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Why Women Earn Less

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Why Women Earn Less

How to Make What You're Really Worth

Career Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The demons of women’s wages are traits that create “underearners”: poor self-esteem, self-sabotage, misplaced kindness.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Do you feel as if your career is stuck under a rock and your salary is buried six feet under? You’re not alone. Many women suffer from the grateful-to-have-a-job syndrome and earn far less than they need or want. With a mix of colorful commentary and hard facts, Mikelann R. Valterra presents a thoughtful discussion about the gender gap in wages. While avoiding clichés or easy explanations, she analyzes the remuneration problems women face and provides practical solutions. The book is a bit flawed by repetition. Key statistics, for example, are frequently recycled. But the author addresses crucial issues that have been hidden. getAbstract sees this as essential fiscal homework for female execs, the pink-collar office pool and the self-employed.


“Underearning” 101

Everyone experiences career setbacks, but “underearners” – including millions of women – have a history of subpar paychecks and self-sabotage. Suffering insufficient pay is a silent ailment, layered in secrecy. Unfortunately, like an ignored toothache, the problem of underearning often festers unexamined and untreated, but it has serious short- and long-term side effects. The short-term impact may be an inability to pay household bills or to afford adequate healthcare. On a long-term basis, underearners fail to save enough funds to retire and end up with lower financial resources after their peak earning years. Underearning takes varied forms, including:

  • Failure to request a raise or bonus – Fearing conflict or rejection, many women don’t ask.
  • Below-market fees – Self-employed women often underprice or underbill their services, and fail to charge competitive rates.__
  • Excessive volunteering – Even if they can’t make ends meet, underearners often have trouble turning down time-consuming projects, events or fundraisers for nonprofits. An imbalance between paid and volunteer jobs causes many women to underearn.

About the Author

Mikelann R. Valterra, a financial recovery specialist, operates a financial counseling practice and is a popular public speaker.

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