We are approaching International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March. The day is to:
“Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”
Despite many advances in becoming more of a gender-equal world over the years, there is still some way to go, and that is why this year’s theme is #EachforEqual, stressing that an equal world is an enabled world. An inequality of earnings between the sexes is an emotive topic, and rightly so. The gender pay gap among full-time employees stands at 8.9%, a decline of only .6% since 2012.
Recently, many high-profile cases have again brought the issue to light, such as female employees at the BBC earning a lot less than their male counterparts.
Hi, I’m Anna Goodwin – Author of five books, Director, Mentor, and Trainer for Anna Goodwin Accountancy.
Basically, I take the stress out of finances – both business and personal. From running my own business and helping others to run theirs, I know how important it is to communicate and discuss finances with your partner.
Frequently, women have to or choose to take career breaks and don’t go back to work at the same financial level. However, things are changing and some women are in a situation where they earn more than their partners.
In any relationship, an inequality of earnings can cause problems. Many of us find it difficult to talk about money, perhaps it was not the done thing when you were growing up, but handling these conversations well will make a big difference!
Why Wage Inequality Can Cause Problems
- It can impact on the lower earner’s self-esteem.
- The higher earner may feel that they have more control and not be happy to share the money they earn.
- The higher earner may think that they should make the decisions regarding the holidays and bigger purchases within the home.
What Can You Do To Avoid Problems Over Finance?
- Communicate and respect each other, even if one person earns less.
- Work together on a budget and agree any necessary cutbacks (see my latest book, ‘Your Business Your Numbers’, for budgeting tips).
- Review this budget regularly.
- It may be that this situation is a temporary one as the lower earner is looking after children or an older relative. If this is the case, then the future plan can include more expensive holidays or a bigger house, and give you both something to look forward to.
- Agreement needs to be reached as to how much should be included in the joint budget and how much kept for each individual’s own use. It may be that the higher earner agrees to transfer some of their salary left over after all of the household expenses have been paid out.
Earlier this month I was interviewed by journalist Lydia Smith, writing for Yahoo Finance, about any tips I could give on ‘What to do if you earn more or less than your partner.’
Have a look at the article and it may give you some more ideas which will help you in your relationship. It’s an area that often causes stress.
Also, take the time to think about your own situation – do you feel that you are getting paid at a comparable amount to your colleagues? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Next week’s blog will be about getting the balance right between being predictable and passionate about your work life.
Do you want to stay in control of your finances? Why not join my online group? I also offer 121 Mentoring and Accountancy services.