The gender and racial pay gap is real. We know that African American women, Native American and Latinas are adversely affected by the pay gap in the United States. Latinas are ‘the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 53 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men’ according to LCLAA (Labor Council of Latin American Advancement).

We know systemic issues of gender and racial discrimination exist, policies are at the hands of our government to enforce to ensure women are getting paid fairly. It’s not simply up to us to get involved to end gender and racial pay gay, but all  by contacting our local representatives, reporting employers or companies not following state employment laws. Above all, many people don’t believe pay inequality is a thing – so crushing the myths for example, that women don’t ask for raises as much as men do. Women do. We just don’t get the raises we ask for, according to a June 2018 report from the Harvard Business Journal.

Here are three ways to know if you are getting paid fairly

Research Like You Mean It

Just like anything you will put your mind, heart and soul into – before you jump in, you need to research. Know when seeking hourly wage or salary information that it depends on your geography, market and of course, job description – role and responsibilities. A similar position downtown in a big city may differ from a similar position in a more suburban area. Here are a few tools to assess – PayScale, GlassDoor and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Build your case with newfound information, bring your list of accomplishments or wins when negotiating your starting salary or for a pay increase.

Talk About Your Pay

In the past and in certain industries, it was not a proper workplace conversation to discuss individual pay with peers or colleagues. It was avoided at all costs to preserve competition and of course, the resentfulness you may have! To compare hourly wages or salaries was just-too-personal. However, today with the leveling of the playing field, diversity and inclusion efforts and initiatives – more work cultures are open and accountability for companies is at its highest. You have to know how you measure up, right? Having hourly wage or salary intel from co-workers, mentors might be the best leverage you can present when negotiating your hourly wage or salary. Talking with friends, your squad can also be a game changer, talking ‘real’ about money can create awareness, confidence and lift limitations – maybe a friend is underpaid and didn’t know it!

Consider The Total Compensation Package

For some, money isn’t the primary motivator. Perhaps a more meaningful compensation comes with employee benefits and perks that are more attractive. For women, having a market rate or above hourly/salary and great company benefits is ideal and possible. Flexible work from home situations, generous parental leave are now being considered by employers and an important and attractive to majority female work force who may be working mothers. Could this matter more to you? Other benefits could include working at an early stage company with stock options however, back to the importance of research – that stock could be at ‘zero’ worth if you don’t understand vesting schedules, taxation and what the company’s growth and exit strategy is.

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