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HERstory 2021

Women have made advances in the world. And yet, globally women overall still face a 12.8% pay gap in comparison to men. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (via the Catalyst website: Women’s Earnings – The Pay Gap: Quick Take | Catalyst) shares that: “Women earned 82.3% of what men earned in 2020, based on the median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers.”17

  • This has increased from 62.3% in 1979.18
  • Women earned a median of $891 weekly in 2020, while men earned $1,082.19

In the U.S. over 40 years, women have gained $.12 cents on the dollar. Stop the presses!! To simplify, this means it takes a woman earner from January of 2020 until March 24th of 2021 to make the same money as a man doing the same job, i.e., we make $.82 to a man’s $1.00 in wages. The numbers for women of color are far worse.

Research shows that women make a positive bottom line impact in the workplace, on boards of companies etc., yet our numbers in the top roles are still nowhere close to parity even though we get more college degrees and have been in the work world and the military. Women are capable, educated, and able to do all the things men do from a skills and work perspective.

So, what holds us back? Why do we not have an equal share of the pie? I am on a journey to find answers to these questions. While it is a multilayered and complex subject, it is also simple and obvious. Since 1980 the advances in some fields of technology are mind boggling. Yet, we still just can’t crack this really hard nut of paying women or those that are not white males equally for equal work! I believe the hard truth is that those that hold the power (spoiler alert, it ain’t the ladies) don’t want it to be, or it would be so.

I think it is WAY past time for us collectively to resolve the age-old issues that undermine pay and other equity related issues. It is no longer just anger and data that can solve this, but collective advocacy and action. I have found that you can use anger as energy to get momentum and movements going, but really can’t advocate effectively from anger. To create lasting change, you must get more people in power to see the issues/disparities and get them to hold themselves accountable to fix it. And you have to get more people that “get it” in power.

Truly, the game itself must change. We have been living in business environments that have been set up using a particular set of rules and ways of doing/being that were mostly set up by the male ruling class. If you’ve worked in business, you have learned these rules in order to survive, and just know them as what is normal. No matter that they don’t favor you.

I am committed to helping more diverse women leaders impact and lead in areas like law and policy, and how we do business so that it benefits not just a small group of investors, but the greater good. I am interested in women running things that grant them the power to make change, eliminate the ism’s that dominate our society, and more. I am ready for a more balanced way of leading, less history and more herstory that looks at our society with a wide-angle lens that is inclusive.

There is a saying or quote that goes something like:  We are the ones we have been waiting for …(author unknown). Ladies I have been waiting a LONG time for these things to change, trusting that over time they would. I am tired of waiting. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for… has never been truer. How about it, are you in? Let’s write some new Herstory!

An Unexpected Journey - book cover - Lori Severson

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