Women's Wisdom Wednesday: Do Women Habitually Undervalue Themselves?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 26 April 2023 00:00

Why do women undervalue themselves and their services more than men?  

The research suggests that some, not all women in the workplace  tend to undervalue their services more than the opposite sex.  This situation  often referred to as the “gender gap” is apparent in many verticals besides business. Women athletes, as an example have historically not been compensated like their male counterparts.  There are several factors that impact women in the workplace  like media coverage, sponsorship opportunities and the higher returns on revenue generally generated by men in sports.  We know it is evident in team sports like basketball and soccer, but there are exceptions especially in the world of tennis.  It may take time before equality is evident in getting pai, but for this post, the tips include the “how” not just the “why” on what we can do to improve the compensation we provide. 

Here are some ways that women can value their services:

1. Do some diligent research to check out competitors in the marketplace for services that are similar to yours. Finding out what the going rate is in your marketplace  can help you to set a fair and competitive price for your expertise and services. As you advance your skill set, and increase the value you provide, you’ll be more confident and comfortable setting a price for your work and ensure that you are not undervaluing you! 

2. Be very clear about articulating and developing your uniqueness to the services. In sales, this is referred to as your “unique value proposition” or “unfair competitive advantage”.  Make a list to identify what makes how you do what you do different from or even better than the standard offering. 

Consider elements like your hands on experience, your deep expertise in a given vertical of general  services that a prospect would interpret as more unique and valuable. Having the credentials to back it up and a strong supportive digital footprint with testimonials and recommendations help the prospect to feel comfortable paying more.  How you communicate this is critical for them to feel “safe” when hiring you or your company versus another.  Spend some time honing how you do what you do so uniquely that your services land on the top of their list, regardless of price, because the VALUE outweighs the fee. 

3. In some industries and services, developing a tier of service and pricing can support the onboarding of new clients. A good example is the silver, gold or platinum levels of services and benefits.   When you consider different pricing models, such as hourly rates or project-based fees allows the prospect to determine at least an entry level fit. Once established, you may be on your way to creating more than one transaction as the client relationship grows. 

4. Be Budget wise!  Do diligently consider all your expenses including YOUR TIME to ensure you are profitable at the pricing for your time and services. 

5. Practice negotiating: Unfortunately very few people, men or women take a course, or sharpen their negotiation skills, especially in our country where we don’t bargain for a can of beans at the local grocery store. Both men and women can suffer from “negotiaphobia” to avoid confrontation, but it doesn’t have to be that way!   In our work with the authoring of “The One Minute Negotiator” we learned that women have high adaptability and often think “accommodation” will clinch the deal.  Not so fast! Learn some quick tips to advance your negotiation skills to safeguard your profit zone and personal self-esteem. 

When you are clear about the quality of your services, it is easier to walk away from what could be a “bad deal” that does not offer fair compensation for your time. 

6. Invest in building a strong personal brand, both online and offline, that communicates value and positions you as the “celebrity authority” in your industry.  Social media channels like LinkedIn help to establish you as an expert in your field and attract clients who are willing to pay for your services.

7. And finally, get a mentor, or a good coach to help you stay on track, advance your skill set and support your needs to advance with skill development, marketing, branding, and safe feedback to help build your  confidence needed to value your services. 

There are many resources out there. As women it’s okay not to have all the answers, and to reach out to get help and support. Visit: www.WomensWisdomNetwork.com/linktree for more resources 


Click here for a podcast with NYTimes Best sellers The One Minute Negotiator with Terri Murphy: The 7 Biggest Mistakes Most Women Make When Negotiating 

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Terri Murphy

Terri Murphy, Communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant, and Master Coach with Workman Success.  She is the author of 5 books, TedTalk speaker and co-radio host on KWAMtheVoice.com. Contact: TerriMurphy.com or Email: Terri@TerriMurphy.com


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