March 8 is International Women’s Day and 2020 is the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage
Much has been written and spoken about one of the challenges women have in the professional and business world: claiming and advocating their worth. In the fight to achieve gender parity, women are overqualified, highly educated, yet are rarely paid their worth. Many say that women don’t demand and advocate for themselves, many times setting their prices too low or even negotiating far less than the value of their work. I have noticed this far too often myself as a founder of female-focused workspace. I have consulted and mentored many women business owners to stay firm on the price of their expertise. Many of these women are award-winning experts, yet they will not brag about their awards or even acknowledge them in their brand presentation. I know this is difficult for many of us, based on a number of factors including race, cultural upbringings, and societal expectations to lean towards being humble and modest with the fear of otherwise being labeled as arrogant or a hard-nosed b****. Recently, I saw this post that made me laugh and even reanalyze a presentation I had put together:
We must collectively bind together and support one another, using multiple approaches to move toward gender parity. While many of us advocate and work on policy issues and reform, we must also work from a grass roots, bottom-up approach to reclaim our legitimate earnings. There are a few simple things we can do to support and promote each other collaboratively:
- Highlight awards and recognition received on branding or marketing materials. If you or someone you know still feels unaccustomed with articulating verbally their expertise and recognition they have received, then start by writing it down. Place it on website, proposals, branding materials and copy. I have seen many hesitate in claiming their awards and expertise when putting together their workshops and consulting services. Clients and potential customers want to know! Encourage your fellow female entrepreneurs do this if you see this is missing—our friends and peers know intimately how amazing the work is, so let’s nudge each other to share our support
- Brag on each other! Women still find it difficult to announce and acknowledge awards and recognition received, saying they “don’t want to brag”…but you should celebrate!! We should all celebrate your accomplishments. Your awards opens the doors for others to follow. If you still feel uncomfortable highlighting your own success, then brag on your friends. Showcase to others what your peers are doing, and in turn they can showcase your accomplishments and tag you.
- Surround yourself with peers that encourage leadership development and training. Join organizations and training to step into your voice, your power and your worth.
- Practice! Seek mentorship and advice on how to deal with pricing and negotiating techniques. Practice articulating your worth in a way that is natural to you and speaks to your style, yet nevertheless shows your confidence in your expertise!
- Give back. As we climb, we must lift and support others along our collective journey. Give back through mentorship, shout-outs, and high-fives when your peers win!
Whenever I experience moments of self-doubt and deprecation, I lean in on my fellow coworkers at the Hub to get me out of the brain fog that clouds my judgment. I have found over the years that I pull out these 5 tips to get me through these moments. If we can collectively support each other in owning our accomplishments and worth, we will also be moving towards gender parity on a grass-roots, supportive level!
Here’s to this decade of the woman and the anniversary of women’s suffrage!!