Is there such a thing as the ‘ideal’ salary for a woman? Why do women settle for less while contributing more to the job?

Gender Pay Gap

People are getting rich, and the proof of it is the number of billionaires minted in 2021 alone. Big Tech companies are raising the base pay considerably, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are taking home hundreds of millions of dollars.

However, not everyone gets paid the same. There is a saying that money can't buy happiness, and it is true to some extent. However, money gets you a lot of satisfaction, especially when you are being paid at par with your male co-workers. This might sound like a cliché to many today, but the pay gap is the truth. 

According to the Monster Salary Index, men earn a gross hourly wage of ₹311.78, while a female receives only ₹256.61 per hour. The gender pay gap is roughly about 17.7% in India. Here is a report from the International Trade Union regarding Global Gender Wage Gap in 2017 across the world. The gap became visible because of the pay transparency and financial literacy among women today.

Gender Pay Gap

Above Graph Shows: International Trade Union Global Gender Wage Gap in 2017 worldwide

To give you more idea about the gap in the salary, watch this video from Gravitas Plus.

Although the gap is closing over time, but extremely slowly. The wealth inequality is still rather considerable.

So, How Much is Enough Salary for Women?

Everyone’s definition of enough is different depending on their vision of an ideal life, lifestyle choices, career goals, money goals, state of personal finance, and so on. Women have become more ambitious, they want more luxury and comfort, and the quality of lifestyle has improved a lot in the past few years. To figure out how much is a sustainable income, consider your annual costs, financial objectives, and how much salary is a sustainable income for you, allowing you to achieve financial independence.

You can check out a framework called financial independence, retire early, or FIRE movement. Although, being a woman, there's is nothing like retirement from the roles and responsibilities, you can retire from earning money. It says early retirement, it’s not necessary to consider retirement at all. It can help you find a liveable wage to take care of your and your family’s needs along with reaching financial independence. You can watch this video from Tickertape to learn more about the FIRE movement.

Multiply your current or projected annual expenses by 25 to get to the right number. According to the four per cent rule, retirees can withdraw 4% from their retirement portfolio every year for a steady income stream during their retirement years. Budgeting helps in having a vision for the kind of lifestyle you want and the salary you will need to fulfil it. 

Numbers Can Change

Some day, something might make you want to earn more than you are earning now. Maybe you would want a better lifestyle, or you would come to know that you have been undervaluing yourself. Women often get paid less for the similar hours and jobs as their male counterparts, and that affects their financial goals. So, is there such a thing as the ideal salary for a woman? The answer is no, and there shouldn’t be.

Women are often discouraged from wanting more, but they should be ambitious, desire a better quality of life and not feel guilty about it. Men don’t. However, it is important that you should be clear about what you want and why, not to explain it to anyone but yourself.

 Some want to earn for a better lifestyle for the family, while others for charity, sustainability, philanthropy, and to be able to create opportunities for others to earn. Better pay allows them to do more for society. 

The answer to how much is enough changes when the focus shifts from buying expensive luxuries to investing in something you believe in or people. There is no number to good wages.

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