I was so proud to be a part of the women’s marches around the world in January.
In those short, shellshocked days, women whose paths would normally never have crossed, came together. Everyone from Helen Mirren to Victoria Beckham joined in. Strangers walked shoulder to shoulder. Arm in arm. It felt like just what the world needed.And it felt powerful. But now, as I stand watching the world preparing for International Women’s Day it doesn’t feel powerful. It feels flat. Like a party, I once threw where the only people who turned up were my neighbour and the weird guy from my office. Just like that night, the international women’s day balloons look a little limp. The streamers are faded and trailing on the floor and – goddammit – there just isn’t enough vodka in the bloody punch.
- There is not one country on Earth in which women and men are truly equal.
- Women still earn only 79 cents on the dollar compared with men.
- A woman dies as a result of intimate partner violence every week.
- While women are entering paid work in higher numbers than ever before they still do more than two-thirds of unpaid domestic work.
Limp balloons right?
Rivers of ink have been written about how this sad party came to be. More educated minds than mine are, right now, wrestling with political solutions. Economic answers. Social solutions. And more power to them. But while the big picture issues are being wrestled to the ground, I have a suggestion.
Let’s stop waiting for someone else to fix the problem and blow up our own damn balloons and spike our own damn punch.
Want to know how? Get paid what you are worth.
Sometimes throughout history, the most profound changes have come from the ground up. Tiny, micro moves that slowly gather momentum and change the whole social landscape.
Marlene Dietrich started wearing pants in an era when that was considered scandalous. She wasn’t out to change the world. But, in her own way, she did. When Sharon Stone did “that scene” in basic instinct she may not have intentionally empowered women. But she did.
And, right now, the most powerful micro move you can make is to know your worth. And ask for it. Are you getting paid as much as you deserve? Are you getting paid as much as the guy sitting next to you doing the same job?
- Compare your salary against the industry average here.(http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Country=Australia/Salary)
- Learn new things. Many companies are happy to pay to train up staff to better perform their jobs. Take them up on it and add value to yourself.
- Network. Women are great networkers but often tend to do it informally. Get out to events. Meet people. Get known.
- Stop with the “but I don’t understand LinkedIn”. It isn’t that hard and there are some great resources. Nailing LinkedIn is far easier to do than most women (yes women) think. There are some good tips here and if you are still unsure – there is an offer at the bottom of the page that will help.
- Get yourself online – properly. Get your own profile page and be visible. You can find instructions here
- Put the framework in place and then ask for a pay rise. No, it doesn’t have to be today (although please go right ahead). Here’s a strategy that will lay it out for you.
- Register in the black book of where women work https://www.wherewomenwork.com.au/Register
- Register if you need help securing your next job www.wherewomenwork.com.au
Go where you are celebrated and paid well. That may just be the most powerful political move you make all year.
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