Challenges Women Face

Women face a number of challenges.  But in the workplace, challenges women face can significantly affect their personal financial bottom line. 

The top three (3) challenges I am referring to are the following:  

  • Underpaid
  • Underrated
  • Underestimated

It is no small secret that there is a gender pay gap.  Again and again, surveys show women earn less than their male counterparts.  The most recent survey revealed that on average, women earn 82% of what men earn.

The gender pay gap for female managers is better, but only slightly.  Female managers, on average, earn 90% compared to their male counterparts.

(More about the Gender Pay Gap later.)

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Challenges Women Face

Let's take a look at the top challenges women face in the workplace and how they impact their personal financial bottom line.  In other words, how they impact their purchasing/buying power.

The top three challenges I am referring to are:

  • Underpaid
  • Underrated
  • Underestimated


As mentioned earlier, the gender pay gap is real.  It is the number one challenge women face in the workplace.

The most recent survey shows women earn 82%, on average, compared to what men earn.  Female managers earn 90%.  

When you dig deeper, there is some explanation as to why there is a pay gap.  The terms, as defined by the Women's Foundation are shown below:

  • Uncontrolled Gender Gap - measures median salary for all men and women regardless of job type, seniority, location, industry, years of experience, etc.
  • Controlled Gender Gap - measures pay for men and women with the same job and qualifications.

Payscale gives more detail: the controlled gender pay gap tells us what women earn compared to men when all compensable factors are accounted for — such as job title, education, experience, industry, job level, and hours worked.


During my career in Corporate America, annual performance reviews were mandatory.  As an individual contributor, I had periodic conversations (usually quarterly) with my direct supervisor about my performance.

When I moved into a leadership position, not only did I have discussions about my performance, it was expected that I would have performance reviews with my direct reports.  The purpose was to give and get timely feedback on goals and objectives set at the beginning of the performance period.

Therefore, you can imagine how aghast I am when women tell me they have infrequent discussions about their performance.  Some report having an annual discussion, others say they have none at all

Not having stated goals and objectives at the beginning of the performance period AND infrequent discussions on performance is a surefire way to be underrated. 

To prevent being underrated, make sure you are:

  • Clear on goals and objectives upfront
  • Check in periodically to ensure you're on track
  • Communicate overall results at end of performance period


To be underestimated is to be perceived as less capable, that one does not measure up, and does not have what it takes to get the job done.

It is not a foreign concept for women because it is an age-old challenge, an opportunity to overcome.  

I thought it was interesting that Payscale states that "the controlled pay gap tells us what women earn compared to men when all compensable factors are accounted for — such as job title, education, experience, industry, job level, and hours worked."

What I found most interesting?  It says nothing about performance.  The list of compensable factors do not reference performance, results or how they add value to the company's bottom line.

Want To Know More?

I believe hidden within every challenge there is at least one opportunity.

What about you? Are you facing any of these challenges in your workplace?

Therefore, in each of the challenges women face, there is an opportunity to take action that get results. 

What if...:

  • Instead of underpaid, you could close your pay gap?
  • Instead of underrated, you could set yourself up for success?
  • Instead of underestimated, you could show proof of how you add value?

I would love to show you how.  Contact me HERE

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About Coach Gwen


Leaders don't







- Tom Peters


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