The Gender Wage Gap and What to Do About It

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If Money Were Easy

Hosted by Mary Beth Storjohann and Neela Hummel

The Gender Wage Gap and What to Do About It

If Money Were Easy
If Money Were Easy
The Gender Wage Gap and What to Do About It
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Episode Summary

The gender wage gap has always been a thing, but we want to know if it’s getting smaller and what (if anything) is being done to close it? Will it be enough? What can companies do to help close this gap and what are some things you (as an employee) can also do? Tune in to today’s podcast where co-hosts Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP® and Neela Hummel, CFP® discuss these questions and more. You’ll hear about statistics behind the gender wage gap, and how and why it’s still around.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What the gender wage gap is and its financial impact on women
  • Thoughts on where the gender pay gap came from
  • How things looked for women before the Equal Pay Act
  • The systemic barriers that have been in place for decades
  • Unconscious bias impact on the gender wage gap
  • How long it will take for gender earnings to be equal based on current trends
  • What role the pandemic has played and its negative impact on closing the wage gap
  • The reason more women than men left the workforce to stay at home during the pandemic
  • What can be done to change the systemic issue of the gender wage gap
  • How to identify the income of your peers to see if you’re getting paid a fair wage
  • What to do when you recognize you’ve reached a dead end with your job
  • Why you should apply for a job, even if you don’t meet all the qualifications
  • The benefits of closing the gender wage gap
  • Why the financial industry needs a more diverse group of people when it comes to managing and investing money
  • What people you need in the room when trying to change your organization
  • Work benefits to fight for and how to optimize those benefits from your employer
  • Boundaries placed on workers that might deter them from stepping out of the workforce
  • A dramatically underpaid industry that should be paid more
  • The one big takeaway from this episode

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Transcript of the Episode

Mary Beth (00:13):

Hey there. Welcome to the If Money Were Easy podcast. This show is where we teach you how to expand what’s possible with your money. We are your hosts, Mary Beth Storjohann –

Neela (00:22):

And Neela Hummel –

Mary Beth (00:24):

– Certified Financial Planners and Co-CEOs of Abacus Wealth Partners. Today on the show we’re gonna be tackling a two-part series. Today we’re talking about the gender pay gap.

Neela (00:42):

Before we jump in, a brief disclosure from our Director of Compliance. This podcast is for educational purposes and is not intended as investment, legal, or tax advice. Any opinion shared is not the opinion of Abacus Wealth Partners. Let’s dive in.

Mary Beth (00:59):

So on a scale of 1 to 10, how angry do you get when we hear about the gender pay gap and the gender wealth gap? Ooh, just like quick range.

Neela (01:13):

Uh, I would say, let’s see, the scale of 1 to 10, I’m gonna go with like a 9.9.

Mary Beth (01:20):

Hmm. I like that. Yeah. I’m probably like an 11.5.

Neela (01:24):

Yeah. Got it. Yeah. And, on a scale of 1 to 10, how angry are you in terms of when they detail how much progress has been made in that department?

Mary Beth (01:33):

I mean, have you seen the studies that have come out this year on why there is progress this year? I am floored and my insides boil and my heart rate quickens and I like to scream into a pillow or out my window and that’s how I feel about it.

Neela (01:54):

Perfect. I was wondering how quickly we were gonna get to the anger part of it.

Mary Beth (01:58):

Just feel like we, I feel as if we should tackle it right off, right off–

Neela (02:01):

Right off. Let’s just get it.

Mary Beth (02:01):

From the beginning, because then we can just start off hot and then maybe we’ll simmer down a bit from throughout. But if we’re working to get really angry, I mean, how are we gonna wrap it up in the end? We’ll just leave it on a cliffhanger. So I feel like this is good, to start off at the top and then work down from there.

Neela (02:17):

So we’re gonna start with anger, which I think is real and something that probably all women feel. For those at home who aren’t necessarily sure what we’re talking about, we’re talking about the gender pay gap. How would you describe what that actually is?

Mary Beth (02:35):

I mean, there’s the numbers. It comes down to the fact that men, White men, earn more than most of us for equal jobs, equal roles. I mean, if I’m really distilling it down, they earn more than all of us. White women make up the most of that, women make overall 83 cents for every dollar that men make. And then the numbers become even more atrocious from there. So we’re talking about that gap in between that 83 cents or that gap between Black women making 64 cents per every dollar. Or Native American women making 60 cents. Latinas making 57 cents. AAPI women make anywhere from 52 cents to 90 cents depending on how you splice AAPI women up. That’s what we’re talking about. That difference is due to systemic biases. Women make and earn less than men.

Neela (03:28):

So equal work, unequal pay for no real reason, except we can kind of quantify it down to tricky history. By tricky, I mean offensive, offensive history. Is that the right word?

Mary Beth (03:42):

Offensive history,

Neela (03:43):

Lots of history. So if we kind of go back, why does this exist? What are some of the systemic issues that have contributed to the gender wage gap?

Mary Beth (03:54):

I mean, we can go right off the bat. Unconscious bias. Unconscious bias in general leads to higher pay for men. That’s one of the things we talk about. We talk about it at Abacus all the time in terms of unconscious bias. And this is why we really tried to tackle our recruiting and hiring from our own networks and what we’re doing there so we can limit the unconscious bias. But that right there is a big one.

Neela (04:11):

Yeah. As soon as you said unconscious bias, I immediately thought of conscious, and honestly institutionalized, bias that we basically – when you think about women entering the workforce, really it was only deemed okay for us to join the paid labor force when there was an overall country need. You think like World War II, Rosie the Riveter, stepping outside of our kitchen so that we could make some money until everybody came back from the war and they’re like, “Just kidding! We need you actually to go back to your kitchens cause your homes actually need you more.” And you know, even going back to some of the laws that were in place, or even the lack of laws before 1938 and the Equal Pay Act, employers could legally pay women less due to their sex. They could actually cite it and say, “Well I’m gonna pay you less because you’re a woman.” Which now you know, it’s kind of covert, but that was actually legal. That’s insane.

Mary Beth (05:10):

It wasn’t until 1974 that women could own a credit card in their own name. Oh, you talk about things that make us angry.

Neela (05:18):

Oh my gosh.

Mary Beth (05:20):

And we talk about, you know, how you leverage borrowing to build wealth, right? That home ownership, and what that’s done, as a system, to people of color.

Neela (05:28):

Right. This idea of needing a male co-signer for a credit card, for a home loan. This idea that we’re this secondary sex from a financial standpoint. And so of course you’re gonna pay us less.

Mary Beth (05:42):

Exactly. I think the most interesting thing that I’ve begun to explore over the past, probably 6 to 12 months, I mean, we’ve been exploring the bias and living it for my whole life. But this idea: lean in. Lean in. I can’t recall the year that it came out, but it was really big for us and our careers early on. Lean in, advocate for yourself. Ask for it. Women need to come to the table prepared. And we felt that we held the control. We felt that if we just ask for it, if we ask for that promotion, if we ask for that raise, then we should get it, and we deserve it, and we’ll move our careers up. Nevermind this idea that women just simply aren’t promoted to manager level and we don’t get the raises due to systemic issues. So we think that we, as individuals, can come in and fix a systemic issue. That is what we are going up against. We felt that we owned and could control these things, when at the end of the day, we only have so much power when we’re working in a system that’s working against us.

Neela (06:39):

Totally. So this idea, I love that you mentioned that because it’s almost taken this culpability and this responsibility and put it at an individual level. You’re not getting it because you’re not asking for it. And so if you just ask for it, then it’ll go away. But, exactly what you’re talking about, there’s so many societal and legal issues that are really kind of in that way that make the system really hard for women to play at that level.

Mary Beth (07:08):

Exactly. I mean, when we talk about, “we have the broken rung.” We have the interrupted salary, right. Women are out of the workforce.

Neela (07:16):

Tell me about the broken rung.

Mary Beth (07:18):

The broken rung: Statistics show, women are promoted to manager levels and get accompanying raises at far lower rates than men. We are promoted less. We get those raises less. And that goes back to, tying into the first point, which are those unconscious biases.

Neela (07:29):

So one of the things with the broken rung is that we now see that women are actually generating more college degrees. The education rate for women has actually now exceeded that of men. And so then you also see a lot of the statistics of women entering the workforce at the same rate as their male counterparts. But exactly what you talked about, there is a broken rung in there at that mid-level manager range. And that may coincide with when we may or may not decide we wanna start a family. Those issues are that men are being promoted at much higher rates, and then next it’s White women, and then it’s women of color.

Mary Beth (08:11):

Yep. And so at the end of the day, those degrees that women are earning do not necessarily translate into higher incomes. On a holistic basis.

Neela (08:20):

And then you add on the fact that because we’re getting all of these degrees, we are also graduating with a lot more student loan debt. And so the impact of that student loan debt, then when you’re making cents on that dollar, it takes us longer to get out of that student loan debt, which then exacerbates the gender wealth gap, which I know we’re gonna talk about in the second part of this series.

Mary Beth (08:44):

Going back to what we said at the beginning, one of the statistics that we commonly cite and have cited over the years is that women earn 78 cents to a man’s dollar. While that gap has narrowed now as of the 2020 census, women overall make just 83 cents for every dollar. That gap, the reason behind it? That gap has narrowed, listen to this, because a disproportionate number of low wage workers lost their jobs and/or left the workforce during the pandemic. That’s why the gap narrowed. Because so many lower wage earning women left the workforce due to fill-in-the-blank of their families needs and et cetera. That was our improvement. That’s the win that we are taking right now. Because women left the workforce.

Neela (09:28):

It’s literally survivorship bias <laugh>.

Mary Beth (09:32):

And based on the earnings trend, it’ll be 37 years, until 2059, for women’s earnings to reach the same level as men.

Neela (09:41):

So I think we wanna dig into that more because we’ve talked a lot about the impact, and really the setback, that the pandemic has had on women. What did we actually see? What happened during that time and why was it such a setback?

Mary Beth (09:55):

Well, what happened in your house Neela during the pandemic? How did that go down?

Neela (09:59):

Complete, utter, chaos. So, uh, yes. We are based in California. We had our first stay-at-home orders in March. I was four and a half months pregnant with my third child. And I had a three-year-old and a one-year-old and was running a team of 35 people. So things were great. Things were really a lot of fun. It was insane because you felt like all of a sudden the tenuous system that we have set up between childcare, between the education system, all the things that prop up, this system that we have that makes it “possible to have a two income family,” everything fell apart. The support system that we had fell apart. We didn’t have the people and the family and the other resources that we could depend on. And I had a very good White collar job. We weren’t even worried about losing our job or not having enough money to pay the rent or the mortgage. And so when you think about just the insane amount of pressure that we deal with on a day-by-day basis, and that that was exacerbated by the pandemic.

Mary Beth (11:16):

You just think about the hospitality workers, the food and beverage industry, these people that are out of work, they’re home with their kids, they don’t know how they’re paying their bills. They’re trying to homeschool. They might not even have internet. They’re hungry. And the setback. Just the setback to families. To education. And that is gut wrenching. And to know now that this gender wage gap is getting smaller as a result of that?

Neela (11:38):

It’s so awful.

Mary Beth (11:40):

Going back to that 11.5 anger.

Neela (11:43):

Oh, I mean it is crazy because when you think about it, like what that also did, it forced a lot of couples to have one person step back from their job. That’s almost like in the most luxurious position, you can step back. But then there’s still bills to be paid. There’s still food that needs to be bought. You know, the number of families that depend on our education system so that they can get a full belly? All of that fell apart. And so just the layers upon layers of stress and, shocker, it was many women who were the ones who were stepping back because maybe they had the lower salary. And so it was easy for them to step out. And then what that does from a long-term standpoint is their earnings trajectory is set back. They’re paying less into things like social security; it’s just harder to get back in. It’s harder to on-ramp once you’ve already off-ramped.

Mary Beth (12:38):

When we talk about this, we talk about in general, women as a whole, we spend more time out of the workforce due to family needs and care and the societal pressures that fall to us. Society looks to us to pick up this role in our families and in our households. And then, coupled with the pandemic, women were not only carrying the emotional load at home, women were carrying the emotional load of their employers as well. So just the level of burnout, talking to so many peers in 2021, in 2022, just trying to come out of the fog of all that they had to carry and sustain throughout covid, it’s gut wrenching and it hurts to hear these lived experiences of women and to know what they’re going through and to know what we’re going through and to know that we aren’t a system and how do we get out of it and where do we go from here? It’s mind boggling. But you’re right. We were in a similar position to a very White collar opportunity. We have privilege and we still had so much chaos. And I have empathy for those who didn’t have and whose lives are even more impacted.

Neela (13:39):

And are still coming back from it. I mean, you read all the time about stories of people who had to go on credit cards just to cover the necessities during that time. You know, we did have a good chunk of government stimulus that I think bridged a lot of gaps that really helped. And yet what it does to families and kind of the long-term earnings of the women in those families, it was a huge step back. It was a painful, painful step back.

Mary Beth (14:07):

And even now, I was just listening to an NPR episode that some of those government stimulus/stimuli still exists. They’re still going. And the government is beginning to roll those back, whether it’s the $500 extra a month, or whatever it is through these programs, and families are getting hit and they’re not necessarily planning in advance for it. So again, it’s the  wealth issues, the income issues. And at the end of the day, career breaks basically mean breaks in your earnings growth. So the more time women have to take away, the more time we need to make it up and we just don’t happen to be able to live that long.

Neela (14:43):

Well, and you know, you add that just when you’re talking about really the load and carrying both the home burden as well as the employer burden, you also see the statistics, the most recent women in the workplace, a study came out saying that executive women are leaving their roles at twice the rate of executive men. Because it’s just so much, it is so much to hold.

Mary Beth (15:04):

It is. So on that really bright note and knowing that we’re in a system of oppression and we are speaking as two White women, right? So we’re talking of this as two White women in a system. We recognize that we can’t speak for all women out there. And I ran through those numbers before. Black women, Latino women, AAPI women, those numbers look different. And that hill is even larger. And so what can we do? We’re gonna talk about the impact of this earnings, this pay gap, and what it does to wealth, and its role in the wealth gap. We’re gonna talk about part two of this episode. But we wanna recognize that as White women, we do have that privilege and we understand that so many are coming up as well who are facing an even bigger hurdle than we are.

Neela (15:47):

Huge point.

Mary Beth (15:48):

But what can we do knowing what we can control?

Neela (15:51):

Yeah.

Mary Beth (15:52):

Some things. So what would be your first tip?

Neela (15:55):

The hardest thing, you know, and we’ve talked about this often, is that we just, we can’t do it all. So let’s just like ditch that whole idea that doing it all is even possible. And so without putting all of the burden on the individual, like I think there are things that individuals can do and there are things that we can demand from a societal transformation standpoint. So from an individual standpoint, there is the self advocating. Apply for the job when you don’t think you meet all of the criteria. Ask for the money when you think you deserve it. Talk about money, talk about it with your friends, talk about it with people in the industry. Make sure you are getting fair wages. Understand how you can get to the next level in your particular job. Ask for quantifiable metrics that aren’t gonna be influenced by some of those unconscious bias aspects that you mentioned. What else?

Mary Beth (16:48):

I’d say talking about money is important. I know a lot of the states are coming out with disclosure laws where companies need to disclose pay ranges, but some are obviously giving hundred thousand dollars gaps or ranges on their job postings. But I think talking about money, getting any men who are in your industry, in your career field, getting them to talk about their salaries with you, if possible. Understand what your peers are making, doing that research, getting clear, going online. There’s a lot of websites right now that you can leverage to figure out what you should be earning based on your qualifications. But I think that’s the first one, talking about it. Talking about it with peers in your industry, learning what’s out there. I’d say the other thing is going back to asking for more. So again, learn what you should be making. Learn what you’re worth, ask for it if you happen to be a business owner, a small business owner or a business owner in general, increasing your rates. This is a big one that I see across the board with clients – inflation was at 8%, 9% last year and if you didn’t increase your rates, your services or your fees, you’re behind because the cost of doing business has gone up. So you’re eating into your profits if you are not adjusting your rates based on your experience, based on the pure cost that it’s costing for you to keep your doors open. So I think those are the big things. Asking for a raise, obviously role play. So knowing ahead of time, having that bucket list of things that you’ve accomplished, looking ahead. And also my biggest thing, and I don’t know how you feel about this Nee, if you know that you’re in a dead end, if you know that you’re not gonna get that promotion or you’re not gonna get that career growth, you don’t necessarily owe your employer anything.

Neela (18:16):

Nope.

Mary Beth (18:17):

And I think this generation, we have the great resignation, people are finding that out. So look, it’s important. Your human capital, your ability to earn an income is your greatest asset. And so if you can’t make what you want to make at the current employer you’re at, don’t be afraid to look. Look to other employers, look to other opportunities, but understand the culture, obviously. Are there women at the table? Are you going to be the only woman on the team? Look for those things. But I think not being afraid to make that leap for a different opportunity where there is more room for growth, I think it goes back to, like you said, apply for that job. A lot of people, women in general, statistics show if we don’t check 100% of the qualifications that they’re asking for, we won’t apply. And what is it for men? Like 70?

Neela (19:00):

60.

Mary Beth (19:01):

60, right? So –

Neela (19:02):

So go for it. And yeah, I totally support that. When you really think about what’s happened over the last several years is people have been able to look around and be like, what do I want my life to be? Am I in a job or an environment that supports me as a human that supports all of me that I can bring my entire self to work? Am I in that environment? And if not, the incredible thing is that actions of a lot of individuals all of a sudden becomes a collective movement. And I think what we really need to see is societal shifts. And one of the ways that we can do that is by knowing when to walk, when it’s not okay. When you are in that dead end space, when you don’t feel like somebody’s invested in all of you. We spend a lot of time at work. It’s important that you can have a good supportive work environment, that goes a long way.

Mary Beth (19:53):

So going back to, what was that number of years gap that we have there? Oh, 2059. So 37 years. So if we were to shorten that time period of which women begin to earn the same as men, what are the benefits? What are the benefits of closing the pay gap?

Neela (20:11):

I just think incredible things happen when women have money. If you think about money being in the hands of all the people who are contributing to our economy, that every time you have that dollar, every decision you make with how to spend that money is a vote for that dollar. Now we’re in a very lopsided world. Even in our industry, our industry is over 80% male, which means there’s a lot of guys telling a lot of women how to invest their money, which can be fine. But you want more diverse opinions at the table. And I think the more you can get money into other people’s hands, you see better outcomes. Women tend to actually invest more in their kids that you see women are more likely to be philanthropic investors. And so you see the rates of charity go up. You also see that women are some of the largest leaders in the push for more sustainable and responsible investing. Those are all things that help really move the needle on our world.

Mary Beth (21:11):

One study by McKinsey found that the global economy could be between 12 trillion and 28 trillion larger in 2025 if women were employed at the same rate in the same roles with the same pay as men.

Neela (21:23):

That is a trillion with a T. Yes, T. You think about what is the single biggest thing that we could do to significantly change the global economy – talk about table stakes, right? 

Mary Beth (21:37):

Equal pay for equal work. That’s it. You can look up everything you just said Nee, you’re right. The women give more, invest more in children, looking for the sustainability, the ESG diversity at the table, this is where women lead. And to hold back the dollars holds back improvement in progress. 

Neela (22:00):

Right. And you know, you think about all the stats that show we are living longer and we are in the workforce at greater numbers. And as we continue to close that wealth gap, we are in control of more money. Which means if industries aren’t adapting their practices and their businesses to recognize that their demographics are shifting, they will be caught in the dust. If you are not adapting to who your new investors are to who is gonna be buying that real estate, to who is going to be not paying that pink tax because that razor has literally no need to be pink. Does it need to be pink? Because it doesn’t. Does that help with the functionality? Because come on, I think it is a call to action for business leaders that if you are ignoring this critical group of spenders, you are gonna get a rude awakening.

Mary Beth (22:55):

So what, what can businesses do? What can companies do?

Neela (22:59):

I think there’s a lot of things companies can do. I think looking at every aspect of how you run your business there are opportunities for improvement there. There are improvements in how you hire. Are you putting the absolute required minimums for that job in that job description? Or are you putting a bunch of nice-to-haves that maybe inadvertently support the people who kind of got that wink wink, nudge, nudge internship when they are in college, what is the actual requirement to do the job? Remove pictures in your hiring process, remove names in your hiring process so that you find yourself not being tricked with those unconscious biases. And you get the people who are really set to succeed in that role. So I think there’s lots we can do from a hiring standpoint, but the big thing that a lot of companies miss is, well, what happens when you get diverse talent in the door? What is the path for those people to grow? Is that path clear? Did they know what it is? Do you support people in every aspect of their career? How are your benefits structured? Do your benefits reward butts-in-seats models that mean that both parents are gonna miss half of their kids’ lives and not be able to go to baseball practice. How do you structure those benefits and who is around your leadership table? If you look around, you see a lot of people that look like you, there’s a lot of perspectives that you’re missing. What else?

Mary Beth (24:29):

I agree. I mean I think the clear and transparent career paths and clear and transparent compensation growth is really, really important as a company. Ensuring that you have equal opportunities, especially as we are in a hybrid remote environment. I know a lot of companies are doing RTO, return-to-office, but how do you ensure that you have employees who maybe are not in the office or in hybrid, how do you make sure they’re having an equal experience and they are able to grow in their careers? The transparency is huge. You might be able to get people in the door, you might be able to get women in the door, you might be able to get people of color in the door, but can you keep them? What do you need? What does your company need to do to keep those people there so that they feel that it’s a psychologically safe organization? I think those are the key things to tackle. And if you are sitting around in a room creating these policies, and you don’t have any of these people in those rooms who you are trying to create the policies to keep, you’re doing it wrong. You’re doing it wrong. And it’s important to ask questions. To invite people to the table. And honestly, anything that comes to DEI, anything that comes to advancing gender rights, to diversity, to people of color, all of this is uncomfortable work? And businesses, in my perspective, need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s going to be in the arena getting your butt kicked moment, because we have to change though. We need to change in order to create progress for the next generation and to create more diversity and create more opportunities within our industries and then with the communities that we serve. You talked about 20% women in our industry. Women enjoy working with other women, we actually do. They like to listen to other women as well. There’s empathy, there’s lived experiences. People want to work with others from their communities and to understand that there’s somebody on the other side of the table from them who has the same lived experience. So I think from a business perspective, there are the policies, the procedures, obviously depending on the size of your business, how you scale that? But having the conversations, benefits are huge. Parental leave is huge. That goes into the next question of what can society do? But I think the benefits for women and allowing that flexibility and not penalizing based on where they are, you know, in terms of family and values is important.

Neela (26:46):

I wanna highlight something you said that’s so key is this idea of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because it is hard. It is hard work and it’s not always clear. And so if we commit ourselves to being on this journey, and it is a never ending journey, right? Because as we saw with the pandemic, things can change in a flash. And so for us to be able to be adaptable, to listen to our team members, understand where they’re at, what would help them succeed in their roles so that they can bring their whole selves to work and really just focus on getting the job done, society is better off. And so when you think about it from an overall societal standpoint, we’re missing some safety nets. There is no paid parental leave in the United States. There’s no federal parental leave. Our benefits, we are very much tied to our employers for health insurance. That is really tricky when it comes to somebody stepping out of the workforce or seeing what makes sense for your family in terms of your coverage. There’s child care expenses. Oh my goodness. The childcare workers, can we just like give it up to the childcare workers who are the true heroes and our teachers who work so hard and they work long, crazy, intense hours. We end up spending so much money on childcare and yet they are so dramatically underpaid. There is a gap there that needs to be addressed because you have incredible people doing such important work who aren’t getting paid enough for the work that they’re doing.

Mary Beth (28:22):

I completely agree. I think as a country we have so much work to do. Those are the key areas. Childcare, parental leave, food accessibility.

Neela (28:30):

Food accessibility. Making sure that just what kids can do with a full belly and just the amount of behavior issues that are eradicated and just also just the kind of pressure that that can take off the family.

Mary Beth (28:44):

Yeah. We see it here even in our schools in California, right? California’s now rolled out that breakfast and lunch are included for every student free of charge in California now. And seeing the kids that are getting breakfast in the morning when we do drop off lunch, those are huge value adds for families to not have to worry about it. And also, you know, even as a working mom who forgets to pack the kids lunch, that’s like a load off of everything.

Neela (29:08):

It makes a huge difference.

Mary Beth (29:09):

It takes away from the financial component to the guilt component. It eases a mental load. I think there’s a lot of progress that needs to happen in these areas. And we just gotta start somewhere. So companies from a business perspective, looking at your benefits, what can you do? There’s the health insurance and parental leave, those are two big ones. Even 401(k) matches the retirement plan benefits. What can you do to help contribute to the wealth of your employees?

Neela (29:34):

Yeah. And you mentioned pay transparency, that’s a big one. And so whether you’re mandated to or not, post that job range and really determine beforehand, before you’re actually interviewing the candidates who would qualify for each range. So that it’s less about who asks for it and more. What is that role worth? And who would hit those different tiers? Because as soon as you mix it up with the personalities, that’s when unconscious bias can really rear its ugly head.

Mary Beth (30:03):

So I wanna close this with a takeaway. What’s one thing that women can do today knowing that they’re in this system, knowing that history is against us, knowing there’s work to do. But what is one thing that you would recommend?

Neela (30:18):

The first thing I feel like is this mindset shift that we have more power than we realize. And that when we work together, there’s a lot that we can actually change. So I think for each woman it’s gonna be something different. But I would almost put it to what it would take for you to get to the next step in your career and get that down. Make it quantifiable so that you know exactly what you’re working for. What would you say?

Mary Beth (30:50):

I would say, different from that, and that’s a really great one as well. I would talk about money. Yeah, talk about money. And it is such a taboo and uncomfortable topic. And we all have narratives and stories that we grew up with and beliefs around money and talking about it. Learning from others. And leaning on others, whether it’s men or women. But talking with women about money and their experiences and how it’s handled and their beliefs around credit cards. Did their father pay for everything when they were growing up? How did their mom handle money? How comfortable or uncomfortable are you in advocating for yourself and asking for more? Leaning on your peers and also mentors or sponsors that are ahead of you in their careers. I think talking about money is so important. I don’t necessarily believe in the idea of waiting to be taken care of. I might be going against some generations in that belief that “I will do my work and wait to be rewarded.” I am very, very much mindful of asking for what I believe I am worth. And if somebody tells me no, well at least I know and then I can figure out a path to get to where I want. But I think talking with your peers is a great way to practice, A great way to learn that you are not alone. And it allows you to share stories and insight and turn some of that anger into laughter at how absurd so much of this actually is.

Neela (32:13):

Right. Let’s laugh, but let’s get to work.

Mary Beth (32:17):

Exactly. So I think we’ve done a great job in taking it from an 11.5 to and what, a 9.9. 9.8.

Neela (32:22):

I feel better. A little better. Yeah.

Mary Beth (32:24):

A little good. We’re at like a steady 8?

Neela (32:27):

<laugh>.

Mary Beth (32:30):

Thanks for joining us today, y’all. We will be back for the next episode in which we will tackle the gender wealth gap.

Neela (32:38):

Thanks everyone. Most people have formed helpful and harmful habits around spending, giving, and investing. Head to abacuswealth.com/quiz to take our financial archetype quiz and learn your three dominant money types. You’ll receive personalized guidance that helps you have a healthier, more balanced relationship to money.

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