Gov Charlie Baker just signed an equal pay law onto the books. Apparently, Elizabeth Rowe is now able to sue the BSO.
Here’s the deal: The BSO claims that they pay less money to those who play instruments typically played by women. So they claim it’s “role” not “worthiness of player” or “amount and quality of work done.”
As a female trumpet player I dealt with this with resignation, knowing that the boys/men were going to be favored no matter what I did, and also that any female player would be regarded by far too many as a sex object and not as as a serious musician. This was the way it was. I didn’t think I had much of a say in it, but the obvious sexism throughout the music world took its toll on me.
What about salaries for women percussionists and women trumpet players? Do they get a guy salary because they play guy instruments? I have an idea…wear a suit and tie. Will that raise your salary? Is dealing with rampant gender bias nothing but a losing battle?
To me, this is cut and dry. Apparently she asked the principle oboist what his salary was and she was not the only one shocked when they compared notes. The difference? 70 grand. Now the principle oboist is speaking out on the flutist Elizabeth Rowe’s behalf.
Law or none, give women equal pay! Why should this even take up the courts? Dear BSO, change your ways immediately and let’s be done with this!
Not only that, how about the grocery store, Walmart, Staples, and your local department store? They may offer equal pay, but who has the better chance of promotion? Who is treated better on the job?
And lastly, while lawyers are eager to take up Rowe’s case, given the monetary stakes, why don’t they help us smaller scale folks, too?
Oh…..maybe the answer is obviou$.