There's A Gender Pay Gap Among Freelancers & Contractors. How Do We Fix It?
Follow any corporate hierarchy far enough to the top, and you'll almost always find it's just a bunch of dudes making all the decisions.
But you probably already knew that...
We're not saying dudes aren't good at making decisions, it's just that womxn are too and they have different perspectives, ideas, and ways of going about things that can take an idea from good to great, so it just seems kind of crazy that in 2018 there were only 24 female identifying CEO's on the Fortune 500 list.
That's some 25% less than there were in 2017!
Now, you may be thinking this doesn't really have a lot do with me. Becoming a CEO of an international company or being on a Fortune 500 lists aren't exactly the goals most of us are working towards with our small businesses.
But then you stop to consider that a study by Honeybook found that womxn freelancers are earning about 32% less than their male counterparts for doing the exact same work and suddenly you're confronted with the reality that the gender gap doesn't just disappear when you leave the corporate world.
In fact, the one very likely has a strong impact on the other.
Why and how you ask? Because when womxn aren't represented in high power positions, when they aren't confronted with images of themselves taking charge and kicking ass, it has a profound effect.
This one really sad study showed that, because of gender stereotypes, by the time kids are 7 they already think that women don't have the capacity to be brilliant and little girls are actually shown to start shying away from things that are deemed as being for the "really intelligent". You know, math, science... being president.
If that starts happening by age 7, then it's no wonder we end up shortchanging ourselves even when we're our own bosses.
So, how do we incite change then? What are the action items we can all work on to start closing that gender gap a bit faster?
Two words: SHOW UP.
You've already done that by going out on your own or finding that side hustle or starting a business. Now you just need to keep doing your thing and charge what you're worth. Refuse to compromise, and, if you're up for it, start looking at how you can get more funding to expand your empire.
The more visible womxn are in positions of power, the more womxn business owners stand up and demand what they're worth, the more this kind of thing becomes a part of our societal consciousness and the harder it becomes for other womxn to expect anything less.
The stereotypes around womxn will shift because more of them will talk and be heard, and those changing stereotypes will have an effect on how other womxn think about themselves and their futures.
The more we show up, force people to see us, and demand what we're worth, the faster this all changes.
So let this be your little kick in the pants, your little reminder that what you're doing is super duper important. It doesn't matter how big you are, all that matters is that you're showing up.
ps. we understand that oppression is intersectional. We also understand not everyone identifies as male or female and that many gender identities don't match up with birth gender, which is why we elected to use womxn throughout. In the places we used women or girls, that was because we were citing studies which, unfortunately, lacked diversity. We believe in stating that upfront because it's important to know what limitations a piece of research has. If you have feedback about how we could be doing better, please reach out.
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