I read the article “Nurses speak out about gender pay gap”. Thank you for presenting this important topic. I was employed as a clinical research nurse at a medical school, and I hired a male nurse as an assistant. He was a new associate-degree graduate, but I had a BSN and 15 years of experience.
During my annual review, I was told I was doing a spectacular job. My boss, a male physician, lamented that despite this, he could not offer me a raise because funds were short. Since I was responsible for the budget, I was privy to others’ salaries. Six months after hiring my assistant, he received a salary increase that put his salary above mine. I went to the boss for an explanation. His response was that the nurse was married and his wife was pregnant, so he needed more money. To add insult to injury, he said, “You’re married and your husband has a good job,” as if merit, experience and education made no difference. I also had a child.
I told him that I would not feel comfortable supervising someone who made more money than I did. As a result, I received the raise that he told me he couldn’t afford. But I never got over his rationale, and I bet it still plays a role in the gender pay gap today.
— Name withheld