By Caroline Turner
We are now in the second half of summer with about one more month left to enjoy our sunshiny and stress-free break. A certain summer energy infuses the days even if you are busy taking classes, in an internship, working, or all or none of these things. As we prepare to transition into fall for a new semester and to dive deeper into work projects, it is a good time to look ahead towards what we expect and want.
I came across a TedTalk video called “Know your worth, and then ask for it,” where speaker Casey Brown explains that defining your value + communicating your value = your full earning value. This equation can be applied in different facets of life to realize different kinds of value. Understanding perceptions that we have of ourselves, and the perceptions that others have of us is important to get our message across and ultimately expand our action. The most obvious area that this equation applies to is your job, i.e. making profit.
While we approach our future jobs and careers, it is important to acknowledge that, although just as worthy, women have been and still are largely underpaid compared to men. One recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women are only earning approximately 82% of men’s earning. This pay gap is even larger for women of color and as women age past 55.
Women throughout our history have repeatedly contributed to companies, products, and history without being acknowledged, let alone PAID. Recognizing your actual contributions and actual earnings is important to see how they balance out. The history of pay inequality and the current pay gap is a huge reason why we must demand that we be compensated for our true worth, so that we don’t allow our employers to place these old standards upon us.
As women it is especially important to be able to recognize and clearly define our unique value first to ourselves, and then to clearly communicate this to bosses, potential employers, etc. By doing this it will help break the current status of women’s earnings. Do not go by how your bosses assess and value you, only you know your true worth. Bring to the plate what you have to offer and show them the price you are willing to offer it for. Like the TedTalk speaker Casey Brown, you will realize that many will be willing to pay what you rightfully deserve, and by being bold and truthful to your value, your job/effort will continue to thrive even more than you may have originally thought.