Don’t Worry About the Gender Pay Gap – pff It’s only a Statistic!

I enjoyed International Women’s Day 2020.

Well …. sort of, my enjoyment was more than a little tainted by a personal discomfort that has been bothering me for weeks.

Recently, I was catching up with old friends. Friends I am open and frank with and was pleased to see. I was sharing my thoughts and personal feelings on the gender pay gap. On reflection, I was actually sharing my personal frustration and even pain. For example the time I needed help in a role and hired a man reporting to me with less experience. He was awesome I really enjoyed what he brought to the team. However, I did not set or negotiate his salary, it was government and set by a central team. They put him on 8% more than me.

My friend I was sharing this and other examples with said something that floored me. He said: 

“pff it’s only a statistic!”

I didn’t know what to say, uncharacteristically I got a little glassy-eyed and emotional. The conversation moved to other issues. But this keeps coming back to me since then.

“It’s only a statistic” … as I’m driving … showering … “It’s only a statistic”

I think that perhaps he was trying to be supportive. Something along the lines of “you are strong and tough and skilled and don’t need to be held back by statistical odds, or glass ceilings. You, my dear-old-friend can smash them all”.

If that was the case, the sentiment is nice.

But, and it is a big but – now I feel that not only am I a classic gender pay gap statistic but that somehow it is my fault. I did not try hard enough. If I was really that amazing and competent – I would be the exception-that-makes-the-rule. No exceptions here, just little old me and my financial challenges as a single parent with two mortgages earning less than my male counterparts for the last 20+ years.

Of course, as a single parent, there are many more statistics out to get me, like increased risk of poor health outcomes, poverty and death and stuff. Or should I not worry because these too are “just statistics”. Surely I am better than them? Somehow more worthy than those other single parents falling victim to these statistics? No of course not.

How to make your resolutions work!

Post By Claire Lichtwark-McInnes

It’s that time of the year again. I have decided to support my weight loss achievements with some fitness goals. I am reflecting on how many of my last years plans worked out, on what worked and what didn’t.

How many of us have just made promises to ourselves that we know are unlikely to become a reality? This is not a reason to stop having goals whatever the time of year. It is a reason to make sure your goals are smart. Remember this? S.M.A.R.T. It stands for Specific Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.


Thinking firstly about specific. It is not enough to say to yourself I will get fit this year. Or even I will take up a new sport this year’. What will that mean in reality? What is fit? How fit? How will you get fit? What sport? An example of a specific fitness goal might be ‘I will take up running’.


How will you know when you have achieved your goal? An example of measurable would be ‘I will complete a 10km run.’


So many people fall by the wayside on fitness goals by attempting too much. Big hairy goals like ‘I will compete in an ironwoman event’ simply does not fit into most lifestyles.


Is it something you even want to do? ‘ I will take up running’ is not realistic if you hate running. Even if you like running, are you really going to complete a marathon or would you just like to run a couple of kilometres twice a week?


When do you hope to achieve your goal? Still needs to factor in achievable and realistic.

An example of a S.M.A.R.T fitness goal might be ‘I will complete the 10km fun run which happens in my town on the 8th of April’.

Then you actually have to make a plan that will get you there. Work out how you will increase your fitness level in time. Schedule your training. Maybe get advice on how much and how often you should train for this event. Most events provide information of this kind.

Enjoy your success!

Until next time,

Claire x

It’s Not Rocket Science: 30 tips to an evidence-based life well lived

Confused by conflicting health advice?  Not sure if you should cook your kale in coconut oil or sweep it all in the rubbish bin. Coconut oil is nice and slippery like that.

The shocking truth is it’s actually not that hard or confusing.  There is more agreement and good science than confusion and shades of grey.

I realise this is not what some social media platforms or celebrities selling you snake oil to put up your hoo-ha at the full moon would have you believe.  See any recommendation by Gwenyth Paltrow or Pete Evens … ever.

So here are some science-based tips that could just change your life.


  • Eat loads of fresh fruit and veg
  • Eat red meat in moderation, or better not at all
  • Minimize mercury in fish
  • Enjoy dairy if you are not lactose intolerant.  Although the environment might not thank you, your body will.
  • Eat whole foods. Go for variety, lots of colours and types.  Sure enjoy ‘superfoods’ if they turn you on, but don’t obsess over them or eliminate perfectly good alternatives.  Can’t afford chia seeds? Eat a banana and a strawberry and smile at yourself and your savings. What about carbs some will say? There is some emerging science that for some people and situations low carb is helpful.  However good carbs are not the devil and don’t go down this route without good support or reason and certainly don’t swap your carbs for bacon!
  • Prioritize good quality oils.  While the saturated fat debate rages, I’d focus on vegetable oils.
  • Avoid the foods you have issues with BUT be careful avoiding stuff for shits, giggles or food fashion.
  • Chew well and enjoy.
  • Enjoy tea and coffee if you like it.
  • Minimize crap.
  • Have less than 10 teaspoons of sugar a day. This is more difficult than you might think, given how much is hidden in foods.  No need to get all obsessed and high-and-mighty about your #AMAZing-sugar-free-life.  Unless it makes you happy, in which case, fill your sugar-free-boots.
  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation, if your personal and genetic risk profile allows it.  Don’t kid yourself about what moderation actually means.  Check the guidelines.


  • Get fit, stay fit.  This could be one of the best decisions you make
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing
  • Stretch


  • Be connected to others and do stuff for them
  • Meditate or pray or whatever turns you on
  • Do stuff you love
  • Get some nature time, forest bathing is a thing that might even have science on its side.
  • Understand your personal values and live a life aligned to them

Protect, Check & Avoid

  • Protect yourself from the sun (slip, slop, slap)
  • Practice good dental hygiene
  • Get your regular (gender and age-appropriate) screening tests
  • Get the vaccinations you need
  • Don’t touch cigarettes or illegal drugs
  • Try and avoid smog and unnecessary chemical exposure at home and work
  • Manage your stress
  • Use your brain or lose your brain
  • Don’t believe what you read on the internet and never read the comments!

Live … a little

  • Just sometimes ….. eat doughnuts, drink champagne and stay up late …. just to know you have free will and your life is your own.


My blogging career started with a health-based hobby blog, while writing a PhD, and also very ill.  I consumed a lot of science on health.  Something I had been warming up to for several decades prior.  Along the way, I feel I got a solid sense of some basic science-based principles re health and lifestyle stuff.  During the same time, I was horrified to see many ‘food and lifestyle fashions’ moving in the wrong or opposite direction to the science.

This list is a bit of a compilation of that time updated to account for new research.  I thought hard about backfilling references on each one – and it was time to get a life.  Maybe that can be my retirement project in a few more decades.  

For now, as at 2020, I am confident this list, if followed, will serve you well.  Updating it has reminded me of some large gaps that need attention in my life.

Yours as Ever,
Dr Rachel

The 7 BEs of well-BE-ing

Welcome to an overview of the 7 BEs of well-BE-ing, get in touch if you want to know more.  

Be True

We know relationships with others are hard work.  What of those with ourselves? 

Being true to yourself always starts with values clarity.  You can get some clarity here.  Mind you, clarity is just the beginning, consistent values-based action is key too.  

Not being true to your values, often comes with warning signs.  Discomfort? Physical symptoms? Overindulgence? What are yours?

Be Kind

Let’s start with being kind to yourself – What does this look like for you?

For me, it is detaching from my inner critic. She is a mighty strong and persistent woman. She is also kinda smart, hence difficult to argue with. I carefully don’t say stopping my inner critic, that would be a fool’s errand.

I say detaching in a mindfulness sense. I mean noticing, observing and accepting, without trying to change her. Of course then paradoxically it tends to take some of the sting out of her.

Be Comfortable Asking for Help

I am a hypocrite on this one. I am really really rubbish at asking for help.

See that time I moved by myself turning down offers of help because it just seemed easy not to feel indebted to anyone. There was a little bit of the old control freak – I’ll just do it my way in there too. FYI – it did not go well.

Be With

“It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.” The mental health foundation.

Social support is also important for physical health outcomes. Many people lack social support, who could you offer or receive social support to today? The great thing about remembering to BE WITH, both physically and emotionally is it offers social support to all present.

Be Accountable

I remember reading an article in the Herald around 2012 about these people meeting in cafes and calling themselves ‘quantifiers’. They tracked all manner of information about themselves with a crazy array of gadgets. In truth, I thought my word these people don’t have a life.

Then I became a Quantifier, yes with a capital Q. I even tracked physiological, symptoms and lifestyle information in a statistics package for months and then ran actual statistics on it!

I learned again never to say never (how many times must one learn that?). I also learnt that data can be very important in holding oneself accountable for health goals.

I don’t recommend everyone become a quantifier – I do recommend maybe trying it (there are many cool apps are out there, see our blog for how to work this with Heart Rate Variability).

What I do recommend is to craft accountability for your wellbeing goals. Often accountability to others is more effective than to yourself – Consider a friend, parent, child, pet (dogs are great for keeping you honest on walking), therapist, support group (online or real life), coach, team mates, teacher, mentor, elder, church leader…..

Be in Motion

You don’t need to be this guy to be in motion. Motion can be very small, yet not insignificant. Here are some tips from the mental health foundation on the topic:

• Take the stairs not the lift
• Go for a walk at lunchtime
• Walk into work – perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
• Get off the bus one stop earlier
• Organise a work sporting activity
• Have a kick-about in a local park
• Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
• Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

I see being in Motion as not just physical, but I think of motion also in terms of learning and growth.

Be the Journey

I’m a huge Work in Progress when it comes to ‘being the journey’. Firstly let me explain what I mean by this idea. I mean, remembering, despite Hollywood’s best messaging to the contrary, life is not about the destination. There is no one main goal or place to arrive. Life is quite literally lived right now, and right now.

I am no Echart Tolle (The Power of Now). I have come far and I will go further. But I am no natural. I did not become that person who did a PhD in wellbeing for interest, by being a naturally sunny natured, easy to self-manage person. Quite the opposite. My core personality is intolerant, distractable and cynical. Living in the present and I are not natural allies.

Oddly, I started to flex my Power-of-Now muscle, not when I read the book, but when I was very sick. When the present was unbearable and the pain and nausea overwhelming. My learning started when I was too sick to run off to the future or to think about the past. I came face-to-face with the present when it grabbed my attention so much I could not be elsewhere.

I am now reasonably well, and sometimes really in the Now. In the future, I hope to be more in the Now (see what I did there lol).

Be the Journey

The Magic of Seven

Just for fun some other sevens to entertain you…….

  • Pillars of the House of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs.
  • Chakras
  • Sages of Greece.
  • Sorrows and Joys of Mary
  • Heavens of Islam
  • Deadly sins
  • Ancient sages
  • Steps around the fire (to unite when marrying)
  • Days for god to create the world
  • Days of morning in Judaism
  • Angels in Egyptian mythology
  • Major stars of big dipper
  • Cervical vertebrae of most mammals
  • Periods on the periodic table of elements and
  • Colors of the rainbow
  • Continents and seas on earth
  • Hills of Rome
  • Hills of Istanbul,
  • ‘planets’ visible to the naked eye
  • Notes in a typical major or minor scale
  • Last, but certainly not least, books in the Harry Potter series

Weight-loss andMe: Finally putting my money where my mouth isn’t.

Post by Claire Lichtwark-McInnes.

I don’t remember how long it took for me to get fat.
I just know it happened.
I now understand much more about why it happened.
During my weight loss journey, I have been encouraged to think about why I decided to take action, what were the defining issues?

I was very uncomfortable. So my main driver, my  ‘why’ for taking action was I wanted to be comfortable.

I had also noticed I was losing my natural confidence in social situations and I wanted some nice clothes.  Wearing tents gets stale after a while.  I had given up on the idea of looking good as I  had long since stopped looking in the mirror for fear of what I would see.

My Three Cs

Now 16 months later and 17kg lighter, all on a frame only a smidge over five foot, I still carry a card that reminds me of my why,  my three C’s: Comfort, Confidence, Clothes.

Where will it end?

You might ask – how did the journey begin? And where does it end?

To answer the last question first, and potentially to disappoint you … doesn’t end.
I am not on a diet I am making healthy choices.  I expect the choices I make to continue for life.

It started in April 2018, fed up with not fitting clothes, feeling uncomfortable and looking like crap (see above), I decided to go to Weight Watchers, now known as Wellbeing that Works or just WW.

I was not looking for a quick fix, but a long term solution.  I still have 9kg to go to reach goal weight, I am not in a hurry it is slowly but surely happening.

I chose WW to support my journey as I like their approach, central to which is understanding that weight-loss is more about mindset than food.  I have a lot of supportive family and friends few of whom have ever been fat.  As much I love them, as tangible support – they are fairly useless.  Real support comes from people who have been there, WW ticked this box for me too.

While losing weight I have been on an Alaskan cruise, had long holidays, attended celebrations and generally lived life to the full.  I  do not feel deprived.  I even had the privilege of dropping into WW meetings in America. This really added to my travel experience, meeting real locals with shared goals and experience to me.

To achieve my goals I make small but frequent changes.  I substitute avocado for butter, olive oil for canola, have more fish and chicken than red meat, more fruit and vegetables, and less sugar. My diet now contains way more variety and way more taste than previously.  I no longer eat something if it isn’t really nice. 

Looking at my journey alongside the Mental Health Foundation’s five ways to wellbeing model is enlightening.


Talk, listen, be there feel connected. – my chosen support group is WW.  I find it powerful and inspiring to hear of others successes and challenges.  It’s nice not to be alone.  I get great advice and friendship from the coaches and members.  I have attended meetings in several countries and guess what!….    the challenges are the same wherever you go.  I intend to continue to use this support forever.


…your time, your words, your presence. I enjoy supporting other members when they speak of challenges that are all too familiar.

Take Notice

Remember the little things that give you joy.  Taking time out to sit with a coffee and the daily crossword is huge.  I’m never too busy to do that now.

Keep Learning

Embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself.   I love my new paddle-board ……. Sometimes I stay upright …….sometimes not.  I’m looking forward to my first book club meeting tomorrow.  I also love learning new recipes and new ways to cook.

Be Active

Do what you can, enjoy what you do, move your mood.  I’m lucky I have no physical hurdles to exercise so I enjoy riding my bike and swimming and I keep fairly active on the farm.   However, WW teaches even small things to get moving, gentle walks or chair exercises for example.
I have also learned to understand when I eat even when I’m not hungry, why I do. What my triggers are, how to manage them and how to be kind to myself when I am not perfect. Progress not perfection is the key.

Even at this stage of the journey, I try on clothes in front of those terrible fitting room mirrors without descending into misery.  I enjoy my exercise instead of it being a chore.
I am now looking to expand this knowledge to other areas of my life.  I will keep you posted as I go.

Meanwhile all the best on your own wellbeing journeys, whatever they are.

Yours as ever,

Claire  X

NB: I receive no monetary or other payment from  WW, I am simply sharing what has worked for me, there are other great systems out there – the trick is finding one that works for you.

Part 4 of 4. How to negotiate like you: for your lifestyle.

So women (and men supporting women to close the gender pay gap), here’s hoping you followed the learnings from men in step one who are more likely than women to negotiate in the first plate.  That you’re prepared as discussed in step two, knowing the market and your value.  You are also channeling others – because you know that women do better at negotiating on behalf of others (than themselves) – as discussed in step three.

Now what about custom fitting your pay/benefits negotiations to your exact life style and needs.

Understand your negotiables.

Is salary the only thing that is valuable to you?

Know how much you would value, both financially and emotionally;

  • A vehicle supplied
  • Parking
  • Longer leave
  • Shorter hours
  • Flexible working
  • Benefits like health insurance, gym memberships etc. etc.

Know exactly what negotiables you would be prepared to sacrifice salary for and know exactly how much.  Remember to keep these cards close to your chest for now.  Just because you ‘would’ or ‘could’ sacrifice dollars does not mean you ‘should’.

Get a pen and paper or better a spreadsheet and really dig into the details relevant to you.  What is the actual cost of getting to work on Wednesday if you were to work from home.  If you save $2,000 per year of after school care and $1,000 of mileage on your vehicle, plus you would love not punching the traffic one day a week, then this might have value financial and emotional to you.  

As well as doing your homework on the numbers and what you value for your lifestyle – good negotiators consider the other side.  How much money you need is not a useful chip in negotiations.  How much the employer can or is willing to pay is what matters.  Things like your cost of living (rent school fees etc ) are only relevant in terms of understanding your bottom line, it has no relevance to their budgets or what they see the role is worth.

Conversely it is also important to understand the costs to them of any of the things you are hoping for.  If your needs costs them nothing, or better save them (extra desk space, parking unused etc.) you should not necessarily sacrifice anything.  A successful negotiation is when everyone is happy.  If you can get something you value that cost your employer nothing that’s a win all round.   

Play the long game

Links and all that Jazz

This is part of a larger series; here are the parts

Photo edited by Rosie Percy photo by Jens Johnsson from Pexels

Part 3 of 4 How To Negotiate Like a Women: Think of others!

This series opened with pretty dismal data on the gender pay gap and how women often don’t even enter the game i.e. they don’t even enter ‘the arena’ and attempt to negotiate pay and conditions of employment.
I have some very good news today and it is this -> women outperform men in “representational negotiations”.i.e. negotiating for someone else.
What am I talking about I hear you ask, let me tell you ….
All genders tend to negotiate to a “threshold of social backlash”.  This ‘threshold’ is the point when we feel if we push harder it might damage our reputation or relationships, or whatever social capital we hold dear.
When negotiating for our own pay and conditions – women reach this threshold well before men, as shown on the left in the graph below.
But wait there is more …
When negotiating on behalf of others aka ‘representational negotiations’ men reach this threshold before we do.  That is to say women stay in the arena longer we push harder, we do better in than men when we are negotiating not for ourselves but for others.
I am not sure why this is so exactly, the last group of women I spoke to on the topic told me that it is because women are nicer than men.  I laughed, sorry men, however it is probably not that black and white.  Let’s save that topic for a later post.
For now I want to talk about how women can use this information to help them when negotiating.  Of the course challenge here is when you are negotiate for yourself it is hard to use this information – you can hardly bring your mum or BFF to negotiate for you, can you?
However maybe you can play a little game and pretend you are negotiating for YOUR mother or BFF, what might you do differently?
Also for the many whose negotiations are still collective, perhaps you might want to ensure your representative is a women.
Food for thought.  Take care and see you next time.
Claire Lichtwark McInnes
Aka The Barefoot Consultant

Links and all that Jazz

The threshold (to the left of the graph) is shown in dollars for the scenario covered in the research, the comparison is what matters here.
This is part of a larger series; here are the parts

Article from: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2010.
Photo by from Pexels

Bad Science: A Review

Ben Goldacre opens his book ‘Bad Science’ with the promise that by the end of the book, you will be able to win any science-y argument you choose, from vaccinations to preventing cancer with super vegetables.
This is a big ask!  Too big perhaps? However, given the level of understanding of the scientific method in the general population, he has a point.  When the standard is so low, a crash test in these topics will put you well ahead of the game.  Especially the game played by many celebrity “experts” or over passionate and tipsy dinner companions.  One of the so-called “experts” Goldacre takes a serious swipe at got her PhD off the internet.  To prove his point Goldacre got one for his dead cat.
Science and meBad Science covers some great science basics such as: what is a controlled experiment, the importance of blinding, randomization, the placebo effect, causation (does the rooster cause the sun to rise?), confounding variables, what is a meta-analysis and much more.  He builds these explanations into the text so it doesn’t read like a dry methods 101 textbook.

Snake Oil Anyone?

Perhaps, more importantly, Goldacre helps the layperson spot the tricks which snake oil salespeople use to make their wares sound super science-y.  Which FYI they have been doing for eons.
A classic snake oil trick is to get carried away with extrapolation.  For example fairy liquid will kill cells in a test tube – but that doesn’t mean it might be the next cancer wonder drug eh?

Cherry’s then?

Another classic trick of the pseudoscience quacks is cherry-picking.  There are thousands-upon-thousands of articles published each year.  Sadly the quality varies.  Hence if you want to tell a ‘science-backed’ story that supports your mad ideas or latest product to market – you can almost certainly build most any case about most anything, as long as your potential buyers do not clearly understand the principles discussed in this book.
Do I have criticisms of Bad Science? Sure.  Accusing homeopaths/nutritionists of being idiots, is not helping get them onside.  The accusation is especially misplaced when humans are not logical. Our beliefs are not driven by logic or, as it happens, intelligence.  I seem to remember something about smart folks being worse at drawing dumb conclusions – ouch!
Note to Ben – Attack the message not the messenger Ben. Seriously.
Goldacre is nothing if not a man of equality – so big pharma gets a beating too.  He does warn that just because big pharma are bad – don’t be childish and illogical (there goes the hippy bashing again) and make that mean homeopathy is great and vaccinations cause autism.
Regardless of where you stand on these and other issues; if you are going to enter into any debates on anything involving science you should read this book.
I would go further and say all high school students (and their parents) should read this book and then talk about it – with much vigour and enthusiasm over their paleo, vegan, traditional or whatever meal.
As for me, I am going to trust Goldacre ahead of Gwyneth Paltrow’s opinion in a heartbeat on all and any matters of science.  However, I shall endeavour to be a bit more careful about how I put my thoughts across at parties full of Gwyneth lovers (who haven’t heard of Goldacre – prolly because he is not nearly so pretty, rich or famous).  If stuck in such a nightmare situation, I will revert to Goldacres catchphrase.
… “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”… 
Which is also, rather conveniently, the title of one of his other books.  Simply proving you don’t need to be a quack to sell your wares.

Links and all that JAzz

Photo Credit
Art by my Daughter when she was about 9yo
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. (2009)  Farrar, Straus and Giroux New York.

Part 2 of 4. How to Negotiate Like a Scout: Be Prepared!


When Robert Barden-Powell, the founder of Scouts was asked the question,

“Prepared for what?”

he replied, “Why, for any old thing,”  

Successful pay negotiations is a perfect time to be like Barden-Powell and be prepared for anything.

Preparedness begins with thoroughly and as objectively as possible doing your research.

Know what you are worth.

Know the market value of your skills.  What do others in your field earn? What do their competitors pay?  How many people with your skills are available in the current market? 

Not sure where to find this information? Here are are few places to start:

  • Look at local job sites (trick to try – change the dollar value in the search criteria and seeing when jobs like yours appear and disappear), 
  • Ask recruitment consultants specialising in your industry or profession, 
  • Look to the guides published regularly by the big recruitment brands e.g Hays, or Hudson,
  • Look to government statistics like these ones
  • Ask friends in the industry. 

Also consider other factors that might influence pay e.g. is the organisation not-for-profit or government? If so, how might this influence expectations?

Now, get specific and see what you can understand about exactly how your skills might add to the organisation’s bottom line. Then get even more specific and research what challenges or current benefits are affecting the organisation and their market.

Know what you are entitled to

Understand your legal entitlements.  Avoid being seduced by false offers, especially if you are new to a country or state.  We have heard of candidates being ‘sold’ basic legal entitlements as if there were bonuses e.g. four weeks annual leave or matching your retirement savings up to 3% of your salary (these are New Zealand based examples).  

Be clear on your own bottom line

What are your top and bottom figures/conditions?  Remember top figure is what you would ideally like and the bottom figure is the point at which you will walk away from the negotiation.

If you are not prepared to walk away, it is not your bottom line.

Back up your expectations with reasons.

Be prepared to share your research information and its sources.

To be able to say, 

“I believe the position is worth $X as it involves similar skills, attributes and level of experience to X position as currently assessed by X  organisation” 

is likely to be more persuasive than, 

“I believe I am worth $X”

In sum

Be like a Scout.

Show up to negotiations as prepared as you would for a mountain trek, albeit with slightly different provisions i.e. don’t bring a thermos of tea to the negotiations, even if you expect them to be long and cold.

Good luck out there in the wilderness of pay and conditions negotiations.

See you next time,

Claire (aka The Barefoot Consultant)

Links and all that Jazz

This is part of a larger series; here are the parts

Photo credit


Part 1of 4: How to negotiate like a man: Just do it!

I knew that opening might ruffle some feathers.

It is a tad sexist.

Unfortunately, the reality is, #MenDoItBetter when it comes to wage negotiations.

A recent USA study shows that only 7% of women attempt to negotiate pay and conditions compared to 57% of men.  Local studies show more NZ women negotiate but local men get better results.

This is only one factor in why the male-female wage gap is unacceptably high.  But, it is a factor that women can influence! 

The 2018  male-female wages gap was  9.2 %.  Do not despair, some progress has been made.  In 1988 the difference was much higher.  When I started work in 1970 it was considered acceptable that women were paid half a ‘man’s wage’ and it wasn’t even questioned.

Maybe 9.2% doesn’t sound too bad on your starting salary out of study.  Stop!  Let’s look at that long term.  If Jane is on $30 per hour then John is on $ 32.80.  Did I hear you say $2.80 who cares?  But John gets $5,740 per year more, that is not so trivial.  In ten years he will have earned $50,000 more than Jane and that is only if he doesn’t get higher annual increases.  Unfortunately, the data tells us, this is not likely to happen.

Add this to the fact that if  Jane works hard and moves up to the higher income brackets then John will be 20% ahead of her, as the gap is even wider in more senior positions. 

Despite what we have discussed above in turns our 80% of the reasons for the gender pay gap are unexplained. 

What this means is we cannot immediately fix everything.  But we can and should improve the things we do know.  The other impacts are likely to become clearer over time.  

For now.

Let’s just do this: Let’s start negotiating!

To follow in this series will be discussing;

See you there.

Claire Lichtwark McInnes

The Barefoot Recruiter

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels