Six Unfortunate but Real Reasons Women Are Paid Less Than Men

Photo | Shutterstock

Photo | Shutterstock

To all women: Yes, you are paid less than men.

There is no doubt. I see this with my clients. I see this at other companies I visit — both large and small. You are being discriminated against. You are being treated unfairly. You are still not considered equals in many workplaces — not everywhere, but in many, many companies. Why is this still the case, even in 2014? From my observations of the business world, I can list these six common reasons cited:

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Five Tips for Actually Meeting the Pope

Vatican Pope Family Meeting

Does it surprise you that Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett were blown off by the pope? Doesn’t surprise me at all.

There’s a pecking order to life. You blow off the financial services guy who calls during dinner. A beautiful girl gets hit on by an average looking guy and opts for the quarterback instead. Even I, a lowly small business owner, am often asked to meet for coffee or lunch with people that want to “network” or “learn more” or “share ideas” and most of the time I just have to say no. We all have to choose how we spend our time. The pope could be meeting and hearing the pleas of mayors and governors from the cities, towns, provinces and protectorates of hundreds of countries every minute of the day. But he chooses not to.

Clearly, the pope visiting Philadelphia is something that could be handled at a lower level without taking up the Pontiff’s time. The decision didn’t require a private meeting between the man on earth closest to God and two dudes from Pennsylvania. A little groveling from them at a public session sufficed.

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How to Thank Philadelphia Principals for Their Pay Cut? Let Them Do Their Jobs.

Philadelphia School District Building

This week, and by an overwhelming 83% margin, the union representing Philadelphia’s high school principals agreed to enormous pay cuts, a 10-month work year, and to contribute more toward their health insurance. We are grateful. We thank you.

“There’s not a cavalry coming,” union president Robert McGrogan said. “With a new fiscal year on our doorstep, we needed to do something to help right the district. We’ve ratified a contract, but we’re hardly celebrating.”

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12 Things You Need to Stop Whining About Now

Photo |

Photo |

Got complaints?  Hate your life?  Please stop whining.  I don’t want to hear it.  And I especially don’t want to hear…

I don’t feel good. Really?  Your tummy hurts?  You have a headache?  A bug?  In 1918 a flu pandemic killed 100 million people. Today you go to the Acme and get a flu shot for $15.  In 1952, 38,000 people contracted polio in America alone. Polio? Gone. So, please.  Go to work. You’re not sick.  You’re just hung-over.

More things Gene Marks would like you to just shut up about after the jump »

Fixing Academia: 5 Ways To Save St. Joe’s (and Every University Like It)

Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Saint Joseph's Hawks mascot. The Hawk, during the second half against the LSU Tigers at ESPN Wide World of Sports. LSU Tigers defeated the Saint Joseph's Hawks 82-65. Photo | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Saint Joseph’s Hawks mascot. The Hawk, during the second half against the LSU Tigers at ESPN Wide World of Sports. LSU Tigers defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 82-65. Photo | Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

St. Joseph’s University is facing financial problems. Revenue is not as high as projected. Expenses continue to rise. So they’re implementing budgetary cutbacks. Last year the university ran a $4.4 million deficit. Wow, what a huge surprise, right?

I don’t mean to pick on St. Joe’s. It is an excellent college. I have a St. Joe’s grad working for me and I often meet the school’s alumni in the business world and find them to be smart and successful.  Also, I live near the campus (my kids often play soccer on their turf field) and I think their outreach to the community is great. I want them to succeed. But the university is facing a problem that many other excellent colleges in the area and around the country are facing: the problem of potential extinction.

People just can’t afford to pay $50-60K a year for a college education, even if it’s at a good school like St. Joe’s. The payback just isn’t there. The numbers don’t make sense. St. Joe’s has to make some hard and unpopular adjustments if they want to survive. Adjustments that won’t compromise their standards or reputation. And I’ve got a few tough ones to recommend.

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16 More Punishments for Pete Ciarrocchi of Chickie’s and Pete’s

From the “You’re A Total Douche” section of this week’s metro news we present to you Peter Ciarrocchi Jr., the owner of the famous local sports bar and eatery Chickie’s & Pete’s. Ciarrocchi has agreed to pay $8.52 million in back wages and damages to employees for illegally docking a portion of their tips and failing to properly pay minimum wage, overtime and other required income.

According to the story, servers alleged that they were routinely docked 2 percent to 4 percent of total table sales, a practice employees routinely called “Pete’s Tax.” How nice!

The investigation found that the practice was an established part of the business’ operations and that servers were expected to pay at the end of their shifts even when tips were not in cash but on credit card charges. As a result, servers sometimes had to borrow money from coworkers or take cash from ATMs to make their payments. “These just weren’t violations,” Brian Johnson, a regional director of enforcement for the Labor Department said. “This was part of [Ciarrocchi's] business model.”

Ciarrocchi Jr. called the settlement “the right thing to do.”

What Pete did was disgraceful and embarrassing to any business owner (like me) who employs people. It gives fuel to those who hate the “1 percent” and makes business people look evil in a political environment where businesses are not currently considered to be heroes.

I say that Pete is not being punished enough. He needs to really pay. And I’ve got a few suggestions to add to his sentence. Your honor, do we still have time to make a few adjustments?  If so, I’d also require Pete to….

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37 Lessons From the Philadelphia Winter That Won’t End

City Hall snowfall

I know, I know. There’s still a month left in one of the toughest winters ever. I don’t know about you, but this winter’s been pretty good for me so far. Why? Because I’ve learned a lot of new things and I want to share them with you. For example:

1. You can pretty much have your dog poop anywhere you want – it all turns into rock-like pellets that, within minutes, you can just kick it into your neighbor’s yard.

2. Forget about Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook — some smart kid can make a boatload of money figuring out how to solve the pothole problem.

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If Tom Corbett Wants to Get Reelected, He’s Going to Have to Move to Philadelphia

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Tom Corbett. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Governor Tom Corbett, you’ve got a mountain to climb. But I believe I can help you win re-election.

For the most part, you’d think I’d be a big supporter of yours. You’re a Republican. I’m a Republican. You’re a fiscal conservative. I’m a fiscal conservative. You want less government and more privatization (like our state store and lottery systems) and I agree with this, too. You want to reform our bloated pension system, and who can argue with that? (Unless of course you’re a beneficiary of said system.) And even though you’re a private enterprise guy like me, you also want the state to increase its oversight over the “fracking” activities to minimize their environmental impact. I think that’s a good idea too. You’re a low-tax, pro-business Governor and of course I like that. And best of all… you’re a middle aged white guy with a nice family. Hey, me too!

But even I’m not so sure about you.

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CVS To Stop Selling Cigarettes … But Is That Enough?



Wednesday, drugstore chain CVS announced that it will no longer sell tobacco products. (And now people want Walgreens to follow suit.) The move will cost them upward of $2 billion in revenue and is part of an effort to be more of a healthcare company. Many are applauding the move. I agree. But why stop there? Ever been to a CVS? There are plenty of other products that they sell that should also be taken off the shelves. I can think of 16 right of the top of my head.

Shampoo.  Nope, haven’t used the stuff in years. And you wouldn’t believe what I save on barber visits. Someday I’ll sit you down and explain to you some of the benefits of being bald. I see a lot of bald guys around like me. Not sure what all that shampoo fuss is about.

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