Women are Earning Less Than Men, But Here’s What You Can Do About It

The pay gap exists in small business. But the silver lining is e-commerce tools and online selling are helping to close the gender pay gap for women entrepreneurs.

The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 2, 2019. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in 2018.

Many of us have heard someone say the gender pay gap is a myth, illegal or a lie. But the gender wage gap persists in Canada, meaning that full-time working women earn less than men.

The bad news is the gender pay gap exists in small business, too. Women entrepreneurs earn 58% less than men for the same kind of work.

But there is a silver lining: E-commerce tools are helping to close the gender pay gap for women entrepreneurs. In fact, e-commerce savvy women entrepreneurs earn 75% more than our offline-only peers.

E-commerce Savvy Women Entrepreneurs Earn 75% More Than Offline-only Small Businesses

Emma Harris of Healthy Pets secured funding to take her business to the next level, against all odds. Emma had to take on some tough challenges, including updating legislation in her home province to allow for tele-medicine for animals.

Now, technology and e-commerce are allowing Healthy Pets to scale and reach more pet owners who may otherwise struggle to receive care.

Julie Yoo of I Miss You Vintage sells online to reach new customers and vintage fashion lovers around the world. I Miss You Vintage‘s customer base spans Canada and the United States, but also Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

Julie is constantly experimenting with new online sales channels as they emerge to continue building global connections for her fashion business.

More importantly, selling online lets Julie work and grow her business from anywhere, which is especially important as a mom who’s always on the go.

Jennifer Fowlow of Wild North Flowers ignored her critics to start her business. Now, using e-commerce she’s disrupting her industry and bringing her vision to life.

Jennifer credits her online model with allowing her to grow the Wild North Flowers brand quickly and become recognized for its specific aesthetic.

Through social media and selling online, she’s been able to become the go-to for beautiful, local flower arrangements in the region—all available at her buyers’ fingertips.

In my own creative business, one of the first things I did was set myself up online. Of course, I needed a website that would tell my story and attract clients. I also relied heavily on social media for marketing as well as in-person networking events to connect with the right audience.

But when I started getting clients in from different provinces and different countries, I quickly needed to figure out invoicing, taxes, statement of accounts, tracking and all that good stuff that’s so important as a small business owner.

Emma, Julie, Jennifer and myself are just a few examples of the many women leveraging e-commerce to grow. In fact, 85% of women recognize that they need an online presence to keep up with their competition.

Representing 97.9% of Canada’s businesses, small businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy. As entrepreneurial women, we need to our charge our worth and leverage all the tools available to define our version of success.

Knowing that a gender pay gap for women entrepreneurs exists is half the battle. For small businesses to truly thrive, Canada needs an inclusive economy where business owners of all backgrounds can realize success.

Women entrepreneurs in Canada are pulling many of the right levers to position their businesses for success. With the right tools and support, women entrepreneurs can unlock tremendous benefit for the Canadian economy and for all Canadians.

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Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is a freelance content writer & blogger who provides content strategy, blogging, and writing & editing services for creative agencies and small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to her freelance business, Alethea is also founder and blogger-in-chief at See Girl Work, an online community for creative, entrepreneurial-minded women. Before starting her blog and freelance business, Alethea worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years.

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