Women, Business & Money: Are You Getting Paid What You Are Really Worth?

Although women have made great strides bridging the wage gap, we still have a long road ahead of us. Did you know that women who hold MBA’s leave approximately $2 million on the table in the course of their careers? That’s right, 2 million dollars! Imagine what you can do with that kind of money – the list is endless.

This significant loss of income creeps up on women. It begins when women first get hired out of business school. They are paid perhaps just a little less than their male counterparts – which these young female hires may or may not be aware of. If the women don’t know that their newly minted MBA male counterparts are being paid more, of course they cannot do anything about. But sometimes women do know, or find out about this inequity shortly after they begin their new jobs, and ignore the inequity by chalking it up to the following sentiment(s): “Oh well, it’s not that much more money so it’s no big deal.” “I don’t want to be seen as being ungrateful or anything.” OR “Well maybe he has some skill I don’t have (which he more than likely does NOT) so I don’t want to say anything.”

Having worked with male and female executives for over two decades, I can honestly say I have never heard a male worker express the above thoughts when faced with what they believe to be a pay inequity; furthermore, I cannot image a male worker ever even having this type of mindset!

As the male and female worker climb the corporate ladder, the male colleague widens the wage gap with each promotion and/or assignment; and what do the women do as they climb each rung? Often we silently sit back and allow this pay inequity to continue unchecked. Sure, maybe you complain to your spouse and/or your girlfriends, but you wouldn’t dare bring this to the attention of your boss or HR or the powers that be because, well, you know, you don’t want to appear as being too greedy or too pushy! So the inequity grows and grows and grows until it reaches $2 million dollars over the course of your career!

NEWSFLASH ladies – M-O-N-E-Y is not a 4-letter word! We are all working for financial gain. The next time you think you are underpaid, and you have done your research and discovered that you are, in fact, underpaid – strategically go into your boss and request a raise. If you begin to worry that you will be seen as being greedy, remember two thoughts. If you don’t believe, truly believe, your work is worth the raise you are requesting, you surely will not be able to convince anyone else of it either. So get your mindset straight. Secondly, I have never met a man who thought he was overpaid! Yet, you and I both know plenty of them, don’t we?! Take a page out of the guy’s playbook and advocate for yourself to get paid what you are worth!

Dr. Patty Ann


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