Gender pay gap – Do you know your value?

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judith-beck-portraitjudith-beck-mumDo you know your value? My 93-year old mother sheds light on how to know your worth. #knowyourworth, thank you mom for being such a great role model – fewau.com

Recently Judith Beck, Founder of Financial Executive Women (FEW) asked her 93 year old mother to shed some light on what the work environment was like when she was working in terms of salary. As a background her father lost his job in his late 40’s and couldn’t find another job so her mother went to work as they were raising six kids. She worked in sales demonstrating products at home shows and fairs and found out that she was getting substantially lower pay than the men, even though she sold more product than anyone else. When she asked her boss for a raise, he replied I wondered how long it would take you to ask.

Is this still happening today? The answer is yes. Asking a boss for a raise is a very difficult thing for anyone, female or male. In her mother’s case she was the top sales person so that should have made it easier. It wasn’t until someone told her how much less she was making (which made her mad) that she got the courage to confront her boss.

Beck says, “It’s a good idea to have an external advocate who is in your corner and who can help during those times when you need guidance to get the courage to confront salary and other career issues.” Having worked within financial services for the past 25 years and recruiting executives across the board, Beck found the reason for women’s salaries being lower had more to do with longevity rather any form of discrimination. Beck explains “Women tend to be in their roles longer and therefore salaries didn’t increase like they do when you move around. Also women don’t ask for increases the same way as the men do. Men tend to have a network of information and know what they should be paid and if they aren’t they will speak up. Women tend not bring up salary and believe that the company will increase accordingly. But just like my mother all those years ago unless you know your worth, you will not know what to ask.”

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