A professional woman has to be better than her male counterparts in order to achieve income equality, equal professional respect. You would do well to heed that higher level of competence when making hiring decisions or when deciding which service provider to work with. It is smart for your wallet, smart for successful outcomes, and most of all, it fights inequality.
For any given level of achievement, a professional woman is better than her male counterparts. She has to be. She has to be that much better to overcome social prejudice.
You can measure it by $/hour in billable hour professions, you can measure it by the address or building they work from, you can measure it in a million different ways.
Think about all of the stigma and prejudice that women have to overcome to get ahead. Women face discrimination in all walks of life. Academic, at work, socially. For a woman to achieve, she has to be strong, because she has to put up with and fight all of this crap. A man does not.
For a woman to be given the same kind of recognition that a man gets, she has to be better than him. For a woman to receive equal work for equal pay, she actually has to do unequal work, work harder, work better, work smarter.
That’s why I will always choose a woman over a man for everything. In the service professions, you would be crazy not to. Women are just better, because they have to be. Dentist, doctor, teacher, coach, lawyer, accountant, notary, and even driver. In fact, there is no field that I encounter where I am not more comfortable with a woman.
And the wisdom of that choice is proven to me over and over again.
There is something else. You can live your values and your politics with the money you spend. When you make a decision to hire someone, you are also supporting them, their professionalism. For me, spending money in this way on a man does not do anything to further an agenda of social justice. In addition to feeling comfortable that I have a better advisor/service provider for the money spent, I can also feel good about it.
While it is sad that social justice lags enlightenment, this small way is one way you can both experience improved outcomes, but also support social change. Is this feminism? Perhaps. It can also be self-interest, but to ignore it misses out on many levels.