We Don’t Want Equal Pay, We Want Fair Pay (Guest Post)

Lauren is a litigation solicitor based in Sydney. She is passionate about advocating for women and worker’s rights. She runs a blog at http://lawyerlauren.com.

When she’s not arguing, writing or trying to stay awake in meetings, she cooks, surfs and tries to manage her comedy club and yoga addiction.

We want fair pay

A protest event.

Pay gaps, sexism and gender inequality make up some of the hottest topics on the corporate playground at the moment. It’s generally agreed that the cards are stacked against women when it comes to pay. It’s generally agreed that society and organisational culture continues to slam the door in the face of the career progression for many women. However, we’re often so hung up contrasting salaries and bonuses with Mr Desk-Next-Door, that we rarely take the time to assess what equal pay even is, and whether that’s actually what we want.

I often hear women reeling about how their male colleagues being paid substantially more than they are. However, when I push for numbers, very few women can actually give me any figures. I’ll ask, what do you think you should be paid? And they’ll look bashful, and mutter something about being paid the same as their male colleagues. Reading between the lines, most women don’t have a clue what they should be paid, because they’ve never taken the time to evaluate what their skill set is actually worth. If you haven’t researched the market, or thought about what numerical value your skills bring to your industry, then chances are you’ll have no choice but to accept any old average number your employer slaps on the table. Simply because you are without any rebuttable to negotiate otherwise.

Equal pay implies that women should be paid the same as men. Full stop. The end. It sounds great, but this egalitarian concept is too generic and unrefined to be realistically applied in practice. To say that all men and women should receive the same sized slice of pie, regardless of their experience, skills, ambition, ability and achievements within their industry is misguided. A one-size-fits-all approach is not what we really want.

Yes, we can say we’re disadvantaged by organisational culture. Yes, we can say we’re hindered by sexism. Yes, can say our society needs to move towards great empowerment of women. But we as individuals can take matters into our own hands. I believe part of the solution to closing the ‘gender pay gap’ is to:

  1. Stop focusing on what men are earning; and
  2. Start focusing on being paid what you’re worth.

We all know the statistics of men earning more. It’s raw and it’s real, but you don’t have to become a statistic. Nobody will ever pay you what you’re worth, they will only ever pay you what they think you’re worth. Therefore, it’s within your control to influence their thinking to ensure it matches your ideals.

I don’t believe in equality when it comes to pay. Simply because equal does not mean fair. Regardless of gender, if you’re a driven and enthusiastic performer at work, you want to be recognised for your achievements and results. Why should you be paid the same as the lazy sod who rocks at 9.10 am every morning and is more concerned about a Facebook feed than owning the day? Fair is the concept that really matters. Get rid of gender. An individual assessment of merit is what we should be pushing for.

Compacting your skills and experience into an annual numerical figure is not an easy task. In fact, it can pose more questions than answers. Women are naturally far more modest than men, but sadly, humility doesn’t pay dollars in performance reviews or job interviews. So it’s easier to beat our drum to the tune of being paid the same as men. Market rates are just a guide. You may be worth more, but if you’re not sure, how can you expect your employer to be? Continue reading


Jeri Walker Talks Breast Cancer in The Abandoned Boob Chronicles

Inspirational Jeri Walker

Meet writer and editor Jeri Walker. She is an inspiration for anyone battling breast cancer.

Ah yes, the “C” word. C is for Cancer. It also stands for, well, Crappy. Crummy. BUT, when it comes to Jeri Walker, it’s also about being Courageous.

This is Jeri Walker

You may know Jeri from Word Bank Writing & Editing, where she offers writing tips, editing advice, author interviews and more. It’s a literary heaven, really. It was through this website that I first came to know Jeri, and we quickly became friends. Her intellect was Captivating (another “C”!).

Then, recently, Jeri reached out with words of her breast cancer diagnosis, and it shook the worlds of so many of us. But Jeri, resilient woman that we know her to be, stands strong and uses The Abandoned Boob Chronicles to bring us her deepest thoughts, struggles, and triumphs.

What is The Abandoned Boob Chronicles?

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Craft Awakening (Guest Post)

Today, I welcome Jennifer Smith-Kirk to the blog to chat about how crafting – in particular, making cards – has elevated her life to a whole new level. I have known Jennifer for many years and love her positive spirit! Here she is, at the door. Do come in and join us.

Take it away, Jennifer:

A Crafty Woman to Admire

Meet Jennifer Smith-Kirk, Crafting Extraordinaire!

Hi Everyone!

Firstly a huge thank you to lovely Christy Birmingham for allowing me to write a guest post. A little about me, firstly my name is Jennifer Smith-Kirk, I am in my early 50’s, and through various circumstances I have found a hobby card-making that has become my passion.

I have some disabilities and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis just over 10 years ago, Sarcoidosis in an autoimmune multi-system disease, which affects my eyes, joints and skin. I have overcome 2 major strokes & 2 mini strokes I was at the time in retail management with a large team of staff under me. I hung on to work mainly in denial until poor health took over, then I was no longer well enough to do my job.

I have had to learn to walk again twice and I am now left with right sided weakness and I walk either with a cane or a 3 wheel walker depending on how I am as it changes on a day to day basis.

I am married to a wonderful, patient caring man who is loved by my friends and family. He encourages me and on days that I want to disappear as I am quite often in pain he manages to lift me up.

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Iceland is a Leading Feminist Country and Here’s Why

Stunning Icelandic Sky

Beautiful sky in the feminist country of Iceland. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Iceland. A country, an island, and a feminist nation. I’ve never been there, but I would like to go one day to see the sun at midnight in summer and experience the society that empowers women. Iceland’s feminist-based ideology is one that I can wholeheartedly get behind.

Iceland and the Working Woman

The Economist recently chose Iceland as the best place for working women. The Nordic country got a better score on the index for women and work than Canada (11th place) and the United States (19th place). The UK was in 24th spot.

Let’s dig deeper into The Economist‘s findings. In Iceland, women have close to half (44 percent) of seats on listed-company boards. This is thanks to voluntary political-party quotas.

And, get this: Women achieved 48 percent of seats in Iceland’s parliament in 2016. This was (and is) a huge accomplishment as, according to the Huffington Post, Iceland was the first country to have that many women in a single legislative body. Wow. Compare that to the 19 percent of women in Congress in the U.S.

Furthermore, the Guide to Iceland explains that women compose 66 percent of total university graduates and that 80 percent of women in Iceland work. These numbers show that the small island is progressive, and makes noteworthy strides in gender equality largely because women have taken matters into their own hands.

A Feminist Looks Ahead in Iceland

A vision for gender equality in Iceland. Making strides as a feminist island nation. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Iceland’s Advancements in Gender Equality

By now you may be asking yourself, why is Iceland closer to achieving gender equality than Canada, the U.S., and so many other countries? Looking back at the island nation’s history helps provide insights.

For centuries, Icelandic women were at home while their husbands went to sea. The women were responsible for getting the food, creating the home and making sure everything didn’t hit the fan. They made sure money was spent reasonably and helped the country grow.

Continue reading