Entrepreneurship and the Gender Pay Gap: Do Male and Female Business Owners Earn Equally?

Research on wages in the U.S. reveals that women in traditional office jobs earn about 76 cents to every dollar earned by men, but how about entrepreneurs? The latest insights from the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor reveal a surprising statistic on the salaries female business owners pay themselves.

You might think that women-owned businesses would help close the gender pay gap, but female CEOs pay themselves the same 76 cents on the dollar compared to what male CEOs pay themselves. "Across the board, there's a tendency for female entrepreneurs to pay themselves last," said Julie Weeks, the president and CEO of Womenable, to Forbes. "Any extra revenue is generally used to pay employees, bring on new hires or reinvest in the company."

Want more bad news, ladies? Female entrepreneurs pay themselves a salary just 41 percent of the time, whereas male entrepreneurs pay themselves 53 percent of the time. What do you think it will take for women business owners to have more of a "me first" attitude when it comes to pay?

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1 Comment

  1. 1 anon 26 Sep
    You are asserting that female CEOs invest more profits back in to the company and pay their workers more proportionately. Is there any evidence to back this up or did you just pull this out of your imagination? The logical reason why women may _on average_ make less than men would be a combination of factors, none of which involve blatant discrimination. The "76 cents" statistics you have presented are manipulative and obviously so, as I will demonstrate. For example, they have said janitors and lunch ladies are equivalent jobs, and that janitors get paid more because it is a predominantly male job, and lunch ladies are paid less because it is a primarily female job. Furthermore, they also claim that correction officers are paid more than social workers because again, correction officers are typically male and social workers are typically female. Using these assertions, they find that women in "equal" positions as men earn 76 cents per dollar and this is because of discrimination. A discerning mind may question whether a janitor and a lunch lady actually are indeed comparable positions. Is it not possible that women are perfectly capable of applying for janitor positions, but choose not to because they would rather not mop up puke and clean bathrooms? Could it be that they willingly accept the lower paying career of lunch lady specifically for these reasons. And following logically, being a dirty job that people would rather not do, the position of janitor is offered a slightly higher pay? Could it also be true that a corrections officer is a dangerous job dealing with convicts, and that the position of social worker is relatively more comfortable, and thus preferred for those reasons, especially by the _average_ woman? And as a less desirable, more dangerous position, the corrections officer is offered more compensation which is accepted by those which are willing to accept the risk of that duty? And that this truth is perfectly reasonable, and not a result of gender discrimination? By parroting this "76 cents" figure, you are also parroting this lie, that a lunch lady should be paid the same as a janitor, and a corrections officer should be paid the same as a social worker. Should there not be extra incentive for the job that involves puke and crap? Dealing with convicts? You want these jobs to be considered equal? Then who will want to clean crap? Who will want to deal with convicts? I view this gender gap crusade as a huge farce. A misstep, as we intervene in the free market economics to pursue the fantasy that we can definitively quantify people's value and then force pay equality based on those calculations.


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