What Happens When Your ‘Girl’ Friends Earn More Than You
I started my career 10 years ago. I am no stranger to hearing how underpaid girls are in my sector. I regularly notice the skewed gender ratios in higher management across industries. But, this isn’t a story about that.
This year my 2 close friends — both girls — different age brackets — different genres of professions — started new jobs. Another friend got her doctorate this week, and another is now a professional Instagram influencer. Wow! What a year for these gorgeous souls and talented minds. I saw them grind, and I witnessed their success.
I am no stranger to hearing how underpaid girls are in my sector, and I regularly notice the skewed gender ratios in higher management across industries.
Before we get to them, let me tell you a small fable. Once there was a young sparrow. On a winter morning, peeking from his nest, he saw an eagle couple gliding through the peak of trees. He looked at them in awe and called out.
“Wow! Can you teach me how to fly?”
The female sat next to the kid’s nest, smiling at her better half.
The eagle flew around the tree and did flips and hoops and glode, and showed stunts that made the kid’s eye wide with wonder.
He winked at his best half, and she joined him back in the flight.
“You could’ve taught him a little. He was a sweet kid.”
“Ohh! I did better than teaching him. I inspired him to learn. You’ll see.”
A few weeks passed, and the couple glided through the field where the tree with the little sparrow stood again. This time they saw the sparrow flying, but he was doing it with art and elegance that’s rare for his species.
Almost half a decade ago, I gave up on a career I choose as a child. I now call it my profession — something I do from nine to five, five days a week to keep the stoves burning at my house. To put it in perspective, it took 3 years for the first girl I knew from a similar background to take home a salary more than I did back then. However, she paid less in taxes because she knew much more about those things than I did.
It took 3 years after leaving my job for the first girl I knew from a similar background to take home a salary more than I did back then.
I am not claiming my career success came effortlessly. I have toiled through countless weekends and slept on a sleeping bag at the office floor for weeks to scale the heights I eventually did. I forfeited this game for something else. But, it's not the story about that.
It’s the story about what changed when the girls around me not only reached financial stability, but they went miles ahead. They are now the top 1% in terms of fame, influence, and valuation. Did I mention they are from my different friend circles? Well, they are. They know about each other but only have met each other a few times at common gatherings. So, no it’s not a sect but a trend.
So, one of them offered to help me with promotions for my content; another offered to teach me to sketch better and gifted me a tracing table; I got a standing offer for an all-expense vacation from another, and lastly one of ’em is collaborating with me on a book.
Regarding how I feel about it. I know I won’t take up the expense paid vacation with her. I can afford it myself, and I won’t go if I can’t. This is regardless of gender, but a matter of principle. She is an exceptional mind and a hilarious company. So, I guess the vacation gotta happen soon. I feel happiness and gratitude that they want to explore their creativity alongside me.
Next time someone tells me how bad things are, I can show them a living and breathing story instead of writing an inspirational poem.
It is immensely and profoundly fulfilling to have amazing friends who are beating the odds and challenging the norms. So next time someone tells me how bad things are, I can show them a living and breathing story instead of writing an inspirational poem just like the eagles did.
Have a beautiful Christmas!
P.S. Ten years after graduation, since further education became optional — I now know more girls with higher degrees than boys and men I know.