Sunday, September 27, 2009

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. For Ladies


Go for yours, Girl!

It’s no secret, women have long made less than men in many industries, if not all of them. Even with more women gaining higher education than men these days, there is still a great divide in the salaries women make for doing the exact same thing; maybe more! Recent statistics show women making 80 cents on the dollar, in comparison to their male counterparts; an improvement from years past, but still a concern. This discrepancy has been chronicled over the years and the reasonings are obvious, yet shocking.

Women often find themselves making less than men because of their frequency in leaving the job market. They have children, stay home for years to raise them and miss professional development time while away from the office. More shockingly, women simply don’t negotiate as men do. Authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever noted this matter in their book, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. The ladies note the many reasons for women banking less than their male counter parts. Included are also tips for equalling the playing field as well as the direct deposits.

Many industries and corporations have tried to remedy this matter. A number of corporations now have work-from-home/telework opportunities, where employees can work away from the office a number of days per week, use satellite meeting capabilities and other nontraditional work environments to get the job done. These solutions have not only helped women remain competitive in the workforce, but save corporate money as well.

Although there are many pluses to the nontraditional work styles and women have benefitted from them greatly, the problem still stands. Women are still finding themselves making less than men, and the reason is somewhat in their hands. Babcock and Laschever were right on point when stating the source of the issue being negotiation. In most cases, gentlemen are more apt to negotiate the salary presented to them when taking a job or promotion. Women, on the other hand, graciously take what is presented to them, despite their overwhelming qualifications and worth. This, too saves companies money, but is nowhere near as fair as working from home. Younger women are finding it easier to negotiate and are taking the needed steps in closing the gap. This is certainly something Generation Y ladies have been great models for and we can share the trait with our Baby Boomer and Generation X counterparts. See, there is some good in that “entitlement generation” label!

So ladies, let’s turn things around. We’ve all heard the song “This is a man’s world”, but we further know it is nothing without a woman! Go for what you know you’re worth in every way. Ask, negotiate, and get yours!

Sources: Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever; Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/business/1792044,CST-NWS-women27.article

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