If you’re a woman who’s worked in any professional organization, you already know the difficulty and frustration of navigating a business world built for men. Between painful high heels, uncomfortable pencil skirts, mansplaining, manspreading and [insert the laundry list of other patriarchal things that somehow still exist in our society], it can be tempting to leave the system behind entirely. And there’s a way you can.
Nevertheless, women in business persist. Many women are finding that the best way to achieve equality in business may be to avoid the traditional workplace altogether and start their own gig. Here are the two main issues women face in business, and why leaving a traditional job to form their own Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be the answer.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
The biggest issue women face is the wage (or pay) gap, which is a statistical indicator used to compare the earnings of women to the earnings of men. Basically, it’s a fancy way of showing how much more men are making yearly than women.
According to research by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women working in 2015 made an average of 80 cents for every dollar a man made. Unfortunately, this gap is larger when comparing annual earnings for women of color to those of an average male worker. African American women earned 64 cents for every dollar a man made, and Hispanic women earned just 56 cents for every dollar.
Quite simply, this means that even if Mary shows up to work every day and does the same job as Bob with the same level of experience and education, Bob will still go home each night with more money in his pocket.
Many laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 have attempted to stop this practice from taking place. Still, we haven’t made much progress as a society, and the gap isn’t expected to close for 135 more years.
Women in the business world face daily challenges that hold them back and push them down. One of those issues is mansplaining — when a man explains something to a woman that she already knows or is actually an expert on.
Picture this: In a meeting, Sarah makes a statement about a topic or project on which she’s the authority. Immediately after this, Jim attempts to correct her by saying the same thing or rephrasing her sentence. Often, Jim will get the credit for his “brilliant” insight, leaving Sarah with no credit among her workplace peers and only 80 cents on the dollar (or less) to show for it.
Mansplaining happens on a daily basis and has become a hot topic in the business world. Author Jessica Bennett discussed this issue in Feminist Fight Club, a book about workplace survival for women. Bennett details what a mansplainer might do and how to combat it. One suggestion is for women to help each other out in the board room and defend their fellow female co-workers when mansplaining takes place. This strategy has even been adopted by women working in the White House!
Between lack of equal pay and issues like mansplaining, some women have had enough. The stagnation toward progress and equality has frustrated many women to the point where they decide to take their professional worth into their own hands.
The Empowerment of Self-Employment
Becoming self-employed and starting a Limited Liability Company allows women to take control over aspects of the business world that they don’t always have a part in: having a seat at the table, managing team members, setting their rate to a fair wage, and being the CEO of their own business. Many entrepreneurs have seen that it doesn’t take long at all to establish their own business, especially if you use Incfile.com to help you out with starting and managing the company.
It’s fair to say that women have been tipped off about the “secret” that self-employment or business ownership can equal empowerment. In fact, women make up 53 percent of all freelance workers, and the rate of women-owned firms is growing five times faster than the national average. Women today are definitely “owning it” in the self-employment game!
In general, women are keen on self-employment and starting their own gig because it brings them fulfillment, more (or different) opportunities, better work/life balance, higher hourly salary, and a chance to avoid any sexist coworkers and managers.
Of course, becoming a business owner doesn’t solve every sexist issue women encounter on a daily basis. And it doesn’t cure the overall problems of gender inequality that persist within our society and culture. But it’s a start, and we have to keep nudging ourselves forward toward true equality as much as we can. Even if that means one gig at a time.
Take the Leap Toward Equality
Ready to get equal pay and avoid mansplaining by starting your own gig or business? Get started today! Forming your LLC with Incfile is easy and will allow you to get right to work while leaving behind unfair pay, mansplainers, and other issues. Be the boss of your own life, and work the way that works best for you!