change

feminism...it's time to get on board

It's a bonus post day and for good reason.

On this day in 1920, our lives as women in America were forever changed thanks to some extremely courageous, intelligent and strong-willed women. Some think the fight stopped there. It did NOT. Equal rights for women is still a topic that needs courageous, intelligent and strong-willed women to pick up the flag and demand change. We are not paid equally, we are not educated equally, our opportunities are not equal, our rights are often decided for us. 

So, like these amazing feminist women before me.

i am a feminist.

I believe wholeheartedly that we should all be feminist (women AND men). This isn't about bra burning and being angry, it is about giving all people access to equal opportunities, and an equal access to have their voice be heard. First step to this is to take what these women fought so hard to give us...a voice, and USE IT. So ‪#‎vote‬‪#‎speak‬ ‪#‎demandmore‬ It is a new wave of feminism folks, and it is global because we should care about women everywhere.

For more information on the long struggle for voting rights that women fought for in our country and the details of the 19th amendment that was ratified on this day in 1920...

 check out the National Archives.

Know your history and don't let it be in vain.

 

 

It's time to get on board.

118 years, why are we running the world for so little?

  • Beyonce says "Girls, We Run the World".

  • Bridget Brennan says that women account for 80% of all purchase in the United States (5)

  • Woman is the vessel through which all life is born

  • More than 3/4 of of all teachers are women and this number increases even more in elementary and middle school levels (1)

  • 80% of all nurses are women (down 7% in 40 years.) (3)

  • 66% of all caregivers are women (4)

  • Without women, we as a society and culture do not exist and YET...

None of that is valued in our society, even today in 2015.

don't believe me?


Then why is it that last week a global report came out that stated it is still another 118 years until the gender pay gap closes globally? (6)

wait? what? 

Traditionally female roles like a teacher, earn less on average which is part of the problem.

The median salary for a teacher in the United States is around $40,000 and has remained relatively the same since the 1970's. (inflation-adjusted terms) (1)

YUP, that is 40 years with relatively no rise in salary!!

In comparison, women who work outside of teaching have seen salary growth around 25%. (1) However, this reinforces the idea that jobs traditionally held by women are not valued on the same level. I think it is even fair to say that we don't value "caregiving" in our culture, at least not in a way that allows people to be compensated for it. 

Or do we?  

On average male nurses make about $10,000 more annually than women. (3) When you look at the research you often hear one of the reasons being that women negotiate less than men. I believe the statistic. I talk to women all of the time but I struggle with it. First let me say that YES we should be negotiating. I'm not happy about it but let's face it, big corporations are concerned with their bottom line before their people. Harsh? Maybe but if it weren't true then negotiation wouldn't be necessary because they would pay people based on value and make the first offer the right offer. Alas, that is not the culture we live in so they make a lower offer in the hopes that we won't negotiate.

According to a survey on the site Monster.com, out of 500 women questioned only 16% say that they always negotiate compensation. (7) As I travel and speak around the country, the most frequent questions I get are around resume's and negotiation. Women know they should be doing it but they feel uncomfortable and don't necessarily now how to do it. (Interestingly enough, there is quite a bit of research out there that says the Millenial generation struggles with this across gender.)

If the idea that "negotiation" is a key reason in preventing the closing of the Gender Pay Gap, man are we in trouble. For one, globally, there are countries where a woman asking for a higher salary could prevent her from getting paid at all, provoke violence and worse. YES, we still live in a world where women using their voice doesn't always elicit a positive response. Even if we focus just on the US, the idea that the initial offer to a woman is in some cases automatically less than what is offered a man tells you immediately how a company values you as a woman. Why would I want to help a company grow that doesn't value what I bring to the table?

Some may read this and think it is a harsh view on what is going on but I am telling you I hear it every single day. Statistics are one think and they help provide some support to the story but if I had never read a single article or saw a single news story on this subject, I would still know that the "gender pay gap" exists. Like I said, I hear about it everywhere I go. 


I guess it comes down to this, are we okay with it taking 118 years to earn the same amount of money as our male counterparts? I for one am not. Globally, this issues becomes even more difficult that it is in the US. If you saw the average salaries at the beginning of this post, you get a small inkling of why that is. It is also sometimes difficult to look at a problem so large, so let's try and break it into smaller pieces. How do we make a change in our own country, state, community and even the specific places that we work?


The tips I am about to list are my opinions. They are based on conversations I have had with women across the country, situations I have seen and my real life experiences. Take from them what works for you and leave the rest, that's really all we can do.

Leave emotion out of it. YES,

I said it. The girl who cries at the drop of a dime, even in her bosses office just said to leave emotion out of it. That does not mean, don't cry or make your case. It means that your boss does not care about any of the following

  • You have bills to pay

  • You THINK you should make more

  • You "heard" that  other people in the office make more

  • Your car just broke down

  • You really want to buy a house or some other big ticket item

  • You don't think what you make is fair

  • You d/did exactly what they asked for

The only items you should be bringing to the table when discussing salary are measurables

  • what have you done ABOVE & BEYOND the job description? Be specific and make it tangible to business growth & development

  • What do/have you bring to the table that is helping grow the business

  • reputation - how do other's view you? clients, co-workers etc.

  • Proof of EXCEEDING the goal you set forth

Know your business, know the market, know your value and know your worth

  • You need to do some research before they offer you the job. What is the average salary for jobs like the one you are being offered. 

  • don't just look up titles, understand the responsibilities tied to the role

  • how do those responsibilities line up to your previous experience

  • make it specific to your city and industry if possible (ie. tech industry is going to pay more than the sports industry in most cases)

Money isn't the only item to be negotiated, what is important to you. 

  • additional benefits

  • a customized work schedule

  • continuing education

A few additional things to consider:

  • Ask for feedback and use the feedback to rally your cause

  • Be brave enough to walk away from something that doesn't serve you. BUT... Be smart enough to know if it is ego or reality

  • Work smart. Work hard. Both have value. NEVER work for free. Value your time, skills and abilities enough to know that working for free or charity should only be offered to those in need. Corporations don't need your philanthropy but there are a lot of people and organizations who do. Know when to make the distinction between the two.

  • Lastly, ask questions. We don't know, what we don't know so continually be learning. The more we do know, the more we can do to initiate change.

Have you ever negotiated your salary or a raise at work? What worked for you? Tell me in the comments below. Let's build a community of women sharing their win's with each other.

 

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/sunday-review/why-dont-more-men-go-into-teaching.html?_r=0
  2. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/25/male-nurse-gender-pay-gap-women-nursing/70419356/
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/25/male-nurse-gender-pay-gap-women-nursing/70419356/
  4. https://www.caregiver.org/women-and-caregiving-facts-and-figures
  5. The Female Factor
  6. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/gender-pay-gap-will-be-erased-it-will-take-118-n466631
  7. http://career-advice.monster.com/salary-benefits/negotiation-tips/Salary-Negotiation-Gender-Wage-Gap/article.aspx

waiting is for chumps & i don't know about you, but i ain't no chump

The bad news: there is no key to the universe. The good news: it was never locked...
— Author Unknown
my quest for experiences often means doing things that terrify me beyond any explanation. Proof of that is this Indoor Skydiving adventure with    I  Fly Seattle.

my quest for experiences often means doing things that terrify me beyond any explanation. Proof of that is this Indoor Skydiving adventure with I Fly Seattle.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I want to have a life of experiences.  I'm talking about big, scare the crap out of you, never regret missing out experiences. I do my best to do the things I have always wished I could do. Here’s the thing though, I let life get in the way sometimes.  I don’t know why, but I guess I just let fear and anxiety get in my way.  I suppose I’m not alone in this.  There’s a multi-million dollar book industry out there called “self help” to prove that I’m not alone.  We really are our worst enemy sometimes, or at the very least our biggest obstacle.

But why?

Why do we block our blessings when they are so obviously heading straight for us like a freight train? What are we so afraid of?  Better yet, how do we move past this type of thinking?  How do we move from fantasizing about the life we want and start living the life we want?

Yes, I do realize that the    Denver Airport    was not in fact trying to inspire me to take action with this sign. They really just wanted me to drive in circles until my person had arrived but inspiration comes in places you would least expect

Yes, I do realize that the Denver Airport was not in fact trying to inspire me to take action with this sign. They really just wanted me to drive in circles until my person had arrived but inspiration comes in places you would least expect

I saw this sign at the Denver airport that said “no waiting” and it suddenly clicked.  I now knew the answer to everything.  I took my picture which you can see below and went on my way.  For weeks afterward I sat myself down to reflect on what appeared so simple at the airport.  Only it didn’t seem so simple anymore.  “No Waiting”.  The phrase and the picture (a photographic gem if I do say so myself.  Thanks Hipstamatic) speak to me.  I just can’t seem to fully hear what the words are really saying.  It’s almost as if it is a whisper or worse, a riddle that I have to figure out.  It can’t really be that easy, can it?  Stop waiting? 

Or can it?

You can't just decide to STOP WAITING. You have to put some action into it. Here is part of my action...goal setting each year with intention. This is no joke, it's a long process and not done alone, you need accountbility when you stop waiting and we are not the best at doing that for ourselves.

You can't just decide to STOP WAITING. You have to put some action into it. Here is part of my action...goal setting each year with intention. This is no joke, it's a long process and not done alone, you need accountbility when you stop waiting and we are not the best at doing that for ourselves.

What happens if we stop waiting?  Well…I suppose we stop waiting!  But what are we waiting for anyways?  Someone to tell us it’s okay to be happy, successful, content, delighted, loved?  Come on, we are grown ass men & women here (excuse my language).  We know our worth, right?  We know that we deserve all of those things I listed and much more, right? We tell our friends and loved ones all the time, that they deserve better than what they are accepting, don’t we believe the same for ourselves?


I think we do.  I KNOW I do.

The day I decided to stop waiting on top of a hike in New Mexico at    Ojo Caliente    New Years 2013

The day I decided to stop waiting on top of a hike in New Mexico at Ojo Caliente New Years 2013

So, after a lot of time trying to complicate the matter I have decided to follow the direction of the sign, as I am convinced that it was just that, a sign.  I am not going to wait.  I’m gonna stop waiting for life to happen. I’m gonna stop waiting for someone to tell me what I think I want to hear.  I’m gonna stop waiting for something easy to come along.

Here is where I buried all my excuses. In the middle of the hike I found a spot. Took out a piece of paper and wrote all of the negative thoughts and things that were making me wait to live. I buried them in the sand, said a little prayer and left them there in the middle of that cold New Mexican Desert. And guess what?  Things started happening...

Here is where I buried all my excuses. In the middle of the hike I found a spot. Took out a piece of paper and wrote all of the negative thoughts and things that were making me wait to live. I buried them in the sand, said a little prayer and left them there in the middle of that cold New Mexican Desert. And guess what?  Things started happening...

Now I’ve heard it all before, “you have to be patient” but I believe that there is a difference between patience and ambivalence.  I think people live lives of ambivalence a lot of the time, waiting for someone, anyone to tell them it’s okay to LIVE and enjoy life, to experience it in all of its glory. So I will exercise patience when it is needed, but I will no longer wait for the sake of waiting.

I’m going after the life I want.  I’m taking every opportunity to grab every piece of happiness, love, pure unadulterated joy, success and delight that I can and I’m bringing you with me, because…well why not?


Before I leave, I thought I would share a few quotes about waiting from some people who know/knew what they were talking about.

So, my question for all of today is...

what are WE waiting for?

The most difficult word in the English language

Recently I went through a transition within my career. I left a company and industry I had been working in for almost 12 years. It was an extremely exhausting process. One filled with pain, anger and uncertainty. I chose to full-heartedly embrace that transition because I could see where it was leading. I didn't see the end destination necessarily but I could see how this was the right road to try and walk down. That vision is a beautiful thing but it doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

Typically, transition doesn't have that much appeal for people. I happen to know quite a few people who have been in flux for months and are coming up to a large transition in the workplace. I get calls every single day from people requesting help with their resume's and Linkedin profiles. They express uncertainty and feelings of fear, anxiety and in few (very few) cases a little bit of excitement.. This, of course is understandable, we as humans do not respond well to change.

In terms of change at work, the number one reason that people have feelings of anxiety and fear is because so much is unknown. it makes sense, think about the beginning of time and cave men were the hunters of the family.

Risk society is the manner in which modern society organizes in response to risk.
— wikipedia

There was so much unknown in their lives and therefore they were in a constant state of fear. It works that way for "negative bias" which we have discussed before but it also exhibits itself in other ways. One of those ways is something called "risk society".

transition
[tran-zish-uh n, -sish-]
noun
1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change:
— www.dictionary.com

A fancy term to say we freak out when we think something is on the line. So how we do stop freaking out? First things first, let's really talk about what the word "transition" really means. The first thing that stands out (at least to me) is that none of the words used to describe transition carry a negative conotation. In fact the definition actually describes a process of MOVING FORWARD.

You may have notice the painstaking efforts I made to stay away from the word "change". I did that because I think that words causes seizures in people or something. But in the end it all boils down to change. We as a species do not take well to change.

I found an article from Forbes Magazine written by Jacquelyn Smith with some great tips for transition, "12 Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Change at Work"

12 tips is great and the article is actually worth a read BUT...if you are anything like me, 12 feels like a lot. (said as I ramble on for multiple paragraphs). For this reason I thought it might be good to focus on one that isn't on the list. 

STOP TALKING

How simple is that? The first thing everyone wants to do when they freak out is find out as much information as they can from any source that they can. The problem with this is that it turns into one giant game of telephone. Remember that game from childhood? Nothing correct ever comes out on top in the game of telephone.

It is important for me to note that I did NOT use this advice when I went through my work transition. I looked for information any and everywhere I could. That is why it is my advice to you. I lived through it. I came out on the other end but I had a lot of bruises along the way. This is my advice. stop talking about it. stop listening to it. Whenever possible take the telephone away from your ear. Having rumors swirling in your head only brings about more fear. Imagine if you got the heck out of the game and could just wait for the real phone call to come in.

If you need to talk to someone, make it a friend outside of work and talk about something completely unrelated. Make it one of those friends that makes you smile and laugh and get silly with them.

Yup, I am talking about good old fashioned taking your mind off the situation. It is not avoidance per se, it is redistributing your energy into something you that doesn't make your blood pressure raise. 

SOURCES:

http://bit.ly/1eZI4BO

http://bit.ly/1uDecdJ

http://onforb.es/1JsnMe8

http://bit.ly/1CIh2DR