For us working women in the U.S., yesterday, April 4th, marked a significant and a frustrating milestone: Equal Pay Day. For us to have earned the same amount as men doing comparable work in 2016 would have required us to work from January 1, 2016 - April 4, 2017. For women of color, that date is even later in the year. UGGGHHHHHHH.
Earning 80% or less than our white, male peers results not only in less spending money each year, but less ability to save, invest, accumulate wealth, and retire when we wish. The pay gap impacts different women in different ways. For a single mom or sole provider, its impact extends beyond one's own nest egg and affects how she raises her children: their education is an obvious area. Depending on her income level, it can also affect her ability to provide her children with a safe living environment, extra-curricular activities that benefit them in a number of ways, and even quality nutrition - all critical components of a childhood that provide a foundation on which they can build successful lives.
So obviously, the pay gap matters. It matters tremendously. Big changes are needed on an institutional level, but those are slow coming, if at all. We may not have great control over our nation at large, but we do have control over our own lives.
As today is kind of like the working woman's January 1, 2017, I challenge us to consider how we can impact our own personal pay gap, and I am going to continue to share thoughts, ideas, and inspiration around this topic throughout the year. Below, I am suggesting a few potential paths, and I will elaborate on each of these in future posts:
1. Negotiate a raise in your current position
2. Seek a promotion with your current employer or another employer
3. Reduce the retirement savings gap by saving more aggressively
4. Diversify your income
5. Develop a side hustle
6. Become a high-end cat burglar <-- Slightly more challenging, risky, and yes, illegal, but...I have always wanted to do this!!! How To Steal a Million and To Catch a Thief are two of my spirit movies. If you choose this path, your secret is safe with me.
I'd love to hear from you - how are you impacted by the pay gap, and do you have a strategy to address your own salary concerns?