A Necessary Dialogue About Women: Money & Promotions

BY: Lee McCalla

In the professional landscape, the corporate ladder is a hierarchy that many employees scrap and scrape to climb. Rising in the ranks of promotions within the workplace is a task that’s still particularly challenging for women—despite the fact that there’s a ton of research which proves how when women are in senior management positions and on organizational boards, the companies generate higher shareholder returns.

Today, we’re taking a look at the disconnect between women and the corporate company structure with the hopes to spark a dialogue around advocacy and career advancement. Join us in this open dialogue about women, money, promotions and the powers and politics at play.

THE STATE OF WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

An article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women” revealed that despite comparable experience and education, men still outpace women by 15% in company promotions. Other studies show that almost 50% of women never ask for a raise; and when some women muster up the courage to ask for higher pay, they receive pushback and negative responses from management. These numbers suggest a disconnect between women and the corporate company structure.

Have you noticed this to be true in your place of work? If so,here’s what can be done to help champion the advancement of women in the workplace.

HOW WOMEN CAN BUILD THE SUPPORT THEY NEED AT WORK AND AT HOME

GET A MENTOR:

The Harvard Business Review article revealed that many women seeking promotions had mentors. These mentors were great at giving advice and helping the women identify their strengths and weaknesses. I love this John Maxwell quote about the value mentorship, “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”

SECURE A SPONSOR:

Sometimes women need more than just mentors, since in most cases mentors don’t possess the influence needed to help secure promotions. In the workplace, women also need sponsors to aid in their career advancement. If you didn’t know, a sponsor is a high-level executive or colleague at your company who can help support and promote you.

Many might discover that sponsorship isn’t as easy to secure. You can start by identifying leaders within your organization who share your same values and goals, and then networking with them to help build a strong relationship.

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NEVER STOP LEARNING:

Since 2010, things have only slightly improved for women. Many still lack access to the right resources and struggle with the gender pay gap, promotions, and raises that their male colleagues receive. Corporate disenchantment prompts many to leave the traditional corporate space, and the women who venture into the world of entrepreneurship may still grapple with similar issues.

For this reason, we must never stop learning. As women, it’s important that we identify the overall corporate structure that makes receiving promotions and raises such a complex task and then seek to understand how to obtain raises and promotions from our corporation as well as learn the way internal management works and what qualities the executive board values in employees.

KNOW YOUR NETWORK IS YOUR NET WORTH:

Next, we must be honest about the importance of the right connections on the promotion journey.

Relationships with the “right” people are the key to corporate success.

EMBRACE YOUR “GIRL POWER”:

We must be honest about the personality differences between men and women. Often, women believe they must work harder to gain the attention of upper management, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. Women need a solid strategy when vying for promotions and raises. This strategy cannot be a one-size-fits- all game plan. It must be unique and emphasize the women’s value to the company—a value that cannot be replicated or imitated by another employee.

In addition to an effective strategy, women must have a high company I.Q. That means understanding the company’s overall vision, organizational structure, and how they fit into it. If women are truthful with each other and nurture relationships that will help them grow throughout their careers, then they will achieve success. x

Hailing from New York City, Lee McCalla is a writer that loves all things creative. As an entrepreneur herself, she loves to share knowledge and tips with others.

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