Ever wonder, “How much should I get paid?” Whether you are freshly graduated from school, new to your field or area, or just feel like you are being paid what you are worth, I think every woman has asked herself this question at some point in time. Women are not alone in the battle for income inequality. Black and Hispanic women face even greater income inequality. I believe talking and being transparent about income is the first step towards creating income equality. And here is how we can all help…
How Much Should I Get Paid?
Last week, in an effort to help women everywhere answer this question – how much should I get paid? – I asked my followers to share and be transparent about who they were, their qualifications, and exactly how much they got paid. And the number of replies and DMs totally overwhelmed my Instagram account.
In an effort to better organize the information and make it available in a more permanent way, I’ve created the Income Transparency Database. I hope that your enthusiasm and willingness to share extends to providing your information for the database below. Your entry will be completely anonymous – no personally identifying information is required.
If you are on the fence about sharing or asking yourself why sharing and transparency is so important… here are the facts as they currently stand stacked up against us as women, and against our fellow Finance Moms who are Black and Hispanic. To correct inequalities, we first have to understand and lay bare exactly what those inequalities and biases are.
Income Inequality by Gender
I have shared before the history of women and money, and how it has only been in the last 50 years that women even had equal financial rights and access to financial products as basic as loans, savings accounts and credit cards.
Related Posts: Women and Money: 10 Facts We All Should Know
What is encouraging is the gender wage gap has made significant gains over the last 50 years, with women now earning up to $0.82 for every $1 earned by a man, according to median income data from the US Census Bureau.
Furthermore, the gap narrows even more when you look at pay for women and men based on the same job type and job qualifications. According to a study by Payscale, when controlling for job type and qualifications, women earn $0.98 for ever $1 earned by men.
Women tend to have less experience, because we take time off to be caregivers. We tend to choose career paths with greater flexibility in order to be caregivers too, which pay less than other options. And history has also shown, when women become the majority in a field, pay drops.
Income Inequality by Race
The gender wage gap is minimal compared to the race wage gap. There are a range of factors that contribute to income inequality – ranging from household structure to geographic location to educational attainment.
And there are decades of history and systemic racism that have contributed to those factors as well. But even when you account for those differences, the race wage gap still exists.
According to a study by Lean In, Black, Native American and Latina women earn 38% less, 43% less and 45% less, respectively, than white men. The gaps narrow, but are still double-digits even in the same job.
Transparency is the First Step to Equality
So what do we do to close the gap? I believe the first step is talking about compensation openly and honestly. And not just with your best friend, or your friends from college who all have access to the same resources as you.
I mean out loud. So the single mother who is the first in her family to ever go to college and work in the field she chooses knows exactly how much she deserves to be paid, without a network of family, fraternity brothers or fellow alumni to tell her.
Or better yet, our young women making critical decisions about their future fields of study, and the student loans they are about to take on, can look and know EXACTLY what they can expect to earn, before they take on student loan debt they can never afford to support.
If no one else ever says out loud how much they make, how would you ever know you aren’t being paid what you deserve?
How can you help?
When I first posed this as a question in my Instagram stories, I was blown away by the volume of replies. It was more than I have ever recieved for anything. Hundreds of you believe in the power of income transparency to help achieve income equality.
So here’s how you can help other women know how much they should get paid… share what you are paid. Responses are completely anonymous – I am not asking for ANY identifying or contact information. I am asking for your income information, your qualifications (education, certifications, experience), and your demographics (race, gender) to make it as clear as possible who gets paid what today.
Once I get a statistically relevant number of responses, I will start to analyze the data, share the results, and make the data available (again, completely anonymously).
Share this with as many people as possible. Encourage your spouses and male friends to contribute too. Once there are at least 200 responses in the database, I will start to analyze the data and make the results publicly available.
If you want to make sure you get those results, be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter so you don’t miss when new posts come out!
I am excited to create this resource with all of you. I am beyond encouraged by all of your enthusiasm for transparency and desire to support income equality. And I’m open to your ideas for other ways we as a community can help to dismantle other elements of systemic racism. Share your ideas in the comments below, or DM me anytime on Instagram @FamilyFinanceMom.