‘Know your worth & don’t back away from baby chat’
The Thinkergirls’ Kristie Mercer has a lot of thoughts on lessening the gender pay gap – and it starts with you
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE GENDER PAY GAP EXISTS
I once got into an argument with a male coworker (on live radio mind you) about the pay gap. He argued that in his experience he’d never known a woman to be paid less than a male coworker and, in fact, he’d worked alongside females paid ‘way more than him’. So to him (and a lot of other people I’m sure) there’s still complete shock and almost confusion that ‘this gender pay gap thing still exists?’ Yeah, bro. The numbers don’t lie.
Recent Government data shows that on average, women are earning a whopping $26,853 less per year than men. And just because the pay gap isn’t as blatant as Emma copping $27K less than Evan because she has a vagina doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! I know what you’re thinking: Well that sucks, how do I make sure this doesn’t happen to me? Here’s how:
KNOW YOUR WORTH
Chicks often suffer from ‘Imposter Syndrome’, where we doubt ourselves and our abilities. I’m so guilty of this! Before every new job, a voice in my head questions how the hell I convinced these chumps to give me a job in the first place. Even Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg confessed in Lean In, ‘there are days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.’ There’s a confidence crisis among women – we’re literally holding ourselves back. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves ready for promotions, predict they’ll do worse on tests and generally underestimate their own abilities. ENOUGH! There are practical things you can do to help build yourself up, buttercup: find role models to reach out to; check out free online courses or webinars to upskill; practise what you’ll say in an upcoming meeting to build up your confidence.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE OPEN ABOUT WANTING KIDS
Stacey (June, the other Thinkergirl) is clucky AF but has always been shy about the reality of work/baby life, and I completely understand why. We’re taught as women that even muttering the word ‘baby’ at work will set off some alarm in our boss’s office that flashes ‘WANTS KIDS, NOT A PROMOTION!’ But if we want society to stop putting us in boxes of ‘career woman’ and ‘mother’, maybe we have to stop doing it ourselves? I’ve seen a shift across the past year where Stacey’s taken the fear out of it and begun talking more openly about her plans to have a baby in the future. She’s right in that we need to give our workplaces the space to support us and our plans. Being secretsquirrel like you’re ashamed of the #MumLife dream will only set a tone of secrecy and guilt that everyone else at work will follow. It makes sense that the more transparent you are with your workplace, the more likely it will be that you can craft future roles/working capacities together postmini human.
THE THINKERGIRLS STACEY (LEFT) AND KRISTIE TACKLE THE BIG TOPICS ON KIIS.