As my daughter and her friends finished their first year working in Manhattan, it became evident that equal pay and sexual harassment are still challenges for most women.
As they navigated difficult hurdles at their offices, they would ask me my thoughts on a supervisor’s actions, a co-worker’s response, or a corporate policy. And I realized that women of all creeds and colors still face many of the same issues we did years ago.
So to help them, I’ve written the tips I wished someone had given me in my twenties.
1) Demand equal pay
Do not assume your employer pays equitably. On average, women earn 82 cents to every $1 men earn. For African-American women, it’s 79 cents; for Hispanic women, it’s 78 cents. So over 40 years, women lose several hundred thousand dollars, with the highest loss in Latino women’s salaries with more than $1.1 million in their lifetime.
Why is this important?
It affects your family, retirement, social security, and ability to withstand any unforeseeable financial emergencies.
So how do you verify your company’s salary range?
Check LinkedIn and Glassdoor.com. Ask other people in your network. Some corporations have strict policies against employees sharing salary information. Do not be shy. Find out anyway. Also, before joining a company, ask about their policies on paid sick leave, 401K, and medical insurance coverage. Once you do, negotiate hard.
2) Ditch the Louis Vuitton bag for the Stock Market
The average Louis Vuitton bag is between $1,000 to $6,000. However, if you invest that money in the stock market with compound interest, you can make more money. For example, if you had invested $1,000 at the beginning of the bull market of March 2020, you would now have $2,020.
3) Start an Emergency Fund
Many young people falsely believe that nothing can happen to them. But the pandemic has proven to all of us that bad things do occur. The emergency fund covers unexpected expenses due to sudden job loss, car breakdown, or family funeral. Have at least a savings buffer of three to six months to protect your average monthly expenses — rent, food, gas…