog. It takes a lot of courage to post a viewpoint that you know will ruffle feathers. I am almost to the point where I can make my own thoughts known, without being tied to the responses I will get. Of course, I agree with your post, so I am not offended. I have been trying to understand why half of our population has rallied behind a man who appears so angry and acts like a bully. I think he is speaking to people's fears. People are afraid… a lot of the time from things that would make them appear racist, or sexist, or like big jerks. And even though Trump comes across as a loudmouth moron, he is giving people permission to speak what's on their mind, all be it in a not-very-nice way. At least their thoughts are out in the open... and we can see where people are coming from clear as day ... and maybe we can address those issues to make things better. Hopefully, somehow, some healing will come from all of this in the end. At this point, though, it seems like an uphill battle. This makes me very tired.

Your New Fan

Syd - Glad to see you posting again! But I was LMAO instead of yelling at the TV but I'll leave it at that.

Your cat is beautiful and please don't let anybody try to shut you or your opinion down.

Your opinions are always welcome and your posting/blogging style is a breath of fresh air.


I have refused to watch electoral news as I already know who I'm voting for and I find it upsetting. I smiled and thought of you yesterday- I was on the phone with the home office yesterday when the customer service guy told me I would have to talk about that with my "supervisor" I explained (Shouted probably in frustration) that I AM the supervisor. His tone of voice changed immediately. In his defense, my industry is largely male. On the other hand I was asked to join a "women's inclusion group" and refused. I don't want to be evaluated as a woman- just on my merits like every other employee. Why is this so hard in 2016?


Coming late to this party... reading the comments, I find it amusing that a number of (mostly male) readers lecture you on the content of your post, i.e., that politics is an unseemly theme. I suspect if your political persuasion matched theirs, they wouldn't be saying this. Excuse me, whose blog is it?


I have a few thoughts on your post. I am also a CPA so I get the opportunity to work with many businesses in various industries. I have access to salary information, etc. I do not see the kind of gender discrimination that you describe but have no doubt that it exists in some places. What I do not believe is that it is rampant. What I know is that when someone is hired to replace an employee that left (male or female), they are often paid much higher than the employee that left. The reason that I suspect is that it is more difficult to attract a qualified candidate than it is to keep one. Unfortunately, many companies will pay someone only what it takes to keep them from leaving. But that has nothing to do with gender. Most of the time when a high level employee leaves, the company ends up paying much more to the replacement. The exception would be if they are replaced from within the company.

The other thing that I think happens is that we all take some criticisms in our jobs (male and female), both constructive and those that are in bad taste. Most of the comments directed at me, when negative, are simply washed off without a second thought. However, someone with an edge that believes that they are being discriminated against would file many of those comments away in their mind so that they can bring them back out on occasion to convince themselves that they were discriminated against. So while one person thinks "your opinion only", another thinks "discrimination!".

For what it's worth, I think both candidates are a national disgrace. Does that mean I just lost 100% of my audience?

Retired Syd

JA: I appreciate your taking the time to think about my post and your contribution to the discussion. I agree with most everything you say. And several commenters have observed that quite frequently a new hire is paid more than the older hire (I'm not sure 50% more is typical however.) As for whether it's "rampant," I'm not trying to make an argument that it is. But aggregate pay data suggests it could be one of the factors (I repeat one of the factors) that explains the gender pay gap. Under the circumstance of someone leaving his or her job, the replacement could be a man or a woman. And if it were a woman replacing a man, she might be offered more than the departing man, right? So in aggregate, with departing men and women, and men and women replacing departing men and women, you'd see in aggregate similar pay levels, right? But you don't see that in aggregate. I have never seen a study showing the relative pay levels in these situations. But I have seen a recent one indicating that women do negotiate as frequently as men do, indicating that failure to negotiate is not the culprit.

As a side note when I was hired, I was not paid more than the woman I was replacing. She had a couple years more experience than I had so that does not seem surprising to me.

I'd also like to add, because a few commenters have mentioned this. I never said I was "discriminated against". In fact I mentioned that I did quite well. I just described the circumstances. Some people view them as unfair, some do not. Most likely how you view it has to do with your own life experiences, right?


Retired Syd: you make a strong case, but I believe there are many factors that are at play in the gender pay gap, none of which I want to debate. At any rate, I appreciate the thoughtful response and look forward to your posts. Just wish there weren't such long gaps between posts sometimes :)


Eh hem.

So if a man costs 20% more to have do the exact same job as a woman, why aren't all the men being fired?

Retired Syd

Lulu: Well obviously because men are 20% better than women.


Syd - I guess I have to reluctantly agree with you.

I know how aggressive they are about reducing costs in my company. If there was a way to reduce employee expenses by 20% without reducing productivity, they wouldn't hesitate.

Keep the articles coming, Lu

Tony in the UK

Hi Syd, as a frequent reader over many years, I look forward to your posts - more please, and longer. Your earlier posts were a great help in my decision to take my own early retirement at 52. Keep it up.
I am constantly amazed at how commenters feel they can just get right in there and criticise the blogger on their own site and tell them what to do. In the U.K. (Where I am from) we see the same from commenters about the Brexit vote, on many US sites I see the same and worse relating to the election. Why do people get so exercised? On a blog with at best a few hundred viewers? Pathetic. Politics is clearly much more important in the US, though for the Presidential election I can't understand why! Seems to me the President has limited power these days, as the two main party support is so equal, as it is in the U.K. But we have a different system - our Prime Minister is not elected per se, he or she is simply the leader of the party who gets more votes, rather than having an independent election for the main man/woman.
To come on here and call you out for daring to mention politics is a disgrace.
As is clearly shown above, Syd is far too polite and level headed to call out the idiocy and ignorance of this, so I'll take the opportunity - Glenn, Steel and No-Brain-to-notice, chill out guys. This is Syd's playground, leave her to it. I am sure you will not be missed should you choose to follow a blog more suited to your mentalities.

Philip Carter

As a business owner and male, I have been careful to make sure I don't get into the easy and sometimes expedient habit of hiring men because I think it's easy. I used to get frustrated when my female employees have to go on Maternity leave and I have to hire someone, temporarily to do their work and give them their job back when they get back. Then we started having kids and my wife's experience opened my eyes. I think most men will do the right thing if only they understood the underlying factors. One may say, "well, most of those men doing this are married and have kids". Well, they may do, but directly experiencing something and being around it is different. And after about 10 years of business, I actually now hire more women than men, especially in key positions. Why? Because they work harder and are more loyal, if you are flexible and don't pigeon hole them. My 2 cents.

Glenn Dixon

Personally, I appreciated your stories and your political comments. This is my first visit to your blog so I have very little context, but some of the reactions to this post are interesting in what they reveal. Your responses are certainly a lot more gracious and level-headed than I could muster! Kudos for that.

I look forward to reading more here...

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