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Women’s Pay Even Sucks At Their Own Companies

LONDON — Women’s pay is back in the spotlight, this time in the United Kingdom. Business owners know sacrifices have to be made when launching a new venture, and sometimes those sacrifices show up in your income. But, you have to live and as the “Startup Grind” noted, “Once your company reaches a certain point, it’s expected that you are now able to pay yourself.” 

However, it appears female entrepreneurs are paying themselves less than their male counterparts, even forgoing salaries in some instances. New small to medium enterprise (SME) research conducted by iwoca, one of Europe’s largest business lenders, suggests that not being paid was the biggest business sacrifice for U.K. SME owners (37 percent), with nearly half of female entrepreneurs (46 percent) making this sacrifice.

iwoca’s inaugural Small Business Insights survey shows that more women may have sacrificed pay than men when starting a company, with nearly half of all female business owners in this study saying they sacrificed their income, opposed to just 34 percent of their male counterparts. The results also show that exactly a quarter (25 percent) of all respondents had to sacrifice time spent with family or a partner, however, more men sacrificed time with family (28 percent) than women (18 percent).

Sharon McGillion, founder of Pressie Pouch, a company selling self-sealing gift wrap pouches said, “You have to do without if you’re working with a limited budget, as most entrepreneurs or startups are doing. You put any extra funds back into your business in order to launch a product, with no expensive holidays or extravagant spending allowed. I have a teenage son and he’s my main priority; if he wants he gets, and I do without. I keep him posted every day on developments in the business and we’ve had to sacrifice luxuries to make it work.”

This should come as no surprise. Last year, accounting software company Freshbooks said women’s pay data suggested, “a massive gender wage gap exists among freelancers, with men out earning women by 28 percent.”

About the author

Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. She is the co-founder of Lioness, the go-to news source for everything female entrepreneur. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored women entrepreneurs and moderated panels at a number of national accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences such as The Lean Startup Conference, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Women Empower Expo and Smart Cities Connect. Natasha is also the author of the popular whitepaper, "How To Close The Gender Gap In Startup Land By 2021." In her spare time, she writes short fiction and hangs out with her son, Shaun.

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