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It’s 2019 and the Gender Pay Gap Remains Prominent

by Cassie Dorian | January 31 2019

gender pay gap

Women are still being paid less than their male counterparts.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law making it illegal to discriminate pay on the basis of sex, yet the enforcement of this law has proven difficult as there are so many factors that go into wage discretion. It is a known fact that in most industries, women receive a fraction of the pay of their male coworkers for the same work. As of August 2018, women on average were earning 80.5 cents for every dollar men earned.

In a recent study on compensation trends, 600 people across the U.S. were surveyed to collect data on their pay. From the responses received, it was found that over half (57%) of the women surveyed fell in the bottom two pay brackets, meaning they made less than $45,000 per year, while only 43% of men surveyed fell under the same categories. Alternatively, only 9% of women surveyed made over $86,000 per year while 19% of men surveyed did.

In today’s age, you’d be hard-pressed to find many high-level business associates (think CEOs and CFOs) who believe that the gender pay gap is justifiable, so that begs the question: why are women still being paid less than men?

One possible contributing factor may also be found in the study previously noted. This study also looked at the differences in what motivated men and women to work harder at their job. While both genders were most motivated by the possibility of a raise followed by their love of their job, the comparison between the percentages of each is worth noting. More women surveyed (51%) were motivated by love of their job, the work ethic of their coworkers and the company culture than men surveyed (41%). On the other hand, a larger percentage of men (59%) than women (49%) were motivated by the possibility of a raise and the possibility of a promotion. While more men value monetary rewards for their work, most women are more motivated by if they love what they are doing and their place of employment. This finding, of course, in no way justifies the pay gap, but may provide some explanation (besides age-old social constructs) as to why the gender pay gap is still occurring in American society today.

The pay gap is something that has been brought to the attention of Americans since women joined the workforce. While definite progress has been made since that time, there is still a long way to go for there to be equal pay in the United States. One sure step in the right direction is understanding all the possible motivations to women receiving less pay than men in an effort to find solutions that address the underlying issues.


New Study Shows Gen Z Workers aren’t Prioritizing Soft Skills

by Cassie Dorian | December 14 2018

chess board shows leadership moves

Soft skills, like leadership, aren’t tangible in nature, unlike technical skills such as copywriting, coding, or even manual labor. It takes careful effort and planning to evolve raw and even personalized skills like communication, conflict resolution, and teamwork.

Soft skills are losing their priority, too. A new study found that Gen Z workers are much more focused on developing their hard skills than their soft skills than previous generations such as the Millennials, Gen X, or even Baby Boomers. The importance of soft skill development can’t be emphasized enough because that’s how collaboration, client relations, and more can be improved. The soft skills help on the road to the hard ones.

Take leadership, for instance. This is a soft skill taught, developed, and maintained far less than many other soft skills.

Leadership is an intangible concept often seen exemplified from afar. It’s a skill desirable on any new hire’s resume, a skill entrepreneurs chase their whole lives. Many people, in fact, chase leadership development, unsure of where to begin or how to evolve their existing skills. According to the great leaders past – whether they’re generals, CEOs, or average joes – one of the best ways to develop leadership skills is by reading. Actually, learning overall is one of the best ways to boost leadership skills.

Natural leaders are often life-long learners, curious about what makes the world spin around. In order to develop your own leadership skills, reading is an activity which should be prioritized more often. Although reading 52 books in one year is an attainable goal for some people, reading one book a week is a difficult venture for others. The bottom line is those who are successful know the key to success is learning, curiosity, and voraciously devouring information about the world around you.

Becoming a better leader doesn’t happen overnight; like all good things, there is time to spend and patience to display during leadership skill development. Technical talent can take precedent in a world where technology is changing constantly. What worked in 2018 may not work in 2019, which is why experts suggest upping the volume of books or articles read for professionals.

Reading one genre of books isn’t enough, either – it’s crucial to pull titles from all genres because there’s wisdom in every industry. Business books can teach lessons about how to handle the real world. Fiction novels help tell the stories of other worlds, providing (fictional) examples of scenarios we haven’t encountered before, therein showing a way to conquer a conflict or difficult situation. The most popular leadership books include titles from all different genres, proving there’s something to learn from every book, every situation, and every person.

Make 2019 the year of learning.


How Many Credit Cards Do I Need? Here’s Your Answer.

by Melody Bryn | November 23 2018

credit card online purchase

Credit cards are something that nearly every adult has, and often more than one. It’s not uncommon to have one from your bank, one from your favorite retailer, and one from an airline. Some people even have more than that. Each comes with its own set of benefits and points (as well as its own fees and interest rates). For this reason, not all credit cards are created equal, so it’s important to know what they’ll cost you and which will give you the best rewards.

So, how many credit cards should you have?

Like nearly any money-related question you’ll ask, there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. There’s no “right” number, though it’s recommended you have at least one in order to build credit (age of credit is important, so the earlier you start, the better). Still, here are some guidelines to follow when deciding if another credit card is a good decision (assuming you’re an adult).


Do you have a credit card yet?

No, I don’t.

You should probably go ahead and get a credit card then. The best option for a first card is one from your bank that doesn’t have an annual fee and has a relatively low interest rate.

Yes, I do.

Ok, then here’s where it gets a little trickier. It comes down to whether there’s any true benefit to getting that additional credit card, or if you’re just falling prey to a marketing scheme that’ll ultimately cost you more than you get back. Read on to get more insight on this decision.


What kind of card is it?

A card from my bank with no annual fee/low rate.

This kind of card is nearly a no brainer. If it’s not going to cost you anything in the form of an annual fee, then there’s almost no downside. The only thing to be aware of is credit inquiries — every time you apply for a card, you’ll get an inquiry on your credit report. This may temporarily bring down your credit score slightly, so avoid opening a credit card account right before you plan to apply for a loan or otherwise.


An airline credit card.

With these cards, it’s a matter of figuring out if the money you spend is worth the rewards you get back. For the standard Southwest Airlines card, for example, the annual fee is $99. So one way to look at it is: Will I get enough reward points in a year on my normal purchases to be worth more than $99 spent at Southwest? In other words: Does my $99 spend through this credit card fee give me more benefit than just spending $99 at the store directly? This is just one way to look at it, and of course this example just relates to the Southwest Airlines cards. Rewards are variable, so look at guides like this one in order to get a sense of what you get back from your dollars spent.


A “store” credit card.

Virtually every store or company has a credit card now, even Uber. The most important consideration in this case is, again, the annual fee. Are you going to be spending more than what you actually get back? Additionally, think realistically about the rewards you’re getting. If you “earn” discounted prices on items and that’s about it, then you aren’t actually getting much from this card, especially if you’re paying an annual fee. These discounted item prices are there to incentivize you to spend more money — on things you wouldn’t have bought otherwise. However, if you are getting real rewards in the form of store credit (and especially if there’s no annual fee) and it’s a store you’re going to shop at anyway (whether or not you have their store credit card), then it’s a good idea to get the card. Always ask yourself if having the card is going to change your behavior (i.e. you’re going to shop more), and honestly determine if you’re getting rewards for what you’ll buy anyway, or if you’re getting rewards because you’re spending more money in order to earn rewards.


A different kind of card.

No matter the card type, simply think in terms of “cost to me vs. rewards earned.” Ask yourself honestly if you’re going to have to spend more money in order to get “free” items, or if you’re actually earning rewards on purchases you’d make anyway. Don’t fall in the trap of credit card promotions coming to an end, either — there will always be a credit card promotion running.


Credit cards can be a great way to get cash back, free flights, and more. Just always pay attention to what the cardholder terms are, and always try to avoid accruing interest. Racking up interest makes that rewards card even more expensive (on top of the annual fee), and therefore makes the rewards you get worth even less.


3 Ethical Businesses You Should Be Supporting This Holiday Season

by Becky B | November 12 2018

gift wrapping

With the holidays right around the corner, gift-buying season has officially commenced. But along with the excitement of the most wonderful time of the year comes the dreaded gift hunt for those family members that are pretty much impossible to shop for. What do get your dad who claims to already have “everything he needs?” And what do you get your aunt who could spend your entire gift budget on her lunch gratuity?

The answer? Get them a gift that gives-back in one way or another. Here are 3 ethical companies that you should consider supporting as you shop this holiday season.

1. Everlane

So, you got your environmentally conscious cousin’s name for Secret Santa this year? And you just found out she already has the set of metal straws that you added to your Amazon shopping cart with her in mind? Don’t worry. Everlane is here to save the day. Everlane partners with the best ethical factories around the world to bring their customers products that are designed to last. What’s more, their new ReNew line focuses on minimizing waste in the production process. Now the only question is whether to buy your cousin a stylish puffy coat made from recycled polyester and 32 renewed plastic bottles or a fleece half-zip made from 36 renewed plastic bottles? Did we mention the coat comes in 3 colors and the half-zip in 5? Your hunt for the perfect secret Santa gift can end here.


2. The Starfish Project

Now onto that aunt who you haven’t shopped for yet. If your aunt is into jewelry, look no further than The Starfish Project. The Starfish Project exists to restore hope to exploited women in Asia. In fact, every purchase helps further this mission by providing women vocational training, healthcare, shelter, counseling, and educational grants. And regardless of whether your Aunt is more of a tassel-earring lady or a minimalist gold necklace junkie, The Starfish Project has something she will love. And why not pick up something for your mom and sister while you’re at it? Even if you’re not sure about their taste in jewelry, The Starfish Project has gift cards.


3. Matt & Natt

You may have the ladies in your life covered, but what about the men? Go check out Matt & Natt. Valuing social responsibility in nearly every sense of the word, Matt & Natt offers a variety of cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable leather products. Interested? Go ahead and peruse the stylish men’s footwear section of their website. Consider picking up a trendy leather backpack for your 24-year-old brother or a new briefcase for your dad. Maybe even splurge on some new luggage for yourself while you’re at it. It’ll be our little secret.

Now is the time to whip out your pen and check those tricky few names off your holiday shopping list. After all, there’s really nothing better than knocking Christmas shopping out from the comfort of your own home and supporting ethical businesses while you’re at it.

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