fastcompany.com – I was at dinner recently with some close female friends when the conversation veered into uncomfortable territory: Money. More specifically, what we currently earn versus how we’d like to be compensated.
I sat there saying very little.
Growing up, money—especially for the adult women in my life—was never considered an appropriate topic of discussion. Ideally, you had it; you never admitted that you wanted more of it or acknowledged a lack of it. That was just good manners.
But this recent evening made me realize just how deeply I’d internalized that reticence around money matters—and how personally and professionally detrimental that might be. This is one difficult conversation it literally pays for women to master, both among ourselves and in the workplace at large.
The gender pay gap is more complex than the 77¢-on-the-dollar figure we’ve grown used to hearing women earn relative to men. Many different factors contribute to many different forms of earning disparity, and while important research is constantly bringing them to light, it can be hard for ordinary professional women to see the full range of ways those imbalances impact our lives.