Mind the pay gap
You know about the gender pay gap; worldwide, women only make 77 cents for every dollar men earn – with The Nordic Region and New Zealand considered the most gender-equal, closing in on 90 cents. What you might not know is the actual dollar figure the shortfall represents.
We hope you’re sitting down. Lower salaries, alongside other gendered financial setbacks (caregiving, divorce), mean you risk missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire. Generally, women hang up their powrsuits with 30% less in their nest eggs, then have the financially dubious advantage of living longer. Suffice it to say; the ‘retirement gap‘ hits hard.
Women can find it hard to put themselves first, but when it comes to money, we have to. Not only do systemic factors conspire against us, but we unknowingly conspire against ourselves.🤦🏼♀️ Many of us are guilty of choosing to conserve money (saving, budgeting), over growing it by maximising our pay and investing the proceeds (stay tuned for a future powr edition for the latter!).
Have you ever (incorrectly) assumed that if you do well, your performance will be recognised and rewarded? It’s ok; we’ve all been there! Salary secrecy means organisations can pay employees what they’ll accept, not necessarily what they deserve. While organisations are still (knowingly or unknowingly) paying different amounts for the same job, it’s up to you to ensure you receive a fair market rate for your contribution.
Because you’re worth it
Researchers have found that women underestimate their value across every industry and level. In a famous university study, students were given the same work and asked to pay themselves what they thought was fair. Men paid themselves 63% more than women. In another experiment, both genders were paid a fixed amount and asked to work as much as they thought was equitable. Guess who worked longer, harder, and did more accurate work? 💃🏻
Data from tech job search platform Otta recently revealed that women candidates suggest between 7-10% lower salary requirements than men – no matter the role or level of experience. Researchers explain that pay expectations come from a different sense of entitlement and self-worth. Thankfully there’s a solution.
Flash your cash
When women know what others are being paid, pay gaps have shown to disappear. In the same university study, another group of women were given fake data on payments to past study participants. Unsurprisingly, after viewing the data, women expected the same as what the male participants had received. Simply by knowing what others make, women are in a stronger position to peg the worth of their work and demand equal pay.
Organisations like Mind the Gap in NZ are celebrating companies committed to pay gap reporting. Also doing great work on salary transparency for our Kiwi Powrsuitors are our friends over at The Curve.
In structural attempts to right pay wrongs, legal moves are bringing income into the open. Many US states are passing laws requiring employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings or after the first interview. And some Aussie banks are reinvesting some of their super-profits in removing pay secrecy clauses. Are our eyes watering from those earnings or pride in their attempt to create a ‘more inclusive Australia‘? 😉 Sadly, many organisations are struggling to act in good faith with new regulatory requirements, proving that women can’t rely on structural changes to solve the problem.
By December, all women are effectively working for free. Global pay gaps between 10-23% mean that the average woman is only paid between 281-332 days out of a total of 365 days. With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, this week’s action could be more valuable than winning the lottery.
30 second action
Knowing the fair market value of your work is as easy as it is important!
If you work in an organisation with transparent pay policies, just ask to see where you sit. If you don’t, you can still search your local job market for your salary benchmark with Hays (Australia and NZ), Robert Walters (Global) and Glassdoor (Global), or if you are job seeking, try this hack.
You can, of course, always ask people in similar roles what they’re paid (gasp).
Learn how to negotiate your salary
In episode 1 of the PowrUp podcast, Nat and Kristen share their top tips for negotiating your salary. Learn how to be confident, prepared and calm and get what you deserve:
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