Today is March 8 and it is International Women’s Day. I’d like to wish all of you a Happy International Women’s Day! The theme is  #ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
So let’s all choose to challenge.

How can we help forge a gender-equal world?
1. Celebrate women’s achievement.

2. Raise awareness against bias.

3. Take action for equality.

As it is International Women’s Day today, I am asking myself, “How will I #ChooseToChallenge?”

I thought about my own specific context, which is a 34-year-old female expat teacher, surrounded by a community of women in a similar situation, and wondered what sort of thing I could do to challenge, which would truly make a positive difference for women in our EET community?

Women tend to earn less than men for the same job. I have come across this time and time again, partly due to women’s reluctance to negotiate their salary/ employment package while men are fully expected and encouraged to do so. However, I was still shocked to read these facts from a 2014 TIME article:

  • In the USA, the average woman is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that figure is lower again for black and Hispanic women; African American women are paid only 64 cents and Latina women only 55 cents for each dollar made by a white man.
  • Even though we outnumber men in higher education, men still make more money than women with the same level of educational attainment, from high school diplomas to advanced graduate degrees. In 2011, men with bachelors’ degrees were paid MORE than women with postgraduate degrees. Even more shockingly, the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. That is 169 years away. This means that our younger sisters, female cousins, nieces, daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters will still earn LESS than males for having the same qualifications, experience, skills and carrying out the same job duties. CRAZY, ISN’T IT???
  • Moreover, female teachers have less savings and a smaller pension pot because it is traditionally the mother who leaves her job or takes a career break to raise children while the partner earns a salary and contributes more to his work pension. Due to this extended time out of the workforce, the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that amongst Australians in the 55-64 age group, the males’ average superannuation savings are $150,000 compared to the females’ median of $80,000 (almost half). As we cannot depend on progress or governments to pay us equally, we absolutely need to get savvy with our own finances in order to ensure that this gender pay inequality does not translate into a poverty-stricken retirement. A 2016 National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) in the USA report finds women were 80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. We live longer than men and our savings and income must match that.

So my 2021 International Women’s Day’s action for equality is to share tips with you that I use to strive to close the gender pay gap! I shared them on my IG this morning, so you may have already seen them. If you haven’t, be sure to follow me for daily job hunting, CV, cover letter, interview skills and money-saving tips!

So my 2021 International Women’s Day’s action for equality is to share tips with you that I use to strive to close the gender pay gap! I shared them on my IG this morning, so you may have already seen them. If you haven’t, be sure to follow me here for daily job hunting, CV, cover letter, interview skills and money-saving tips!
  1. I always negotiate my package – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I always do. I can ask to see the school salary scale to make sure I am getting what my experience deserves.I try to ensure I get an extra stipend/ perk for my MA. If I am disappointed with the package/ salary, I will email the headteacher and express that I’d expected a higher salary due to my X years of experience, along with a list of my other highly desirable attributes and skills to remind them of the value I can bring to the school. I am always polite and firm, so there is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about it. The huge majority of schools abroad are businesses/ corporations, so it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss money/ business; it’s nothing personal.

2. If you have a business and provide a service (like I do in Teach Abroad Transformation), be sure to charge what you are worth and happy with. Calculate how much you wish to earn per hour and make sure it reflects your expertise, education and training and what wonderful results you are giving to your clients. I recently read “Chillpreneur” by Denise Duffield-Thomas, which is an amazing book that will show you how to remove any money blocks you may have. Check it out here on Amazon.

3. Feel free to say NO to any requests for free work/ favours. People who ask you to “just check something” or “can you do something” for them do not respect your time, energy and expertise. It is your business, not your hobby. A good answer to have ready is “I am very busy with paid client work at this time so I am unable to commit to any free/ unpaid work.” No apology necessary!

Wishing you all a Happy Women’s Day 2021 and I hope the tips I’ve shared as my action for equality will empower you financially and help us take one step closer to gender pay equality 💚 How will you #ChooseToChallenge this #IWD2021? I’d love to know what you think, so hit reply and let me know!

My name is Sorcha Coyle and I’ve been teaching in the Gulf (Qatar and Dubai) for the past 9 years. I also run Empowering Expat Teachers, whose mission is to empower future and current expat teachers to lead personally, professionally, and financially rewarding lives. If you haven’t already, join the supportive EET FB group here and follow me on IG @sorchacoyle_eet for lots of research, CV, and cover letter tips! Last but not least, I also provide CV and cover letter support to future and current expat teachers with my Teach Abroad Transformation service, which has three different packages (Essential, Extra, and Elite) to suit all needs and budgets. Great to have you with us!

Comments

comments