Am finishing off the book The Millionaire Mind, and came across these facts on pages 265 and 266:
- For every 5 men who earn a 6-figure income, there is 1 woman
- Fewer than 10% of those earning 7-figures are women
- Women even in top paying professions earn about 55% of a man’s wage
- 90% of millionaires in America are married households and 5% are widows and widowers
- But in more than 80% of the households, the breadwinner is the husband
I know we keep flogging a dead horse here, but I really do find it fascinating.
I’m under no illusions that we need to work towards equality in wages, not just for women, but for minorities as well.
But I’m also a realist.
Women don’t make more because of other factors that cannot be fixed by passing a law asking employers to be fairer!
Reasons why I think women don’t make more money than men:
- They don’t ask for it and aren’t trained for it like men are (negotiations)*
- They don’t go into the industries that make money (sciences, math, technology, etc)
- They don’t want to (always a choice to NOT earn more money!)
- They may not get the same educational opportunities as men (a money problem, or culture clash)
- They are more naturally inclined to not want to be a breadwinner (myself included)**
- They have to take the lumps of halting their career if they decide to have children***
- ..or they just want to stay at home as stay at home moms
- Old corporate habits die hard.****
*Girls are taught at a young age (myself included) to be nice. Kind, polite, sweet and a peacekeeper. These are not qualities that are well suited to asking for more money.
**I want to pay my fair share, and to share my money, but not to be taken advantage of. I do see that a lot of men have pride in caring for their family and making more money than their spouse, so all the more power to them
Update: Women who don’t want to, or feel the responsibility to be a breadwinner (this may not apply to YOU but it is a general culture thing), so they don’t fight as hard or do the things it takes to get to higher positions where there is more money. Men feel the pressure to work harder because they are the one providing for the family, so they stay late at the office, give up weekends and are glued to their laptops all to become THE breadwinner.
***Men aren’t expected to take paternal leave. Women are. Women are also expected to stay at home and raise their kids and some want to do it as well (see reader comment below). Some of this is changing like in Sweden with men taking more parental leave, but not in North America.
****Discrimination, of course.
Update: Of course, it isn’t ONLY corporations but when I say ‘corporate habits’ I mean in general. It isn’t meant to be specific or just applying to corporations.
By discrimination I mean that sometimes people think a girl can’t do the job as well as a guy. I encounter that quite a bit, being a young girl in an older male-dominated industry.
People think I’m an air-headed assistant, secretary, student…. anything but the actual person in charge. It can be hard to change people’s minds when they see you and immediately ask you to go get coffee for everyone. It’s changing somewhat, but I still haven’t met a girl my age working in my niche and loving it rather than plotting how to leave.
As for being taught how to be a girl, in my situation, apparently I was a very strong-willed child who was “too fierce for a girl and would never catch a man“.
I laugh at this now, but it sort of hurt when I was a kid. I wasn’t lady-like enough, or girlish enough for my family.
That said, they never tried to control me or force me into some pre-determined gender role. Personally, I’m thrilled about how I turned out.
Of course, now they’re happy with their finished product , but when I was a kid, I must have given them hell. They’re happy now, but I think they were clueless and had no idea how to change who I was becoming. If they had changed me, I wonder what I would have become.
My mother for instance, is a lot softer and more passive than I am when it comes to fighting. She shies away from conflict.
But when push comes to shove, she has a backbone, she is one hell of a tenacious fighter. She grips on and doesn’t let go until the job is done. She just has an issue with conflict to begin with, and feels she isn’t “quick enough to think about what to say back to these people”.
I always tell her things she should say back to these people, but she says she gets tongue-tied and can’t remember them.