‘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

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Work -

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.

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