Women vs. Men in the workplace


I’m reading this book about women getting rich. I love to read get rich books since I’m poor, and my favorite so far has been “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. Thanks to that book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” and another that I forget the name of, I no longer have credit card debt and I have an IRA, a money market account, and several stocks. But, like anything, I need to constantly remind myself of the cardinal tenets of money management, like what David Bach calls “The LattĂ© Factor” – saving those few dollars you spend each day on lunch or BART by taking a bagged lunch or riding the casual carpool, for instance. Anyway, this new book annoys me because it assumes women are math-challenged and spends several pages explaining what fractions, percents and decimals are, but it does have a lot of good advice, too. I forget what it’s called, or I’d tell you. Anyway, she mentions that men still make more money than women in the workplace and that one of those reasons is that men ASK for more money. Given the same offer by a potential employer, on average, a man will negotiate for a higher salary. I saw proof of this today when I was talking to someone who has begun to work as a writing coach for entrepreneurs. This guy once worked as a business consultant but now is a writer working on his first book, and I asked him how much he charged for his writing coaching. “$150 an hour,” he said. $150 an hour! This was his first job ever working as a writing coach and he asked for $150 an hour and got it. And he thought that was low, that he could have charged more and the guy would have happily paid it. Meanwhile, after several years of editing and tutoring, I am charging $60 an hour. Should I be doubling my rate? I think it’s so difficult to know how much to ask for when you’re freelancing, and yet now I really do believe that, under the same circumstances, men tend to ask for more money-and get it. (Of course, whether he could get full-time work at that rate is another question.)

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Women vs. Men in the workplace

  1. Yup, I agree-women don’t dare to ask for more (do they not think they’re worth it? Are they playing it “safe” and thinking that if they are paid less, they have higher job security?). This, I’ve witnessed from my many years in HR and as a recruiter.

  2. p.s. yes, you could charge more.

  3. Good point about the job security. Women are always looking for security. I guess it’s in our nature.

  4. ugh. I so feel your pain. I just now got my tutoring rate to $40 (i’m such a sucker!), but I’m planning to bring it up a bit each academic year. I do enjoy it and also feel for parents who are shelling out the money. But again, I have to eat, too.

    I also like the get-rich books (probably bc I’m also poor). Most recently, “Young, Fabulous, & Broke” is the one I feel I’ve benefited the most from. There’s also a show called “Singletary Says” on TVONE that has some good, real-world advice.

    Mainly I’m not trying to get rich, just get un-poor! Bravo to you for not having credit card debt. I have an IRA but it’s meager, bc I had to raid it twice already. I figure I’ll be working until I’m 90, so retirement/schmirement…

  5. Oh God I hope I’m not working until I’m 90! I think for the tutoring I have to get beyond “What would I pay for tutoring?” to “What would someone with money to burn pay for tutoring?” Anyway, here’s to getting unpoor!

  6. To me, it always seemd odd to think about how much money can be made or left on the table during an intial negotiation. In just 5 minutes during an interview you can determine years of income… And once locked in, it is very difficult to get a full-time employer to increase your wage more than 3-10% a year. To monetarize high quality work, and achieve that 25-100% wage increase, you often have to jump ship to another job or start your own business. Though the “free market” is a very efficient system, maybe it isn’t the most efficient system possible. It certainly seems to reward self-motivated behavior more than dedicated team players.

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