Monday, February 18, 2013

Vaginas Earn Little and Cost Lots: Here's How To Avoid Being A Broke One

Here's something I tweeted a while ago:

"Women leave approximately $500k on the table by the time they're 60 if they don't negotiate an equitable 1st salary" linkedin.com/today/post/art…

— Sarah Miller (@whippasnappahr) January 3, 2013

-$500,000.000 in salary over a lifetime

Here's a study that came out a day after:

Young Women Pay Dearly for Gender Gap

"Female graduates in Australia are earning as much as $14,000 less than their male counterparts following a dramatic increase in the gender pay gap last year."

-$14,000.00 in at least first year of professional work

Here's something I read about a year earlier:

A Tough Old Town

"Unlike the stereotypical male dero, you won't find her sleeping rough. She won't necessarily have a history of mental illness, cognitive impairment or substance abuse. Instead, she will most likely have held down a job all her life and raised a family. She will have made ends meet. But a divorce, separation, an illness or domestic violence means she can no longer make it in [Sydney]."

Precarious financial and housing security in older age

Here's a fact we don't often recognise about retirement savings:

The Gender Gap in Retirement Savings

"Because the current superannuation system is linked to paid work, it overwhelmingly disadvantages women who are more likely to move in and out of paid work to care for family members. Currently, the average superannuation payout for women is a third of the payout for men."

Meager retirement savings

That is what your vagina earns you.

A screenshot of the photo essay "It Could Be You"

And on the purchasing side of things, there's another awful reality.

Everything marketed to women is more expensive. That is what your vagina costs you.

Pens. Tampons. Dry cleaning, hair cuts, insurance, pharmaceuticals. They all contribute to higher living costs simply as a result of your gender.

So with this awful set of facts, here's what HR professionals need to do:

  • Benchmark & grade salaries in organisations. Same job, different gender, same salary. Bam.
  • Eliminate the stigma of leave and flexibility allowances for male and female employees. Enable them both to invest in their career and family unit, it's all one big cycle of benefits to eachother.

And girlfriend, this is what you need to do right now:

  • Accept that no-one is coming. Not an employer, nor a husband, not even an enlightened teacher. You are all you've got. And tell yourself every time you day dream about your future that no-one is coming to take you there. You are all you've got.
  • Ditch the pink. It's costing you big bucks to purchase pink-ified goods.
  • Salary sacrifice to your retirement savings from day one of your career.
  • Buy a piece of shit property so you can own it outright quickly. Get out of the rental market. Get out of a 2 income 50 year mortgage. Get into some housing security.
  • Make sure you're not getting screwed out of a salary you're entitled to. Be vigilant. Be a pushy bitch. At least you'll be a pushy bitch that's getting paid well, instead of a poor lovely lady.
  • Get some real friends. Ditch Mrs Jones, she's spending her husband's money and her time judging you. Real friends will talk to you about money just like a good conversation on sex, relationships and careers - honest, real and unedited. And they don't rejoice when things go bad, they pitch in to make it better.
  • Respect money as a worthy object of your serious time and effort, that requires if not a daily, then at least a weekly, investment of time. When people sustain their wealth but seem like money is no object, it's all an act. Don't be fooled by the calm swan performance on top, those little feet frantically paddling below are exactly what you need to be doing too.
Good luck babe, and may you, not your relationships or your gender, define your life path.



Cheers,
Sarah

Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

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