I ran across this great article “Lesbian Economics” today at the LesbianFamily.org blog. Suffice it to say women are still earning less than our male counterparts with the current figure being 74.7 cents on their dollar. Doesn’t sound like much until you do the math as Liza did in the article. Hold your hats my fellow superwomen, the numbers, even in this mathematically simplified hypothetical example are staggering. You have to check out her article to get all the nuances, but here’s the bottom line in her example with Mrs. and Mrs. QQQ:
Over the course of a 40 year career, using the average annual rate of return for the stock market between 1892 – 1997, 7%, Mrs and Mrs QQQ under-earn their friends by $5,783,175.90.
OK kids, you read that right. $5 MILLION. What would you do with an extra $5 million dollars in your dual woman household over the course of a 40 year career? Even if your household income doesn’t approach the current combined income of the QQQ’s at $149,400, the premise should still shock you.
So, what does this wage gap that has existed forever and a day say about our progress in the workforce? More importantly, what does this mean to the intelligent and achievement oriented lesbians who not only want to get ahead in their careers but more importantly have fulfilling lives and financial freedom? I suppose the problem only further compounds itself if the lesbian couple decides that one of the Mom’s should stay home and raise children. That’s a hard enough proposition for anyone in today’s times but for this example, it is a double whammy. First, the couple spends massive amounts of money conceiving or adopting the child and then are faced with even more cards stacked against them as they build the household finances. Don’t even get me started about the whole inability to file taxes jointly as a married couple which packs a further monetary whack along with the additional legal gymnastics and fees required to protect your family.
While I am far from the one with the answers, the ideas that pop into my head include:
- More women need to be given a seat at the table in high paying jobs because lord knows we are competent and then some. The glass and pink ceiling is apparently still alive and well.
- Women need to step up and demand to be paid what they are worth. Trends say we aren’t doing that and I touch on that topic in “How to Ask for More Money”
- In order to demand to be paid what you’re worth you need to feel worthy. It starts with self-acknowledgement and the ability to receive and be grateful. Check out “Why Do We Avoid Celebrating Our Accomplishments” for some reasons we don’t tend to do that.
What do you think? What remains at the heart of the wage gap and gender discrimination? How does this affect you and your same-sex partner? Share your thoughts in the comments…