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Wednesday Wisdom: Women Getting Paid Their Full Value

May 31, 2017

Business advice for women, businesswomen, and female entrepreneurs

As I prepare to be on WCNY’s Insight television program talking about pay inequality facing women entrepreneurs, I conducted research on the topic. If you are alive and a woman with a generation of mothers and grandmothers, you know women haven’t earned the same income as men. We never have and frankly I wonder if we ever will. Being asked to discuss this topic from an entrepreneurial perspective, I wanted to be really prepared to not only give my reasons for working hard for women’s pay equality through Women TIES but what other studies discovered.

As I read the reasons business women earn less than men over their lifetime, it made perfect sense as I viewed my personal choices in the rear view mirror to serve as an example. Read and see if these reasons resonate with you.

* When I was due to give birth to my first son, I planned on returning to a 40+ week job until the moment I was faced with buying diapers to give to a babysitter to change him (and in my mind raise him). I returned to work and within two months created a part time job for myself at work so I could be with him more. I choose to lower my salary and diminish my retirement savings. I do not regret the decision. It was mine to make.

* When I tried selling my first ever entrepreneurial job and the person on the other end of the phone asked my hourly rate, I stuttered,”Um….$40 an hour?” I was not prepared to answer that question. My first real business contract was actually at $25 per hour since I downgraded my value based on not being able to answer the phone question. 3 years later after doing a full business plan, I raised my rates.

* After being asked to create a 4 day event from scratch with sponsorship levels, marketing exposure and staffing, I added up the hours multiplied by my hourly rate. I ended up decreasing the final price before talking to the client because it “seemed like too much money.” For whom was it too much? The client ended up with a $5,000 profit and weren’t willing to share the profits with me. If I priced right, the profit would have been mine.

An article I read on this subject proved what my examples just proved to you that women entrepreneurs pay themselves less than their male counterparts. The sentence that stood out was, “Systemic views on what it is like to be paid as a woman reach beyond what employers choose to pay her, and into the cognitive views society has placed on women for what she perceives is her full value.”

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom must inspire you at this moment to ask one simple (but loaded) question,”Do I get paid what I am worth?” In other words, are you charging what you think “YOU” are worth or what your position, expertise, experience, education, and the marketplace says you are worth? When was the last time you researched what entrepreneurs (not just women) in your profession are earning? Women tend to do market research when they start or update their business plans but not frequent enough.

I challenge you today to start valuing yourself more and asking the best price you should get for your talent level. You are worth so much more, so charge more.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2017 9:25 am

    Very good point Tracy! As entrepreneurs, we need to value what we bring to the table….and that needs to trickle into the traditional workplace too. However, it seems that many companies must have their hands forced to bring equal pay into their workplaces! What a shame!

    Like

    • May 31, 2017 9:30 am

      Kimberly,

      The panel this morning has a couple other women on it so I’ll let you know what suggestions the TV moderator and panel give to this issue. I believe we need regulation to get equal pay or it will not happen on its own. The pay gap is most equal with teachers who have unions. Women in all fields need laws to protect us. The world is still too unequal for women.

      Have a great money day!
      Tracy

      Like

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