1. Negotiate Your Salary
According to research conducted by Linda Babcock only 7% of women negotiated their salary. Men were found to frequently negotiate their salary with 57% of men not accepting a first offer. Babcock’s study surprisingly found when women do negotiate their salary on average they see a 7% bump in pay. The study found women tend to be excellent negotiators when serving as a sponsor but shy away from negotiating for themselves.
“Acting as someone’s agent seemed to motivate female participants to work extra hard, perhaps because they expected that assertiveness would be better tolerated than if they were lobbying on their own behalf.”
2. Seek Personal Freedom Through Part-Time Work
In the Netherlands women refuse to work full-time. Nearly 75% of Dutch women are part-time workers. They have the highest part-time rate in the European Union and the second highest rate of women workers with 71.5% of Dutch women working. During the 1990’s the Dutch government tried to give women tax incentives to encourage them to become full-time workers. They refused to increase their hours and in the 2000’s passed legislation making it illegal for their employers to force them to work full-time.
In 2009 the UN commission conducted a study to find if Dutch men were holding women back. The results were shocking, only 4% of Dutch women wanted to work full-time. It was concluded that Dutch women did not want additional responsibility in the work place. Instead they seek to have a work-life balance. Instead of more work they placed a higher priority on personal freedom. This makes the Dutch people very happy with the Netherlands ranked #1 in their quality of life with 91% being happy.
3. Start Measuring Your Body
The information a scale provides a woman is nearly useless. It only informs a woman only how much she physically weights. Meanwhile it ignores the differences of body types of women. A woman typically stores fat on her hips and thighs. The Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR) is a more accurate measurement of health for women. The ideal WHR for women (the hourglass figure) is 0.70 while it is 0.90 for men.
Research conducted by Devendra Singh found that all the winners of the “Miss America contests” from 1920 until the 1980’s had a WHR between 0.72 and 0.69. He also discovered playboy models to have a WHR between 0.71 and 0.68. Throughout decades the WHR has been consistent as an ideal despite changing sizes of women. Beauty icons ranging in different measurement such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Twiggy, and Kate Moss all had a WHR of roughly 0.70.
4. Watch Your Waist Line
According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch (published in 2006) waist circumference is a better indicator of health for women. Waist circumference measures visceral fat in women’s waist lines. Visceral fat is deposits of fat around the internal organs.
“Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.”
Another contributing factor in women’s waistlines and accumulation of visceral fat is hormones. Cortisol, nicknamed “the stress hormone”, increases weight gain directly in a woman’s waistline. Most menopausal women experience weight gain in their waistlines (contributing to an apple figure) through lower levels of estrogen, while experiencing rises in cortisol levels. Younger women are experiencing rising levels of cortisol due to life factors such as balancing work and home life.
“The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease… The list goes on and on.”
5. Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 14 million U.S. women binge drink. Averaging about three times a month while consuming about six beverages per binge. Binge drinking for women is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting. Not only does this increase health risks in women it increases decision making lapses.
“One of the biggest problems with this situation concerns the development of the frontal cortex of the brain. It does not mature in most adults until around the age of 25, the frontal cortex assists in decision-making and controls of impulse behavior. Binge drinking can cause the delay of these functions.”
Binge drinking effects women’s decision making. It greatly effects women under the age of 25 who do not have a fully developed prefrontal cortex. At the same time the prefrontal cortex is rewarding risky behavior such as casual sex with dopamine rushes.
“You can’t blame yourself. When your prefrontal cortex fails to make you happy promiscuity rewards you with the needed flood of dopamine. We, neurobiologists, refer to this as the skank reflex.”
-Amy, The Big Bang Theory