Ok so once again new stats have come out, after Equal Payday last week that shows Australian women are lagging significantly behind when it comes to our pay.
So how much is the gender pay gap currently at? Well according to news.com.au, it’s 16.20% or if you would like to think of it in working days, that’s 70 days extra we are working for free compared to our male counterparts.
While 16.20% is actually less than what it was last year at 18.50%, I’d say this is still a pretty steep percentage gap that surely can be bridged.
I know what you’re thinking “bridging the gender pay gap is up to employers and policy makers,” and I’m not going to argue with that but there are a few things we can do that experts say will make some difference.
1. Become a strong negotiator
Apparently us women are not great when it comes to haggling. I know personally, I find it cringe worthy when my brother spends hours going from JB Hi-Fi to Microsoft store, to cut down the price on his next tech gadget. But the thing is what he is doing works, because while I’ll just pay full price for my goods, he’s able to get a discount of hundreds by taking this initiative (or by being aggressively tight as I like to call him).
And this negotiating is also apparently a strong suit of men when it comes to salaries, with research showing a whopping 57% of men negotiate on their pay, while just 7% of women do. If you’re not so confident in your negotiating skills, experts say the best way to remove the risk is by knowing the value of your skills, so that you can prove why you deserve that pay rise.
2. Get involved
The only way that we are really going to bridge the gender pay gap is by talking about it. It’s not an us vs them thing, as higher wages for women ultimately boost dual incomes. I know my husband, never minds when I get a payrise. So whether it’s using the power of Facebook and Twitter or simply discussing the issue with family and friends, making sure it’s apart of our social discussions will keep the progression towards neutral pay alive.
Money coming into your bank account doesn’t just have to be from your regular paycheck either. Here’s the thing, a recent study earlier this year shows women are actually better long-term investors than men.
If you think you might dabble in the investment game, many experts recommend starting out with a diversified fund, which means your investments are spread out over multiple investments, which is generally less risky. Alternatively if you’re close to retirement, consider the option of a term deposit, which has a fixed interest rate, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have when the term matures.
4. Take advantage of spouse contributions
If you’re a low income earner and your partner is earning more than you, did you know that they can make contributions of up to $3,000 to your super on your behalf? Your spouse will receive a tax discount and you’ll be plumping up that super account in time for retirement. And because you’re so good to sticking it out with your investment, you’ll potentially have a nice pile of cash when it comes retirement day.
To see what other super contributions you may be entitled to Money Smart has a section on its website that runs through the different options here.
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