I recently read, Women Don't Ask, recommended by my friend Becca Dilly. All I can say, is that this book was extremely inspirational for me and one of the best books I've read all year. Without going too crazy on the summary, it explains why women in this day and age STILL aren't making as much money as our equal male counterparts in the work force. And guess what, it's not entirely our fault, but it kind of is. WE DON'T ASK FOR MORE MONEY WHEN WE DESERVE IT! Men ASK for raises. Men ASK for promotions. And therefore, men end up making more money than we do, receive more recognition, and win more awards! And over the course of a career lifetime, men end up making A LOT more money than we do...in the tens and hundreds of thousands depending on what the job is and how far a part the gap is. The problem is NOT that we are under-qualified, or not as competent. The problem is that the majority of women fail to negotiate their salary and ask for what they are worth when they begin a new job and ask for promotions from then on. According to the book, negotiating gives women anxiety, (and rightly so given the fact that we are given social cue after social cue that likable girls are "nice," value relationships more than anything, put others before them ALWAYS, and to NOT be demanding/assertive/competitive, the list goes on and on) whereas men, see negotiating as fun and challenging, because they are given social cues from a very young age that assertiveness and having money is a right. I'll admit, I had to put down the book a few times because when reading some of the anecdotes of how it is STILL can work again women to "gain too much success." And when you, my fellow female AND male blog readers read this book (I seriously recommend it), you might have to put down the book a few times as well, BUT you must get through it! It is only by awareness and education that we as women can change the status quo on this! We need to ASK for what we want! The more we ask, the more we will GET whether it's a raise or a promotion. And let the world know when you accomplish something! Put it out there! Let other women know you are achieving your goals! Men certainly are not afraid to let the world know how wonderful they are! In the end we will be more satisfied with our place in society than ever before in history. Some very important points that the book made to help women get what they want: Women should start their own business! Check and done! I'm going to take that a step further and encourage women to offer something that appeals to other women. If your field of expertise doesn't allow for that, then try recruiting other women in their related field, mentor younger women and work actively to build networks for women that can provide the same benefits men's networks have traditionally provided.
Behavior and actions: Women can't act in the same manner as men: for example, having "masculine personality traits" such as being overly assertive and too intimidating. That won't work for us like it works for men in the work force. Our co-workers, superiors, clients, etc will think we are bitches and witches. That behavior has been proven to not work and women have been punished for this in the workforce. The best behavior for us is to have a gracious, charismatic and charming demeanor while still being assertive....it's a tricky role to play. Our actions and behavior has to be a lot more thought-out than mens' behavior, but this works.
Just to make sure we're all on the same page, I am not pinning myself or women against men. This information is really important for guys to know as well. Guys, if you are not negotiating your beginning salaries because of the economy or something, or if you are self employed and not charging what you are worth, you should be. Your male counterparts certainly are, and they will be at an advantage the rest of their careers because of this.
Bottom line, if you want something, GO GET IT! UN-APOLOGETICALLY! We DESERVE to be Happy!