January 14th, 2013
How women business leaders can close the “wage gap”
While there are numerous statistics that assure women are getting equal compensation for jobs they perform compared to their male counterparts, there is still a male dominance at the top.
So forget about the myth of unequal pay and focus on what you can do to level the playing field in the world of business.
Here are a few pointers I’ve expanded upon that came from Penelope Trunk, founder of Brazen Careerist, a social network for young professionals:
- Stop looking paranoid. Not all men are out to get you. Seek out men who support your talents Instead of focusing on the bad apples, find the men who respect women, and prove yourself to them.
- Admit that feminism is not dead. But at the same time don’t align yourself with the feminist bloc, but rather view the notion as outdated.
- Don’t assume you’re being out-negotiated. Yes, women negotiate less, but it doesn’t mean they earn less. It’s just a different style. And, for those of you who want to get great at negotiating salary, here is great advice.
- Don’t pretend to be a guy at work. Don’t dress like a guy by wearing boring suits. Let you appearance exude your femininity while being true to your personal brand.
- Be kind to everyone. This is not a woman thing. This is a tolerance thing. And tolerance of the new millennium should focus on socioeconomic diversity rather than race or gender. Use your intuition and sensitivity when dealing with people in the workplace.
There is no longer discrimination in wages between men and women in the workplace. It’s against the law. However, that does not mean things are equal.
To make things more comfortable and rewarding in your workday seek men who respect women and your particular talents, don’t be lured to the aged view of feminism, read up on negotiating, don’t try to be a guy by wearing boring suits and be kind to those you work with.
To read more from Penelope Trunk click on this link to read the full article A Salary Gap Between Men and Women? Oh, Please.
July 22nd, 2012
Women who are running businesses should detach from feminism and embrace their femininity.
My daughter started her career in a high stress male dominated industry. We were reflecting on how a woman can succeed in this environment without becoming masculinised. Women who are running businesses should detach from feminism and embrace their femininity.
The truth is that women have been liberated. We no longer need to spend our energies proving that we’re equal. We own our own companies, we assume leadership roles and we don’t have to wear ties to work.
Here are 5 ways to create this balance while getting respect from both males and females:
- Don’t pretend that you’re one of the boys – you’re not. But at the same time don’t play the “us girls” game. Work at your individuality as a person. Use your unique leadership strengths when dealing with an issue.
- You shouldn’t dress provocatively but you also don’t need to wear a burka. You have a wonderful opportunity to express yourself and your femininity. Make sure that you are dignified and professional and let your gender work for you.
- It’s OK to talk about kids, make-up and hair but please consider your audience – these discussions may be boring to whomever is listening. Be yourself but remain sensitive to the situation.
- Respect both male and female employees. Disparaging remarks about men set a feminist tone and put a line in the sand when there may not have been an issue to begin with.
- Watch out for “womens only groups” why would you want to segregate ideas and talent. Position yourself as an entrepreneurial leader rather than a proponent of “Women rule”
You have a real advantage as a woman running a business – don’t blow it by wearing workboots and snarling at men, rather walk around in your stilettos with strength and conviction.
May 16th, 2012
I recently reconnected with several of my high school classmates. This may not seem unusual except for one detail – we attended school in Johannesburg, South Africa and have now spread to locations throughout the world. This was undoubtedly one of the positives that occurred after my diagnosis with breast cancer – the fact that my high school friends reached out to me with sincere compassion and caring. Another plus was that there is a virtual group where many of our classmates stay connected and share life’s ups and downs.
One of the women in the group reached out to the rest of us as she was maneuvering through some tough business issues. I am going to share a wise response that came from a former classmate and renowned doctor who now practices in Orlando, Fla:
- When your life is overwhelming and you feel that you are losing control –focus on the issues that you can manage.
- Identify the things in your personal and financial life that you can manage, pay very strict attention to them and ignore the rest. You will find that you can begin picking up the pieces as you recover from your crisis.
- Pay attention to yourself, your health and mental health. It is more important than ever that you eat right and exercise and try to relax – these are things you can control.
- Pay attention to your family and friends. Do not lose sight of them, do not let them fall apart with everything else.
- Identify the one or two or three things of your finances that you can possibly control, no matter how insignificant, and focus intently on them.
- As you recover from the crisis, you will start again picking up the pieces, in a controlled, gradient fashion. As you begin getting things under control, even after possibly losing much, you can start rebuilding in a much more deliberate fashion with a more solid foundation.
Finally, remember there are things you CAN do. Here is an “exercise” that you can use to make sure you are taking care of the important things. Follow the sequence and you’ll find that there are three dynamics at play here:
- Self (Dynamic 1),
- Social, family and friends (Dynamic 2)
- Financial, the outside people, partners, creditors, etc. (Dynamic 3)
You MUST start with Dynamic 1, you cannot succeed in 2 without success in 1, and you cannot succeed in 3 without 1 and 2 in control. I hope I have offered some useful take-ways for those of you undergoing a difficult challenge.