I hate to do this to you on a Wednesday evening, but I have some pretty serious news that you may want to sit down for...
When it comes to salaries in the corporate world, we as women, on average, earn less than our male counterparts. Oh, I can hear what you are saying. "Old news" you think. "Tell me something I didn't know". It’s a reality that I just don't get and a logic that my simple woman brain can't quite comprehend.
For those of us who run our own businesses, this isn’t really a problem and not something that we need to turn our attention to. We write our own rules, we live on our terms and we decide the way things are going to operate… or so we think.
I was recently caught off guard - which is an achievement in and of itself since my little cubs have made me immune to anything with shock value - when I read an article on Inc.com reporting on how female ebay vendors get paid less than their male counterparts for selling the exact same brand new items. An average of 19.7% less to be exact. Say what? Same item. Same condition. Different gender. In a nutshell, purchasers think they can get away with paying less when buying from a woman and scarily, female vendors oblige.
Following on from the study, the article raised the question of whether, on average, we as female entrepreneurs and business owners are getting paid less than our male peers.
We ladies are typically funny when it comes to matters of finance. We don’t like to talk about money and we definitely don’t enjoy asking for it. We have trouble coming to terms with debt and we like to downplay our worth.
We can create the most incredible businesses which are fuelled by our passion and purpose but we will still get clammy and awkward when it comes to our pricing structure. So many of the women that I speak to in the course of my work grossly undercharge and when challenged on it, the answer that I inevitably hear is “oh, no one would pay that for my services”.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we pride ourselves on taking the road less travelled and writing our own rule book. But if we are systematically charging less for the exact same service than the men in our field then aren't we living in the same trap as our corporate sisters? In a world where we set our prices, if we want to see change, it needs to start with us.
So my question to you is this; are you selling yourself short by not truly appreciating your worth? And if so, how come? These are the real conversations we need to be having because as great as it feels to pat ourselves on the back for creating a business on our terms, if we continue to buy into the story that we shouldn’t be paid as much as that guy over there, then we still lose.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Send me an email and share your views by leaving a comment below. You might agree or you may vigorously disagree but I think it's valuable dialogue that needs to happen and there is so much that we can learn from each other within this community.
Be Brave, Live Fierce
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