There are several benefits to being a woman, like being able to play the mechanically dumb card and avoiding some physical labor, and blaming our emotional outbursts on “that time of the month”.
But along with these advantages, being a woman also has some drawbacks, one of which is the higher financial cost of being a woman.
Here are two ways women get the short end of the stick when it comes to cost of living:
Same Goods and Services, Higher Price
We’ve heard time and time again that women have to pay more for things they buy, like razors, jeans, and haircuts, but what you may not know is that women also have to pay a premium on many services too. For example, the cost of dry cleaning and pressing button-down shirts with a feminine cut is at least $2 more than a man’s cut as most locations.
But, why are we paying a premium for these products? According to Consumer Reports in 2010, the higher cost of women’s good is due to the different formulations and packaging required for women’s products.
The worst part is at the end of the day, men’s and women’s deodorant and razors function the same way, but women had to pay much more for their products.
Same Work, Lower Pay
Not only are women being charged more for essentially the same products, but often they are also earning less pay than their male counterparts. Although the glass ceiling has supposedly been broken, the reality is that many women are still only earning about 76.5% of what men are earning in full-time careers.
Essentially by charging women more for the same products and services, and paying them less than their male counterparts, women are being short changed on both ends.
What to do About it?
Luckily, women have a couple viable options to try and combat this problem. We can ask for a salary increase. If you decide to go this route, be prepared to offer up specific examples of your work ethic and why you deserve a raise. Don’t be petty or bring up what co-workers are making if you know this information. Instead be gracious and courteous in your request.
On the other end of the situation, manufacturers need to be aware that women are dissatisfied with paying more for their products, especially when it is essentially the same as the male version but with pink packaging. Spreading the word about this situation is a good start.
In the meantime, try and avoid paying this “woman’s tax” as often as possible. If the products are the same and it makes no difference, buy the cheaper version, even if it doesn’t have the pretty pink packaging. The less money we put back into these product schemes, the less of them companies will be able to continue funding.
Do you think it costs more to be a woman? What do you think can be done about it?
Image via Flickr by Dan Zen