Equal pay is a noble cause and one I support. But who owns fixing this? Maybe we all do, but women own taking the actions to fix it for themselves. And we all own helping teach the skills to do so.
Publicity and activism help. But teaching women:
- To know their value
- Know how to advocate for their value
- And walk if they don’t get what they are worth
is the true way to fix this problem long-term. Blaming doesn’t fix it and theorizing or legislating over it won’t fix it.
People empowering people (male or female) to understand the value they bring to the market, learn how to articulate that value, and leave or opt-out if they don’t get a fair exchange for their worth works.
How are you advocating for your worth and/or teaching someone how to do the same today?
Side note: As a former Corporate Recruiter and a business owner, I have come to expect men to negotiate with me on salary and women to not. I save when I don’t have to negotiate up on a salary offer and I get a better return on my dollar. I am hard-pressed to pay more for someone than they demand to be paid for themselves. Maybe I’m wrong in this, but don’t expect me to pay you more if you don’t know what you’re worth in the first place and can’t advocate for that worth through professional negotiation. Your power lies in saying “no thanks” when I or anyone else offers you a certain salary that you don’t think reflects your value. If I agree, I’ll come up on my offer, and quite honestly, I’ll raise my value of you when you negotiate because that is a skill I need.