Regina Barr, President, Red Ladder Inc., Founder, Women at the Top®, Moneyweave® Academy Board Member
Women must start talking about money! When it comes to negotiating salaries, women tend to avoid the conversation like the plague. According to a study by Career Builder, it’s likely that many women may not negotiate for their salary because they feel that asking for more money makes them appear greedy.
Because this topic is so important, Moneyweave® Academy has dedicated the entire month of August to a three-part blog series by Regina Barr, President of Red Ladder Inc, Founder of Women at the Top® and Moneyweave® Academy Board Member. We will release one part each week followed by a live podcast on Wednesday, August 24 at 12 noon CT. These blog posts will provide a bigger picture of the challenges women face.
Why Do Women Make Less Money?
Different people say different things, but what I believe is that women don’t ask. What’s fascinating is when young women come out of college or right into the workforce, the ‘paying field’ (not the playing field) is level. By the first or second promotion at work, the ‘paying field’ starts to change. When you compare young women who graduate from college versus women who have exited the workforce, you may expect the salary increases to be similar. But that’s not the case. Why?
Often, young women just don’t ask. They don’t ask for what they want and they don’t ask for what they deserve. And that’s a big problem.
Is It Cultural?
That may have something to do with it. Women are culturally trained not to ask for what they need and deserve. They are trained—wired might be a better word—to take care of others first. A mother will negotiate and go to the mat for her children in mind-boggling ways, but she won’t go to such great lengths for herself. Women tend to focus outwardly on others as opposed to focusing inwardly on themselves. That needs to change and women need to think in terms of “win-win” scenarios and ask for them.
Earning Less Can Have a Life-Long Impact
Women often have sole responsibility for themselves and others. Think of single-family households where the woman is the primary breadwinner. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, in the U.S. children living in single-parent households has been rising.
Another important statistic is that women live longer than men. If women earn less than men it could mean women have less money in retirement. Because women live longer, they end up being caregivers for a longer time. They may end up taking care of elderly parents, siblings, their children, and themselves.
All these factors can impact women. They may end up not having enough money to support themselves, or worse, end up living in poverty.
Time Is Money for Women Also
Women tend to not put a value on their time. They equate the things they do as “free” because they’re things that don’t have a price tag. However, time is money and women need to rethink how they view time. A good starting point is to allocate a dollar value to time spent.
Try this: The next time someone asks you to do something, pretend you would have to give up $100 for it. Then ask yourself, would you be willing to give up that $100? If not, then you need to say “no”.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
Do you find yourself saying “yes” to just about everything you’re asked to do? You know the old saying, “You want something done, give it to a busy person.” Even better, ask a busy woman.
Women can make things happen, but they need to learn how to be strategic in what they say yes to. If women become conscious of those decisions, then they can do the things that have the highest value and give them the biggest return on investment (ROI). Women would be further ahead if they started making a clearer relationship between their time and ROI.
Make an Investment That Pays Off
Women invest in others, but they don’t typically invest in self-development. That’s a shame because investing in self-development can go a long way in helping to get what’s deserved. Women can, and have, excelled as students. As mentees, they’re eager to soak up advice. When they’re coached, they can soar. These types of investments can keep paying dividends for an entire lifetime.
It all starts with your salary, which is why it’s important to earn what you’re worth.
But how do you know what you’re worth? Test your money smarts, figure out how much you really need for retirement, and learn about the importance of financial literacy at Moneyweave® Academy.
Stay tuned for Part Two in our series on this important topic when Regina Barr will be talking about Earn What You’re Worth: Three Actions to Put More Money in Your Pocket to be released next week. You’ll gain more information and insights on what you can do to close the pay equity gap and level the ‘paying field.’
Want to learn more about how you can Earn What You’re Worth? Visit ReginaBarr.com to learn more about Regina Barr and her events, blogs, videos, and other resources on this subject and more.
Speaker. Coach. Consultant.
“Dream Big. Take Action. Make It Happen.”
President, Red Ladder Inc.
Founder, Women at the Top®
Moneyweave® Academy Board Member