April 18, 2021

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s latest column in The Free Lance-Star is titled “Gender Inequity or COVID Craziness?”

MABEL was promoted several months ago after the previous person in the job, Jack, was asked to leave. Mabel wasn’t sure she wanted the position permanently, so asked if she could do it for a year. Towards the end of that year, she and her boss would have a discussion about her future. That time is approaching, and Mabel reached out to me to discuss some concerns.

When Mabel was asked to do the job, she learned that Jack’s salary had been $125,000. Yet Mabel was offered $85,000 to do the same job—a $23,000 pay increase for her. She was told that the lower salary was due to a COVID-19-related decline in revenue. The organization just could not afford to pay Mabel what it had paid Jack.

She asked me if I thought the lower salary was gender-related. I had no clue, as I don’t know her boss. I also don’t know how hard her organization has been hit financially by COVID. It is plausible that her supervisor is being truthful with her. It’s also possible they thought the organization could pay her less because she’s a woman.

She loves the work and wants to continue in the position, and has gotten strong hints from her supervisor that he wants her to continue. So what should she do? Read more.