Not Quite Cause for Celebration…Yet

Radio co-hosts in Sydney, Australia are getting a lot of attention because the woman discovered she made a lot less money than the man, and he did something about it. Dave and Kate were a team, equal in their contribution to the show and he decided it wasn’t right that she was paid less, which it wasn’t. 

Dave made 40% more than she did for doing the show. Dave was upset, felt terrible. The pair discussed the issue on the air. Kate said, “You don’t need to feel terrible. It wasn’t your fault. You were born with two oranges and a string bag.” Salary isn’t usually discussed in radio. Is it elsewhere? There are many things that go into a person’s salary negotiations but a 40% gap is unforgivable.Kate took her beef to her manager and they raised her salary up to Dave’s for the rest of 2016 but he was due a previously negotiated raise this year and he turned it down, so they would still be paid the same.

Women broadcasters around the world celebrated. I didn’t jump for joy along with them and this is why. For what reason should Dave have to make less because he’s a decent enough guy to want to level the playing field? Why wasn’t Kate given the raise as well? Why should Dave have to lose on an earned increase in order to make things equal? It’s a start but it’s not quite a story worthy of the adulation it’s getting.

Dave did the right thing. Yay for Dave and I wish I’d worked with him several times over the years when the wage gap was massive, and I knew it, and it was only because I was female. But in a move that’s akin to a needle poking a full balloon, their employer KIIS-FM, didn’t evolve along with him. So, yes, let’s hope many men take a lesson from Dave but the KIIS-FMs of the world need to step up, too.

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