Did you know? Today, August 1, is National Girlfriends Day .
Google it. You can find suggestions for sharing tips with your girlfriends about their personal health, 10 Ways to Celebrate — fun things like going to a spa and niceties like writing a personal thank you note — and even girlfriend humor about why it’s better to be a female (“We got off the Titanic first.” “We don’t look like a frog in a blender when we dance.”).
But if you really want to do something of lasting value for your girlfriends, you might want to turn them onto Tamia Gallego’s blog. It’s called Women In The Black and it’s a self-described “community where like minded women discuss personal finance, saving, investing and building wealth.”
Come to think about it, do it for yourself too!
A banker with a CPA by day and an advocate for women’s financial literacy by night, Tamia lives in Sydney, Australia. Her information and advice are valuable for all of us girlfriends around the globe. In addition to her website, she offers a free daily newsletter with practical tips on personal finance and encouragement for the women (and she says also some men) who subscribe.
Tamia hopes eventually to secure corporate sponsors for her work, but for now she and her husband are supporting the “passion project” as she calls it.
Tamia’s posts are especially aimed at younger women in order to help them get on the best financial foot for life. She pointed out to me in an e-mail that because women typically earn less than men, we also end up with less in our retirement funds. Ouch—I can vouch for that.
I recommend you return to Women in the Black periodically for useful posts on personal finance ranging from advice about buying a business to tips for maximizing the money that is available to us but that we sometimes fail to collect.
I asked if I could repost her piece called “Know Your Worth” to share with all my, um, girlfriends, and she graciously agreed.
Here’s the post in full, with a big thanks to Tamia for kind words about No Excuses
Know Your Worth
I used to work as an Account Manager for a major bank, and was one of three female managers in a team of fifteen managers across Australia. Banking is typically a male dominated industry and I considered myself lucky to be given the promotion to Account Manager from an auditing role.
I clearly recall when I accepted the job offer of Account Manager over the phone; I displayed excitement when my manager revealed my salary. It was about $15,000 pay increase so I was delighted. However his comment was that I was not very good at negotiating. It didn’t dawn on me at the time what he meant by this.
Some 18 months Iater when my department was restructured, I inadvertently saw my colleague sitting next to me’s pay slip. The colleague was male and was performing the same role. I would even suggest his role was not as challenging as mine, as a part of my role included risk management. His pay slip showed he was earning $20,000 more.
The male colleague had secured his job coming from outside of the organisation with limited product specific experience and had talked himself into the high paying job. That was when the reality hit me about the gender inequality. Needless to say I felt anger and frustration.
In hindsight, I was happy to be offered a promotion and advance to a management position, but I was also frustrated that I didn’t negotiate enough. This was a good example that men are better at selling themselves.
I read an article, that men will apply for a job even if they meet only 6 out of 10 job specifications listed, whereas women will convince themselves that they haven’t got all the skill sets required to go for the job, and end up not applying for it.
Recently I attended a seminar, Women In Leadership, hosted by The American Chamber of Commerce. One of the speakers Andrew Stevens, Managing Director of IBM, had said that his organisation is looking to tweak the job advertisements so that women don’t overlook themselves from the selection process.
Traditionally men are the hunters and women are the gatherers, which means that men are raised to make money not only for themselves but to support their wife and their children. Men have been in the money game from the very start, so they are at ease with thinking of themselves as being worth a certain salary.
Women have only started earning money in male dominated roles, in the last 40-50 years, and really for the most part the last 20. This is why we don’t think of ourselves as being worth a certain amount; an amount of our true worth.
It’s important to note that men and women have different attitudes about the value of our skills. Men believe they’re worth a certain salary, and that it’s up to them to get that amount out of their boss.
Women think we’re worth what people are willing to pay therefore we let others determine our worth. One of the women I admire and respect is Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.
For someone of Gloria, who has admitted that she undersold herself and didn’t negotiate for a better salary. She advises that women should care a lot more about what we’re paid, negotiate more aggressively for salaries, and plan better for the later stage of life when our income will be far less than when we’re in our prime.