(i.e. WHO DO WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS BLAME WHEN THEIR INCOME ISN’T “AS MUCH AS HIS?”)
There’s a lot of talk these days about the plight of women in the workforce. Do we get paid enough? Do we get paid the same as men?
In the corporate world, I know women are lagging behind men — exactly how much depends on location and industry — in earned income. There’s a LOT that goes into this: taking time off for childrearing, preferring flexibility over raises, an unwillingness to negotiate starting salary and/or raises, for three quick examples. Still, the raw data is enough to cause us concern.
I’ve watched women executives blame any number of things for this income discrepancy. Old white men, sticky floors, glass ceilings, essentially… any number of things outside of themselves.
BUT, that’s THEM. What about US???
How do women entrepreneurs fare when we are 100% responsible for what we earn, the prices we set, the industry we choose? How does our income stack up against our male counterparts when a WOMAN — ourselves — is signing our paychecks? When we have no corporate conspiracy, no misogynistic boss to point to? When we CHOOSE how much we charge, how much we pay ourselves, who we work with, where we work, how we position our work… How do women fare when WOMEN are at the helm and there are NO “old white men” between us and our paychecks????
Sad to say it, friends… but the answer is WORSE.
A recent Biz2Credit study of more than 35,000 companies showed that women in business (still) lag behind men in profit, showing women-owned businesses earn approximately 60% lower revenues than male-owned companies. HOLY MOLY — this is WORSE than in the corporate world. Now, if we were employees — and not the owners of said companies — we could take to the streets and chant about equal pay for equal work, but where do self-employed women go to fix this pay gap when SHE’S THE BOSS?
To the mirror, of course.
Because where else would we look?
I spoke with one of our youngest members yesterday. Young in business and young in life. She inspired me. But she said something that lit me up. She said, “Well, once I go full time into this business, I’ll likely take a pay cut.”
I immediately added additional call in hours to be sure I could speak with her personally. She has way too much profit potential to approach her business with THAT expectation, and I believe now she is QUICKLY ON THE PATH to doubling her former income.
WHY IN THE WORLD should we pay ourselves LESS than a company would pay us? WHY wouldn’t we go into business determined to make fAR MORE than we’d ever make elsewhere?
After all… we get to choose.
We get to choose pricing. So, why compete in the “race to the bottom,” trying to offer EVER cheaper prices?
We get to choose our industry. We often forget this… we CHOOSE the industry we’re in. If it’s a dying industry, jump ship. Because you can…. as self-bowsers we do NOT have to go down with the ship.
We get to choose our market. So, if you have a BOAT LOAD of freebie seekers and cheap-os showing up at your door… well, FIGURE OUT what’s bringing them to your door, and change THAT. You aren’t limited to your geographic area or to charging fees that are what everyone else charges.
We get to choose how we are positioned in our market, who we spend time with, how we present our offers…
The FREEDOM that comes with being a self-bosser comes with one inherent “downside:” total responsibility. There IS NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME. The buck — literally — stops with you.
So, how about this?
How about the MOST EMPOWERED among us double down and say… “UM… NO MORE. I’m in charge here and I’ll SHOW what happens when women are at the helm….” and start — gasp — not in the streets, but within the walls of their own business. And not just with their own employees, but with their OWN paychecks.
If not us, women…. who?
How long will we tolerate BEING AT THE HELM of a business that is underperforming?
For me… it is a NO WAY scenario. Who will join me and earn FAR MORE than we’d ever make elsewhere… just because we CAN?