Happy #EqualPayDay everyone! Well, kind of…Every time #EqualPayDay rolls around, I kinda get this gut reaction initially, that says something like: “Should I clap, get the protest placards out, or just bury my head in a giant tub of sea salt caramel ice cream?”
I mean, after all, yes, #EqualPayDay has been on our radar (an calendars) since 1996 when it was created by the National Committee on Equal Pay. Although we’ve come a long way from women being relegated to cooking and cleaning, as of 2016, women are still 74 cents for every dollar a mean earns for the same job! And if you add to that the fact that women still handle the majority of all household work, and that laundry never seems to end, you see what I mean…
So how do we stop and celebrate, when we’re still not there in terms of equal pay? And how can we turn this day into positive, fruitful action we can all take, men AND women, to get closer to the day when Happy #EqualPayDay will actually mean that Joe and I can compare paychecks without having to call security, ya know?
So before I go back to my tub of sea salt caramel ice cream, here are a few ways we, as women AND men, can get closer to that day and actually mean it when we say Happy #EqualPayDay:
Negotiate that Salary!
As in, yes, ask for the money you want, deserve and should be getting! I know it’s trickier than it sounds, and I’m the first offender in the line of women who don’t always ask for what they want. And that’s a problem, I realize it…
Did you know men are four times more likely to ask for a raise than women? Which also means they have four more chances to making more money than you, I and LaShonda? Because you, I and LaShonda are too busy sticking by the rules, keeping our heads down, and not taking that fateful walk to the boss’s office to ask for more money…
What this also means is that over the course of our lives, we’ll make significantly less money then men. Which also lowers the bar for other women like us who would like the opportunity to make more, ask for more, and receive more, but are slowed down because so many of us are keeping silent! Translation: we’re all losing at the game of keeping quiet when it comes to equal pay!
The point is, if one of us is willing to negotiate a better salary, then so many others among us can step in and ask for more as well! So this year, let’s commit to asking for more. Because that old saying that “women don’t ask” needs to stop here and now..
Know your worth!
Everybody loves discounts, including your boss, organization and company at large! Which means if you’re willing to discount your skills, value and worth, you may receive just that! Not knowing our worth and value as women at work not only puts us at a disadvantage, but it also deepens the wage gap from the very foundation…
Do you know what your skills are actually worth? Don’t get me wrong, it can be challenging to know at times, because so much depends on us. However, settling down for less doesn’t work in the long run…
So today, make a commitment to finding how much you’re really worth and demanding it from your work! Consult the Payscale salary center, get your free salary report, or just ask mentors and leaders around you for guidance. Remember: when you know what you’re worth, you won’t give people discounts!
You have a voice, so use it! Whether it’s in denouncing the lack of diversity in your organization, in the candidate pool, or generally around you, let your voice be heard! It could be as simple as mentioning the fact that there are too few women on a certain project. Or just recommending a female candidate to your boss! Whatever it is that you feel strongly about, don’t hesitate to express it.
Afraid? Intimidated? You will be…But the impact that you can have, and the leverage you can build for yourself and other women is so much greater in comparison that you owe it to yourself to speak up! Start today…
Champion Other Women
Whether you’re a man or a woman, you can be a sponsor and advocate for females in your workplace. Did you know that men who have sponsors and mentors at work earn 24% more than women? This is not surprising, because the more support you have, the further you can do.
By extending this type of support to other women at work, you can not only help them reach their career goals, but you can also help close the gender gap. And that’s a powerful impact to have!
Support female employees!
How many times have you noticed that your own achievements have not been highlighted? How many times have you also noticed the same thing for other women at work? Plenty, I bet…
So today, take it upon yourself to highlight a female co-worker, supervisor or leader’s achievements. And dare to do so publicly! It’s a powerful example and a great motivator which can go a long way towards pay equality!
Now your turn: What can you do today to celebrate #EqualPayDay?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis.