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Women – Asking For More Money

July 12, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom for women entrepreneurs, female business owners and business women

Sitting in front of me were 9 distinguished women sitting shoulder to shoulder at a long table with their names and microphones in front of them. Television cameras and recording devices were stationed in corners of the room. One table with a single chair and microphone was setup up in the middle of the room facing the long table. In my lap was my carefully written 5 minute speech to discuss who I represent and why an Equality Pay law is essential for women in 2017.

“Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham” please approach the table. With my pink glasses on, I walked confidently up telling them I always wear pink glasses to ‘Think Pink. Live Pink. and Buy Pink.’ I broke the ice as the first presenter. I sat down and delivered the reasons there needs to be a law for equal pay because women need it to prosper financially. Just like the fore mothers wished for the right to vote, they didn’t get to vote until it became law. Female athletes faced inequality prior to 1972 before Title IX was approved and gave equality to female athletes. In the 21st Century, 100 years after New York State women received the right to vote, women still earn less than men. We need a law passed to finally receive equal pay.

No one else was representing women business owners. Most presenters spoke on behalf of women employed in Corporate America, higher educational institutions and the medical world all places where there is more support for women trying to earn the right pay for their work, experience and expertise. In the entrepreneurial world, there are no laws, support or protections for women entrepreneurs who make less than their male counterparts. I think the world believes since entrepreneurs have the power to price any way they want, they don’t have this issue. We know that’s not true.

I gave the panel statistics on why women become entrepreneurs – to be challenged, to be independent, and to have a flexible work schedule, because they yearn for work and life balance, and expectations for higher earnings. Women find success in the first four reasons but not in reaching higher earnings. Why they asked and I responded, “Mainly because women set their expectations and salaries against the benchmark of salaried women who earn less than men and because we look at historical data perspectives that prove women haven’t been as financially successful as men. We also tend to negotiate ourselves down in contract pricing because we aren’t confident enough.”

They listened and seemed interested in what I was saying. I realized after my testimony while I sat listening to the other speakers that without a law it is up to each woman to work our salary figures and become confident about asking for what we need and deserve.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom should inspire you to take a hard look at what you make annually and ask yourself, “Am I happy with my pay?” Do some research and look to see what women and men in America make at your same position in your industry. How big is the disparity? How can you fix it – by raising your rates, talking to other women on how they handle pricing issues, getting advice from business counselors or researching ways to price higher?

I’m not confident we will have an Equal Pay law for a couple years so remember you are the best advocate for setting your own price and getting it. It is up to you and no one else.

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