Turning the male-centered marketing model on its head
One of the oft-heard truisms about women is that we earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn. Well, there’s good news and bad news about the wage gap.
The good news is that the wage gap is narrowing between younger women and men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women ages 20-24 earn almost 94 cents to the male dollar. If you’re between 25 and 34, you’re taking home about 85 cents to the male dollar. Between 35 and 44, well, your paycheck reflects only three quarters for every dollar bill your male colleagues are banking. The wage gap is widest between white women and men – with women taking home 78 percent as much as white men. Black women fare much better at 90 percent while Hispanic women pocket 88 percent as much.
Now here’s the bad news. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports that if the rate of progress between 1989 and 2002 continues, women won’t be paid dollar for dollar with men for more than 50 years. Bummer. I’ll be retired by then.
So Fast Company (www.fastcompany.com) magazine recently asked several high-ranking female execs for their advice to overcome the wage gap. Representing companies selling videogames to creating cell cultures for medical research, these women have been there, done that and succeedede at it. Their advice?
1. Accept a job with responsibility for the bottom line.
2. Enter a field that rewards emotional and financial risk-taking
3. Work longer. More hours, more weeks, more years.
4. Go where they need you. Even if it’s in Podunk.
5. Choose technology and science opportunities over arts or social sciences
6. Be your job. Pick something you can become and love. Don’t turn off the job with the office lights.
Wage gap or not, women no longer have to rely on Ward Cleaver to bring home all the family’s income. In fact, in the majority of the country’s households, women contribute half or more of the household income. And in nearly one out of three homes, women’s paychecks are bigger than their partner’s.
Sound like an opportunity? You betcha. An opportunity with womentum if you ask us.