Today is Equal Pay Day! It is a day dedicated to making sure that men and women are paid equally for equal qork. And while sometimes it feels like we have come a long way, other days it can feel like there are is so much further to go. We are excited by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit LeanIn.Org’s newest campaign #20PercentCounts which highlights that women are, on average, paid 20% less than men in the U.S.; sadly that statistic is worse for black women (37% less) and Hispanic women (46% less). As a result, families and the economy suffer, as new data commissioned by LeanIn.Org from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows. They show that closing the pay gap would lift 3.1 million working women and their families out of poverty. It would add more than half a trillion dollars in new income each year to the U.S. economy. And the average woman would make $530,000 more in the course of her career. That’s over half a million bucks!
So we wanted to do our part here at Stowaway along with hundreds of companies from coast to coast, from local coffee shops to international conglomerates, who be offering 20% discounts to draw attention to the impact of wage disparity. Use code 20PERCENTCOUNTS to get 20% off. So you can get the tools (or warpaint) you need to go in and ask to close your own personal pay gap!
But we also think it is bullsh*t and a little sad that we have to do this in the first place (but hey any excuse to get a great lipstick that makes you feel confident). But point being you should be paid equal pay for equal work. So here are concrete ways to figure out how to close your own pay gap. And sadly “women are raised to believe that if they do a good job then people will recognize it,” says Lee E. Miller, a former HR executive who co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating with his daughter, Jessica Miller. But that is just not how life works! So let’s get to work shall we?
- Find out if you are underpaid– not all profession or women have huge pay gaps (though most do). Use a site like PayScale to see what your credentials, experience and geography can net you.
- Prepare to show your value concretely (even better if you can do it with numbers)- Get the facts and figures on how your role factors into your company’s success. Show how your role and contributions are key. ” If you can do that with numbers even better. If it is more qualitative don’t be afraid to show how valuable it is. Collaboration and teamwork is the emotional glue that holds together companies and has value. Sometimes we call this “emotional labor” and it is just as valuable. Just ask HR how expensive it is to run a job search and find new team members.
- Toot your own horn– If you are assertive go ahead and toot your own horn! Sometimes women are indeed penalized for this so know that going in and do what feels natural. But don’t trust that the system will reward or notice you just because you are doing a stellar job. Make sure to talk naturally about accomplishments in a way that makes you comfortable. And take every opportunity to make sure people see it and recognize it so when you go in for an ask people remember your wins.
- Make a concrete plan on your ask– We love using GetRaised.com. Their platform will ask you what what you do and how much you make—and then tell you if you’re underpaid! From there they will help you create a custom “Raise Request” that helps you start the conversation with your boss along with expert expert guidance through the raise process.
- Set a time and just ask- Performance and annual reviews are a great time but so are weekly check ins with your boss. And ask leading diagnostic questions. Get as much information as you can on the state of the business so you can ask when the time is right. And it is! If you have done your homework (and you have because you are a woman) you can show your value and point out where you are being undervalued.