If someone is reading my blog regularly, they know that I work as a developer, trainer and a consultant. As with a lot of folks who do what I do, I have a simple business model. I charge hourly, and I accept payment in advance. Like Deadshot says in Suicide Squad movie, "No money. No Honey".
On a related note, for many years now, I have been learning - by accident and by design - that the world is not split into black and white. It's not just two colors. It's an entire spectrum of light, which starts at complete black, and then going up to complete black. Which means, except for the the very first and the very last digit of the color spectrum, life is simply some variation of grey.
One of those grey areas of life has to do with roughly 50 % of the world population, which is the female gender. This video by onion, summarizes a lot of things about women in a very short duration. In fact, the onion taught me more about running a business than my 18 months at business school. Of course, that is not a knock against my b-school (which is totally awesome by the way) but simply how good the writers at the onion are.
Anyway, coming back to the topic of women, yeah. It all started when I graduated from Primary School. Here is what what happened to the gender ratio.
- Primary School ( 35 girls - 29 boys)
- High School ( 16 girls - 50 boys)
- PU College ( 5 girls - 30 boys)
- Engineering ( 30 girls - 90 boys)
- MBA ( 15 girls - 105 boys)
- Office ( 10 girls - 120 boys)
Even when I was a kid, I realized that the women simply seemed to drop out of the map. In fact, the transition from primary school to high school was shocking to me. Not to brag or anything, During my studying days and onward to my work days, I almost always ended up finding myself in some of the best school, collleges, MBA school and workplaces in the country. Which means, I found myself in good, solid environments where things were pretty liberal and perhaps, a very open environment.
So yeah, what happened to all the women? Of course, as a trainer for the last four years, I have an insight and perhaps a portion of the answer to this question. This blog is not the place to get into what I have discovered in terms of an answer.
However, what I did was, I decided to do what a lot of people are already doing. For instance, I get into a bus, I see that a lot of seats are reserved for women. I think this is a good thing because, for a variety of reasons, men are simply faster! If, due to some reservation, if more women can enjoy a comfortable journey, then it is perhaps a good thing. If it is a bad thing, then I am going to turn a blind side to it because I am personally appalled about the missing women at high school, engineering college, b-school and work place.
So, I decided to implement differential pricing in my own developer, trainer and consultation activities. When a client approaches me, I offer them my rates. Then, If they are female, I offer them a 40 % discount. Again, the key word here is 'offer', which means its a choice. If the female client wishes to take the offer, then she can take it. However, if she feels insulted or perhaps feels bad, then she can pay what her male peers are paying. No female client has said no to the offer. They all take the 40 % discount, and they all seem to be very pleased with it.
On the other side of the gender tennis court, the male clients don't actually complain that I am giving their female counterparts a huge discount. In fact, they say that I am doing a cool thing, and congratulate me for giving the discount.
Another interesting thing is that, some male clients think that I am doing this for perverted reasons. As a logical man (well, most of the time), I can see why they think that. However, the female clients, the ones who are happy and pleased that I am giving them a generous discount, never say that I am doing it for perverted reasons. On the contrary, they think I am doing a cool thing, my bit to help women in general and in the world of technology in particular, and it is evident from the many glowing reviews they leave me on my professional profile.