An accurate assessment of value in the marketplace is essential for the success of any company, however, if you’re a female business owner, chances are you’re not charging enough and if you’re an employee, you’re probably earning less than your male counterpart.

This is according to Yael Geffen, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, who adds that this is not always due to the corporate glass ceiling or discrimination by others, it’s very often down to the simple fact that women, themselves, don’t feel comfortable charging for their true value.

“Far too many women find it difficult to put a price tag on themselves and, as a result, they ask for less money than they are worth and often end up working just to survive. 

“This is clearly evidenced when one looks at all the statistics, some of the most recent being from a study conducted in the States which found that not only do women pay more for the debt they carry, they also invest less than men do and, as a result, women retire with two-thirds less than the money that men do.

“More specifically, they found that unmarried women older than 65 have only 19% of the wealth of their male counterparts and divorced and widowed women over 65 have 81% and 59% respectively of the wealth of men with the same status.”

Geffen believes that the only way to eliminate the significant gender wealth gap is for women to shift their mindsets into creating more wealth for themselves.

“Money is not merely necessary for paying our monthly bills and putting food on the table; it’s crucial for securing our futures and those of our children and financial assets and savings are therefore critical resources that women can tap into when they need it. 

“And the first step on the path to acquiring financial security is determining – and accepting – your true value. To objectively assess your attributes and what you can bring to the table. 

“Don’t look to others for validation because you know yourself better than anyone else and anytime you look outside yourself to determine your value, you’re looking in the wrong place.

“The way to make sure you are reaching your goals and that it doesn’t become overwhelming is to set three to six-month horizon lines, which allows you to regularly reassess your achievements and tweak your plans if necessary.”

Geffen says that women also need to learn to negotiate and that many choose not to negotiate, entirely out of fear or assuming this is the best offer.

“In order to successfully negotiate, you need to be confident in what you are offering and you also need to do some homework.

“Research current salaries in your field and look at what the jobs entail. It’s much easier to stick to your guns with this information as you have valid reason for negotiating and prospective employers will see this and respect you for it.

“And although many women are afraid of bold moves, one of the most powerful tools of negotiating is being able to walk away when you are being undervalued and the other party refuses to raise their offer to what you believe you are worth. It shows you mean business and garners immediate respect.”

She adds that many women also feel that they are secondary to men in the workplace – especially in male-dominated industries – but this is far from the truth and, over and above their own unique skill sets, the mere virtue of their gender is finally being recognised as a corporate asset.

“Previous research has shown that having women in the workplace and gender diversity in general has been shown to improve a company’s performance and can, in fact, be key for an organisations’ bottom line.”

Geffen cites the following findings from this research:

  • Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on boards financially outperform companies with the lowest representation of women on boards.
  • Gender-diverse teams have higher sales and profits compared to male-dominated teams.
  • A recent Gallup study found that gender-diverse business units have higher average revenue than less diverse business units.

“Self-worth is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as being ‘the value you give to your life and achievements’ and when we undervalue ourselves, we are doing ourselves a great disservice,” says Geffen.

“It’s also important for women to role model to their children that they can be successful and earn just as well as their male counterparts – especially when it comes to single mothers with no supplementary source of income.

“And moreover, we are impeding our chances of achieving success and being the very best that we can be; not just in the workplace but also in our personal lives. We owe it to ourselves to be our own biggest fans and promotors.

“The trick is to also stop comparing to what others have and to appreciate and be grateful for what you do have. It’s a simple law of attraction – gratitude attracts more abundance and opens us up to recognising opportunities rather than seeing problems.”

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