Overall, women earn less than men. I know this is because of a few factors, like how many of us take time out of our career to have babies, how we’re afraid to ask for pay rises. And in some cases, it’s down to good old sexism.
How do you know you’re being underpaid if you don’t know what other people earn?
In my opinion, women could make a lot more money if they simply knew how much other people earn. Say you’ve been working in your accounting junior position for a few years and you’re still on 18k. How are you supposed to know if that’s a lot or a little if you don’t know how much other accountants your age are earning?
Talking about money feels icky at first.
I don’t think lack of communication about money is a woman thing – if you’re from a working-class background, male or female, you’ve probably been encouraged to never talk about how much you earn, you don’t want to look like you’re showing off. You may not even know how much your parents earn. And if you’re from a middle-class background maybe you find talking about money flashy and distasteful. Perhaps it’s been awkward for you growing up if you’re aware that your parents earn a lot more than your friend’s parents.
Now I’m not saying we should start to lecture our cleaner about how much we earn compared to them, but if you meet another person who’s at a similar level in their career to you, or you meet someone who’s in a position you’d like to be in – why not ask them how much money they make?
Seriously, why not just ask?
I asked a copywriter friend of mine how much she was charging for her writing and she positively blushed and look flustered. But I genuinely wanted to know – how much are people willing to pay you? It may be difficult information to get out of your competitors, but as friends, let’s stick together and be transparent about how much we earn. It might encourage someone to finally put their prices up or ask for a pay rise.
So I decided to tell my friends who are going into my field, how much money I make and how much money they can expect to make. Hopefully, of course, it will encourage them to make much more than me! I believe it’s answered questions for them like “If I go freelance, will I be able to pay my rent?” or “Will I be able to earn an income while I’m at uni?”