Last Monday, we talked about the women in the years before us and how hard they worked for us. These women fought diligently so we could be where we are today and flourish to our fullest and greatest potential. We are doing just that, but there has been a distinct gap between the pay of men and women in the workforce. Why is that gap still a prevalent aspect of today’s workplace society? What can we, as women, do to shrink and ultimately erase the gap?
In 2010, the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey of 600,000 full-time employees. When the facts came in it turned out that for every $824 a male earned, a woman earned just $669. That’s just 81.1% of the average male income. Ten years earlier, in 2000, women were making 78.2% less than men. Do you feel as if you’re underpaid at your current position? What prevents you from asking for more money?
While the gap in pay and status is staggering, I can’t help but wonder if women are just not informed in regards to what they should be paid? There are plenty of websites like indeed.com, salary.com, and payscale.com that provide us with salary ranges based on city and region. This information is readily available to us, so I’m left to believe our fight for equality could very well be a distraction to the real problem at hand.
The Wall Street Journal asked the question: “Why Are Women-Owned Firms Smaller Than Men-Owned Ones?” The article goes on to describe how female-owned businesses brought in 27% less revenue than male-owned. The answer to this question was, “There are those who will say that these numbers substantiate what they always knew: Women just don’t have what it takes to start and run a substantial, growing business.” Now I have a question. Why is it so often assumed that women don’t have what it takes to run a business? We have what it takes. Why are we holding back? This is our inner-voice keeping us down, and trapping us within our safety zones. We are simply not valuing our time and services at market rates.
I think the real, overbearing issue is dealing with our own internal conversation of unworthiness. Tackle your mean inner voice that has you believing you are not worthy of what you deserve. Below, I have listed a few proven techniques you can use to diminish the negativity of your internal conversation and continue to flourish and progress at work.
First, self-education on topics that you want to be proficient in. Money, finance, statistics, negotiating are all important aspects to be fluent in while at work. Learn and practice these skills with other people in real life and have discussions on a regular basis as to whether or not you are grasping the concepts. If you feel as if you’re underpaid, do the research on your industry and find the pay scale. Know your skill set and what you bring to the table. Work on the skill sets you have weakness in and practice asking for what you want. Demonstrate in concrete terms your value and stand firm on your offer. Understanding all aspects of the issue makes it easier to solve.
Next, meditation is an excellent technique to build confidence and self-awareness of what triggers your inner-negativity. Meditating regularly relieves everyday stresses and allows you to focus on yourself.
Last, journal writing, is a form of therapy that you can use to work out all of your anxiety around asking for more money or your fear for rejection. Just allowing yourself to expel your feelings and seeing them written down will create a new awareness and call to action of how you can overcome them.
In today’s society, it’s important as women to focus on ourselves. The work has been done for the masses of women in previous years, and today is for us. The women before us fought to get us where we are today. We are more than allowed to stand up for ourselves and get what we want while at work. If we all focus on ourselves, the collective whole of women will be making even more strides to full equality.
Money and business are genderless and follow certain rules and laws that if played correctly yield specific results. The best part is that you can play in the game of business and money using your unique differences as a woman. Now more than ever we can also be the creators of a new workplace equality that will result with the kind of acknowledgement, money and positions we most desire without compromising our femininity.
Don’t look for who’s at fault. Instead, focus on what to change within yourself to flourish and excel in your area of expertise. Join us on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7pm on Google+ Hangout, sign-up here. In the Hangout, there will be a panel of professional experts offering their advice to any inquiries you may have in regards to your time at work. You will leave with a better understanding of how you can be the best version of yourself and succeed while doing so.