We’re not leaning in, we’re marching in!

Forty years ago, if I walked into a bank for a loan or a credit card, I would have been turned down unless I had a husband or father to co-sign. It took the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 to change that.

We’ve come a long way since then—in fact, today, nearly 40 percent of all privately held businesses in the USA are owned and operated by women. Women everywhere are not only going after what they want—we’re not waiting around for any laws to be passed to make our way in the business world. We’re going out and creating pathways to financial freedom and success for ourselves and other women on our own terms.

But here’s the reality we still face:

  • Today, women are paid just 79 percent of what men are paid
  • The pay gap increases for women of color
  • Women face a pay gap in every state and it’s higher in some states than others
  • The pay gap exists across all occupations
 At this rate, the gender pay gap won’t close for more than one hundred years!

 

There’s no magic solution…or is there?

Women entrepreneurs have started 10 million businesses in the U.S. alone. We generate 1.4 trillion in revenues per year and if women-owned businesses had our own country, we’d have the fifth largest GDP in the world, just behind Germany and ahead of France and the UK!

So on Equal Pay Day, April 12, 2016, which symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn the same amount as men did in the previous year, we can celebrate how far we’ve come and let everyone know that we’re just getting started.

Women entrepreneurs are helping close the gender pay gap

In my work with so many women entrepreneurs, one thing has become perfectly clear: when women create successful businesses, we’re helping to close that gender pay gap. And in the process, we’re creating businesses that have the ideal work-life balance for ourselves and other women because we create the kinds of companies that we want to work in.

For example, the whole senior team at my company, Little Pim, are working moms. It is absolutely fine for one of us to take a morning off to go to our kid’s doctor appointment or leave early for a back to school night or special event.

We won’t stop until that gap is closed for good

I wrote Million Dollar Women to bring gender issues into focus and because I believe that when we have more women building and scaling multi-million dollar businesses, we’ll have more women earning what they should in an environment that respects the other roles they want to play in their lives.

So today and every day, I encourage you not to lean in, but to march in! Continue to create your own pathway to financial freedom and success—on your own terms.

Stay brave,

Julia

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