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Weekly Reader 6.13.11

Helping Young Women Get Pay Parity

Your daughter, armed with a her newly minted degree, heads off  to a job interview.  If you read “New College Graduates Struggle” you’ll know that it’s very likely that her first job will earn her $5,000 less annually than her male contemporaries.    Huffington Post writer Amanda Fairbanks goes into further explanation about the salary gender gap in  “‘They Don’t Negotiate’: Why Young Women College Graduates Are Still Paid Less Than Men.”

As Dr. Van Horn told mothering21.com,  women often chose careers that pay less than men and, even when they are in the same field,  they are less likely to negotiate for a better starting salary. Another reason, Ms. Fairbanks writes, is that women often expect their career tracks to slow down when they get married and have children:

One big reason [Harvard professor Hannah Riley]Bowles sees women going into different careers from men is that they still assume the overwhelming responsibility of household and childcare duties. She sees a lot of young women falling into the trap of negotiating their first few jobs based on their future selves — especially when they have yet to meet the partner they’ll someday marry.

“They cut themselves out of certain types of jobs, assuming it will be incompatible with a stage of life when they’re assuming larger pressures and responsibilities,” explains Bowles, echoing the message of the oft-cited wisdom of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

“Don’t get out until you’re out,” is Sandberg’s advice to women.

In another piece, “5 Ways to Earn What You’re Worth.” Ms. Fairbanks offers  tips to help young women get a better starting salary—or perhaps a different benefit.  One noteworthy tip:

BE FIRM AND BE NICE. Once you decide to negotiate, be clear to your perspective boss that it isn’t merely about a couple hundred or thousand dollars, but about how this job ultimately fits into your overall career trajectory. And keep in mind that negotiation isn’t always about money — maybe you want to negotiate benefits or vacation, or even the ability to attend certain conferences during the course of the year.

Two good articles to pass along to the young women in your life!

Lowering Expectations

That first job—or lack thereof—is the topic du jour around the web.  In a Psychology Today column, Dr. Carl Pickhardt writes about “Adolescence and Expectations about College Graduation.”
Some young adults have unrealistic expectations about how fast they will find a job and/or what kind of employment they will find.  That’s call for a reality change and adjusting the new normal in recessionary economy. Dr. Pickhardts writes,

For everyone, choice of expectations in life psychologically matters because these mental sets can have such powerful emotional consequences. Thus recent college graduates who choose to hold unrealistic positive expectations about their immediate prospects in life usually do so to their unhappy cost.

Traveling–and Bonding–with Adult Children

Earlier this month author Dominique Browning wrote a lovely piece abouting travelling with her adult sons,  “Mother and Sons, on the Same Track.”

Letting go of the reins and following the lead of her two young adult sons on transcontinental train trip, Ms. Browning discovered more then pretty scenery.  She writes,

Out of this journey, I have distilled some principles for parents trying to forge a lasting relationship with older children. May they help other hapless parents along their ways.

  • Turn It Over To a Younger Power.
  • Don’t Say Everything That Pops Into Your Brain.
  • No More Corrections, Of Any Sort.
  • Do Interesting Things Together. Do Anything Together.
  • Listen and Do Nothing. Or, Do Nothing and Just Listen.
  • They Will Never Be 8 Years Old Again. Nor Do You Want Them To Be. Not Really. Just a Bit
  • Everything Ends Too Fast. Childhood Is Just the Beginning.

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