Get you on the priority list

Let’s put ourselves on the agenda

I was on such a high following International Women’s Day and hearing the likes of Liz Broderick, Julie Bishop, David Morrison AO all putting gender equality firmly on the agenda. I heard that changing the statistics and setting aspirational quotas  was a priority. Since then in my conversations and coaching with many women I’ve been deflated by how little women are making themselves a priority!

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In these conversations I’ve heard women share with me the concerns and challenges that are facing them, such as:

  • I should really make changes now, as I know I’m not being paid enough.
  • I know I could be further advanced in my career, but in my industry it is mostly men who are considered for management roles.
  • I am very aware I should be paid more, but I don’t feel confident enough to ask for more.
  • In my industry, men are considered first and more often for Senior Management roles.

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4 Simple Tips to Self-Promote with Ease

Don’t wait till you’re 100% qualified!

I was on a call with a client recently and she told me the objective of our conversation was to talk about a role she was considering applying for. She spent the next ten minutes telling me all the reasons why she wasn’t right for the job! She was horrified when I suggested she shouldn’t apply for the role. It wasn’t because I didn’t think she could do it, it was because SHE didn’t think she could do it.

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So I suggested we should spend our coaching session working through how her skills, experience, and achievements would enable her to succeed, so she could self promote, and get that role!

This client is not alone. I have come across many women in similar situations. The statistics tells us that ‘men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them’. (1)

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How to feel confident to ask for a higher salary

Four simple ways to make it easier.

During a recent coaching conversation, a client was sharing with me that she had accidentally been sent the salary package details of a male colleague. He held an equivalent role to her, had similar years of experience and level of skill. She was horrified to learn that her salary was about $60,000 less than his salary.

During our coaching we were able to determine that throughout her 20-year career she had never negotiated her salary, she had always accepted the first offer when it was given to her and she didn’t really know what her salary should be.

Her story is not unique. Does it sound familiar to you? There are many questions that need to be answered here such as, how did her company allow this obvious pay gap to exist? Why wasn’t she offered the same salary to her male colleague if she was in an equivalent role with the same years of experience and level of skill?

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Attack the ball, girls!

Girls think about it; boys just do it.

I coach a gorgeous team of 7-year old girls in the local Baseball club. We play t-ball against teams that mostly consist of boys. I was telling my teenage nephew that the girls in the t-ball team didn’t attack the ball, yet most of the boys in the teams we play do. He responded very innocently saying “that’s because Aunty Katrina, Girls tend to think about things before they do it, boys just do it and don’t think first”. I thought about how much this relates to women and how they hold back from negotiating and asking for more.

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Because our team play mostly against boys, I am able to see the differences in their styles so clearly. With many of the girls, if the ball is hit near them, they will wait, think, and even look to see if another player will field the ball. Then if no-one else is going for it, they will field it. This delay means they most often miss the opportunity to get the runner out. On the other hand, when boys in the other teams see the ball hit, they attack the ball, chasing even their team mates to get to the ball first, and even having a bit of a wrestle to ensure they finish up with the ball.

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That’s unfair for women, Mum!

A promise to my teenage son. 

After watching the film Suffragette, my teenage son asked me what it was about. When I shared some of the points of the story, he was shocked that women didn’t have a right to vote and that they were paid less than men, in the 1900’s. His jaw dropped when I told him that still to this day “on average full time working women are paid almost 18% less than full time working men” (1). He said, “That’s unfair!”. Those words were echoing in my ears long after the conversation with him. “Fair! Fair. Fair?” This situation is so obviously unfair. 

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The Suffragette Film was confronting in many ways. To see how women in the 1900’s were ignored, brushed-off, touched-up, victimised, used and segregated. Yet ordinary women, not necessarily heads of Government or CEOs, yes ordinary women, just like you and me could see that women could have a better life, that women could dream a new reality, they could be and feel happy. These women were courageous and brave. They realised that politicians and heads of corporations were not going to stand-up for them. They needed to stand-up for themselves. They banded together with strength and bravery for a common cause – that women deserved the right to vote.

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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept

David Morrison AO – bold and brave.

At one stage in my corporate career I worked in the supply chain function of an FMCG company. This role taught me a lot about how to change expectations and behaviour for the long term. During this change the people had the same meaningful mantra as our 2016 Australian of the Year, David Morrison AO – “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.

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In order to make change we all need to notice the standards we are walking past and accepting, as these are the standards that will become the norm. If we notice standards which are not acceptable, we need to have the courage to stop and voice our opinion about those standards, and what needs to change.

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Why not give yourself an end of year report card?

Let’s reflect on your year’s achievements.

Last week our children brought home their report cards from school and it’s given us a great opportunity to talk about their achievements for the year, what they’re not so happy about, what they’re really proud of and what they might do the same or differently in 2016, based on this year’s report. It made me think that report cards are something we could all do!

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It’s that time of the year when you might be wrapping up projects, clearing out those small tasks left on the to-do-list and planning for next year.

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Empowering women to ask for what they’re worth

Let’s close the gender pay gap.

Are you aware of the staggering statistic that shows only 7% of women negotiate their salaries, versus 57% of men[1]? This is a behaviour learnt early in life!

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At home we have set up a system for our three children to earn weekly pocket money in exchange for completing a list of jobs. Of course, there’s a catch! Their jobs need to be completed without complaining, and without me or Peter nagging them to do their jobs.

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It’s time to stop being short changed

Making salary negotiation happen easily. 

Recently I read an article about the statistics relating to the gender pay gap. I felt the muscles in my neck tense, my breath tighten and a terrible sinking feeling – a knot in the pit of my stomach.

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This is what I read, “On average, full time working women’s earnings are 17.1% less per week than full time working men’s earnings (a difference that equates to $262.50 per week) (1). That’s $13,650 per year, which is about $600,000 less over a woman’s career!

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Showing them that women can do anything

In a man’s worlds, a young woman triumphs. 

What an amazing Melbourne Cup race! My horse didn’t win, in fact I have no idea where it came in the race. When Michelle Payne galloped over the line on the back of Prince of Penzance as the first female to ever win a Melbourne Cup, I felt like a winner.

Photo: Nampa-Xinhua

Michelle had two interviews after winning the cup. She was overjoyed by her victory. She came across as a confident and ambitious woman. In those interviews she shared some insight into what helped her succeed, which every woman can learn from, particularly those who work in a male dominated environment.

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