Trending Now 14 November 2016
The time was 2:38pm. While those numbers on the clock don’t seem like they should hold much significance, in actuality – it’s a powerful time that should spark the attention of every single woman, worldwide.
Our current society struggles with a pay gap that yields women making 14 to 18 percent less than men. Not only is that a huge divide, but the gap won’t close until 2186. (Let that digest for a second.) At the end of October, women in Iceland, a country that is known as the world leader in gender equality, took a stand and left their jobs at exactly 2:38pm, since that’s the time that they were technically being paid to be there until.
We should all be applauding them and their actions.
But, what does it all boil down to? As women, we’re technically working for free after 2:38pm. Free. And no one wants to be working for free, or deserves to be. As successful women, whether we are out working hard for ourselves or working hard for our employer, we have a right to be treated as equals and the pay gap is tremendously important not matter what our current job situation may be.
The pay gap is slow to close and is reported to take about 52 more years before we really see the fruits of our labor and a paycheck that is the same for both men and women doing the same job.
As a business owner myself and a mother of both a boy and a girl, it pains me that my children will grow up in a world where they could hold the same job, for the same company, and be paid different salaries. We live in a world where things can progress so quickly for the good, yet progress is moving so slow in this specific area.
At the end of the day, it’s not really about the money though, is it? It’s about what’s fair. Women in this free nation have strived to be treated equal to men for so long and have measured up neck and neck in almost every area – except the wage gap.
This needs to change and it should matter in a very major way to every female, whether you are out there every day putting your all into a career or you’re a stay at home mom. It all matters just the same.
What can you do to help close the gap quicker?
1. Support Pay Transparency
More often than not, we are urged to not discuss pay in the work place, which means that women aren’t always aware they are making less than their male colleagues. Supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act will enable females to reduce pay secrecy.
2. Support a National Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Let’s face it: a majority of the caregiving responsibilities fall on the mother, who in turn are also more likely to leave the work force to stay home with the children. Because of this many women are discriminated against during the hiring process and denied certain opportunities. Men are less likely to face these stereotypes. Estimates have revealed that more than 10 percent of this gap is due to women spending less time in the labor force than men, so having a program like this intact would be very beneficial.
3. Help Pass a Paid Sick Day Legislations
With the same breath, not having to worry about taking a sick day to take care of a child or yourself hold tremendous value, too.
Moral of the story: support, support, support. No woman should have to be faced with this worry while starting her career.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.