How the Wage Gap Is Hurting More Than Women’s Wallets
2015 was the year the world finally started to get serious about the wage gap. From J. Law’s on-point Lenny Letter essay to companies stepping up to raise awareness to those pointing out that there are even gaps among women, the wage gap became less of a women’s issue and more of everyone’s problem. And now there may be one more reason to speed up the process of closing the gap: A new study says that women’s higher diagnoses of mental illness could be explained by the wage gap.
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health measured the levels of anxiety and depression in women and men who had the same skill and education levels, but had one very important difference: The women made less money than their male counterparts. The results? Exactly what you’d expect — women who made less had higher odds of being diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder or having a major depressive episode.
It makes sense, unfortunately. What exactly are women supposed to think when we’ve got all the same qualities as men but are literally valued less?!
“If women internalize these negative experiences as reflective of inferior merit, rather than the result of discrimination, they may be at increased risk for depression and anxiety disorders,” says Jonathan Platt, one of the study’s authors, in a news release.
The researchers suggest some serious structural changes — paid parental leave, affordable childcare and flexible work schedules — to make work life a little less stressful until the world can finally get its stuff together and pay women and men equally.
And while this news is super disheartening and discouraging, we’re choosing to look at it this way: If governments and corporations learn that the wage gap is becoming an actual public health issue, maybe things will start to change.
Have you experienced the wage gap first-hand? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo.
(Photos via Sean Gallup/Getty + Ilia Yefimovich/Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.