The research consistently shows that pay inequality exists between men and women in business. This pay inequality is also found within the ranks of senior executive women. In addition, entrepreneurial women business owners tend to have a lower fee scale than male business owners, for the same products and services. What startles me the most about this statistic is the fact that when senior executive women are asked if they know they are getting paid less than their male colleagues, they almost always answer yes. The next startling fact is the reason why these women are not getting paid their financial worth. The answer is quite simply that women do not get paid what their male colleagues do for the very simple reason that they do not ask for the salaries, benefits, perks etc. that men ask for. When women are asked why they don’t ask for what they deserve, the answer almost always boils down to a very simple response: they are afraid that if they ask for too much money they will not be liked.
Seriously?! These are the same women who will often negotiate like a tiger for their team to get the raises and bonuses they deserve. Yet, when it comes to negotiating for themselves, they purr like a kitten. The only way for pay equality to occur is for each individual woman to demand they get paid what they deserve; waiting for institutional change will be like searching for the Holy Grail.
Women and men are in business for many reasons and making money is one of them. Having a clear sense of who you are and what you bring to the table should provide you with the confidence and facts you need to get paid what you are worth. This is true for corporate and entrepreneurial women. My services and products do not come cheap because they are rooted in the fact that I know what I am worth based upon my years of experience and unique academic background. I often tell my audience and clients that I love what I do and I make a lot of money doing it – and I will not apologize for that! Additionally, I have never met a man who felt he was overpaid, have you?
As women, we must recognize the value of what we bring to our work and then demand, very respectfully, that we get it. Unless you are one of the lucky few, no one is going to do this for you!
Know what you are worth and get it – it is your individual responsibility!
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