According to CNBC, women make $.79 to every $1 that a man makes, working in the exact same position, in the exact same company size. If you are doing the math, that is roughly 80%. That statistic alone blows my mind a little. But to be fair, I have one other question: What is the difference between women of different races and white men? Well honey, you might want to sit down for this one, because it is somewhat sickening. Hispanic women come in at 53% of median wages in comparison to similarly situated non-Hispanic men. Asian women? Well, they are above the average, coming in at 85%. And black women? Well our talented and brilliant black women, come in at 61%. I wish I made these numbers up, honestly.
Ok, so what is my point? Yes, we know the gender wage gap still has a long way to go. Yes, we know women are still treated with less respect in the workforce, both in interactions and wages. So, what EXACTLY is my point?
My point is this…. Although you (the amazing entrepreneur Queen) that you are, do not work in a traditional job, are you allowing yourself to be paid less than you are worth? Are we as women entrepreneurs setting ourselves up to be right in line with the traditional workforce? I want to (so badly!!) say “no”, but I can’t. Many clients have sat across from me, describing an eerily similar tale; that of not making ends meet, worrying about money, needing to cut costs and ultimately not making enough – to warrant entrepreneurship.
This problem, this aspect of running a business, can only be blamed upon ourselves. Wait, what? Did I just say that out loud? Yes! Yes, I did. Part of being a successful, responsible, business Queen is being able to take the heat for problems that we ourselves cause.
But, how do we cause these? Let’s look at three avenues.
1. The Great Discount Dilemma: I get it. You want to make sales. Sometimes you are so desperate (gasp) to make sales, that you discount your services and products. Now, yes I believe discounts are a great marketing technique. However, we as entrepreneurs need to know their place. It is not for a low sale Tuesday afternoon. It is not for products or services we JUST got in. It is not to be more than 20% (as a guideline) unless it is clearly a clearance item, that we need to get rid of to make room for more merchandise. So – Queens: Stop discounting! Your product and your services deserve better. Know the worth of what you offer. And uphold that worth.
2. Friends and Family: I don’t even know why I bother on this subject because we are ALL guilty of it, including me. Here’s the thing, friends and family should be the FIRST ones to WANT to pay full price. They should want to support your dream, your endeavor. And 99% of the time, they do and they do. But if you are finding that your so-called “friends” are supporting you with their hand out – GET NEW FRIENDS ASAP! I demand it. Again, know the worth of your products and services and be sure to uphold and honor that worth.
3. Social pressures/misguided insecurity: Ok, so go with me on this one…
In the beginning I explained how the world tends to undercut us, undervalue us, underpay us. With all of that negative (and incorrect) thinking and action, are we guilty of carrying it into our place of business? Do we have a slight insecurity about charging FULL price? When asked a price, do we hmmm and haw around about it? Are we allowing the social pressures of undervaluing women in the workforce to somewhat tint our view of our pricing models? STOP IT. Again, know your products worth and honor that worth.
If you are suffering from any of the three situations listed above, and we have all been there, make a conscious effort to stop it TODAY! We as entrepreneurs must not only know the value we bring to the table but we need to insist upon it being respected and honored – even within ourselves.
Have a question about this blog topic? Email me today and let’s discuss!
The Queen Maker