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Negotiating Pay for Women
Many women are paid less than men for the same position.  Learn why and how to improve your income and how to negotiate for higher pay and benefits.  Does your resume reflect the skills that help you land the job and pay you want?

10 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers
By Dr. Lois Frankel, a career coach and author 

It's easy to blame sexism and socialization for the dearth of women in management positions. But not all responsibility falls on the shoulders of society. Dr. Lois Frankel, a career coach and author of the bestselling book Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, has identified more than 100 things women do unconsciously on the job that sabotage their career success. Here are 10 common-and critical-mistakes:

 1.  Women poll before they make decisions.
Young women, especially, confuse polling with consensus. "Polling is saying, 'I can't make a decision unless I get everyone's opinion,'" Frankel says. "As opposed to consensus, which is, 'I have an opinion, but I want to make sure we get everybody's opinion on the table.'" When you state your opinion first, your colleagues know you're both informed and open to suggestions.

2.  Women have an inordinate need to be liked.
It's important for both men and women to be well liked at work-but you can't build a career solely around being liked. The trick is to find a balance between being a wishy-washy "nice girl" and a woman who's too headstrong. "You need to learn to find your voice and be clear without demolishing the other person," says Frankel. The best way to do so is to be inclusive: Be clear when you share your opinions and ideas, but also make others understand that you care about their opinions. (Are you a nail or a hammer – not always a “sledge hammer” but a maybe a “tack hammer”)?

3.  Women don't view the workplace as a playing field.

Though they differ from company to company, every organization has rules and boundaries. To succeed, you need to figure out what they are, and who is best at following them. "Who are the superstars in your organization? What are they doing? Follow their lead-and play to win," Frankel suggests.

4.  Women don't pay enough attention to how they dress.

Especially at the early stages of their careers, women don't consider the importance of their physical appearances at the workplace. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, Frankel advises. Think about it this way: You're working for the people who are winning the game in your workplace. How are the women who have climbed the ranks dressed? Dress like they do-or better.

5. Women wait to be called on in meetings.

Women mistakenly consider it polite to wait to be called on in meetings, particularly when there are many senior-level people present. But you could be doing yourself a great disservice by not speaking up and speaking early. You should be among the first two or three people to speak in every meeting-not necessarily to voice your opinion, but perhaps to ask a question or support what someone else says.

6. Women couch their opinions in questions.

Instead of stating their opinions, women often phrase their ideas as questions. "We've been socialized to believe that, when you ask a question, you come across a lot softer than if you make a statement," Frankel says. "And when it comes down to it, a woman doesn't want to be called a bitch." But by framing your ideas as questions, you come off uncertain and lacking in confidence.
7. Women allow themselves to be scapegoats.
When something goes wrong and a woman is blamed, she's not likely to stand up for herself. If you allow yourself to be a scapegoat, you automatically give up the respect of your colleagues. But remember: Setting the record straight isn't about putting another person down; it's about preventing yourself from being seen in a negative light.

8. Women use minimizing language.

Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. These kinds of words diminish your credibility in the eyes of others. Keep them out of any ideas or opinions you share at the workplace. When sharing your ideas, be firm and direct.

9. Women ask permission.

We live in a society where we expect children to ask permission. Men don't ask-but women tend to. "In doing so, we're relegating ourselves to the role of a child," Frankel says. Rather than ask permission, you should inform others of your plans, and ask for suggestions.

10. Women pinch company pennies.

Maybe it's simply because they're paid less than men, but women tend to be overly frugal at work. In turn, a woman may be viewed as someone who can't handle a large budget. "Remember this: Men ask forgiveness, not permission, when it comes to spending company money," Frankel says.

                                                                                                                             Side Bar Comments From Others
We have the choice of being the "hammer" or the "nail".  We have the choice to pick the type of hammer we need for each situation (Sledge Hammer, Tack Hammer, Regular Hammer, maybe a Stapler) and we need to learn when and what type of hammer to use.  This means using words that are direct and firm. The last thing we need to be is the "nail" that keeps getting beat-up and hammered from everyone!

Many women tend to find "strong" women uncomfortable to be with - the next time you interact with a "confident, forceful, and strong woman" make sure you compliment them for their courage to be strong!  Don't be one more person who complains that they are too "forceful and direct"; don't sabotage other women because they are too strong and you can't be like that; all women should be celebrated for their ability to step forward and make an impact! Strong, weak, shy, outgoing, forceful, or demanding - these are the traits needed from men and women!!

Once you’ve shored up your confidence you need to make sure others know how terrific you are. “In today’s workplace” Caitlin Williams writes” one of your keys to success is your ability to let others know who you are, what you have to offer and how you can make a difference in their organization.”

Self-promotion is not easy for women. “Many women are uncomfortable with self-promotion because it flies in the face of society’s message that a woman is the support person who is supposed to put other needs ahead of her own” write Binnie Shusman Kafrissen and Fran Shusman in their book Winning Roles for Career-Minded Women: Understanding the Roles We Learned as Girls and How to Change Them For Success at Work. But women need to toot their own horns because they can’t depend on others to do it for them.

Make sure people within and outside your workplace know about your accomplishments. Submit news of accomplishments to your company newsletter and local newspaper. Let your boss know what you’re up to. One professional we know sends out a monthly email to his boss and his boss’s boss to keep them updated on his progress on various projects — and to share any accomplishments and accolades from the previous month. Promote yourself as an expert on one or more topics and volunteer to speak to local organizations.

Katharine Hansen Ph.D. creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers is an educator author and blogger .

 The best way to make your boss happy is to tell them what you have done,
what you are doing now, and what you will do to make your position & the department better!! 
Don't wait to be told what to do!!    Reach out!!   Be proactive!! 

Come on ladies - take that next step!

                                                                  Andrea Williams, Managing Director, UK at Ambition Group PLC, UK, July 8, 2015

There has been much talk of women’s usual tendencies to wait for their managers / employers to recognize them for the work that they do and offer them that next step in their careers. Men, on the other hand are typically more proactive when it comes to their career and are less afraid to go after what they want. Ladies, it’s time that we stop waiting around and start to take a leaf out of the men’s book by taking that step ourselves! Here are some suggestions on how you can get ahead in your career.  (before we complain about our boss, what have we done to help them?)

Let it be known that you want a career!  

This might sound obvious but, too many of us don’t actually verbalize our interest in leadership roles. We don’t talk about our aspirations, dreams and ambitions, but we should certainly do so when we get the chance. You can of course simply talk to your manager about this but you can also look for opportunities to do more than just your day to day role.   Offer to get involved in project teams; get involved in something that is going to challenge you – don’t always look for the easy things. With a broader skills base and more contact with others in the company you will be harder to ignore when the next opportunity arises. 

Grab it!  

When you spot an opportunity, go and grab it with both hands. Don’t make the classic mistake of holding back and trying to figure out what exactly the job might entail and whether or not you can do it. While you’re thinking about it, someone else has already put themselves forward and got the job.  If a role looks like it’s going to stretch you (i.e. it offers the progression you want) do not be put off by the fact that you might not have all the skills in place to do it – this is why it’s a challenge!

Make yourself known.  Become your own, personal marketing director! Let people know about what you’ve achieved, how you have succeeded and where you want to go – brag!  You will have to find the right balance between confidence (with humility) and boasting, but if you don’t tell people what you’re capable of, how will they know?  Surround yourself with other strong women!

Don’t leave it up to others to spot your talents, make it known. Being able to communicate your achievements is an important part of getting ahead in business and you should not shy away from doing so – find a way to communicate them in your own way and you will soon be comfortable sharing this with the people who count.  (toot your own horn – people who want the best for you will support you when you do)

Here I am – look at me!  

Being seen, noticed, known and talked about is important and without developing strong networks this is not likely to happen for you. So get out there, brag, be seen and get your connections and networks working for you.   We are used to hearing men “brag” about their skills and accomplishments – but women don’t always like to hear other women “brag”!  Are we our own worst enemy? 

You will need networks inside your company (where strong sponsors/mentors can be found) but also you must develop external networks so you can increase your sphere of influence. External networks can also provide you with role models you might want to emulate, give you insights into how other businesses are run and even highlight a job opportunity or two.  

It goes without saying that for online social networking an effective Linked In profile really helps you get in front of more people than without it. Create your own brand – “brand me” - and the more people know you, meet you and see you, the stronger that brand becomes.  So, get out there, let everyone know you’re around and mean business, tell them you are ready for more and when a new opportunity arises and stares you in the face go ahead and grab it!

                                     This is why you need to update your resume every 3 years!


Successfully leap over difficult interview hurdles!
omments, called-out

The current economic climate, with fewer jobs and more applicants for each position, requires job seekers to have impeccable interviewing skills. Men and women make many of the same mistakes–arriving late or unprepared, refusing to answer a question, or lying about previous experience. Women, however, can make particular missteps–from talking too much to dressing inappropriately–that hurt their chances or cost them the job.

In an effort to avoid stereotypes that paint them as overly emotional or indecisive, some women overcompensate with professionalism. If the woman appears too stiff or standoffish, the interviewer may have trouble relating to her. “Women are a little reticent to let energy and passion show,” says Gail Blanke, CEO of Lifedesigns, an executive coaching firm. “This is the time. People are looking for that because things are so bleak.”

Women can also fall into the trap of trying too hard to fit in. One of the biggest mistakes Subha Barry, head of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Merrill Lynch, made in the past was to talk about what she didn’t know. When Barry applied for a financial adviser position at Merrill 20 years ago, she was told that she’d be interviewed by a large group of managers.

At the time, there were very few women in financial services, so she knew that the group would be predominately male. She was afraid that she wouldn’t have anything in common with the other managers so Barry, who had absolutely no interest in professional sports, studied the sports sections of newspapers for conversational fodder. It was a resounding failure. “I still remember ineptly trying to relate to them through sports,” Barry recalls. “I was so busy trying to be somebody else, and they were much more interested in my business approach.” (She did, however, get the job.)

A similar misstep that many women make is being too chatty during the interview. Women often wait for the interviewer to cut them off, uncertain of how much information is necessary. According to Dr. Dory Hollander, career coach and founder of WiseWorkplaces, women frequently talk too long when answering interview questions. She suggests that applicants keep answers to less than one minute and let the interviewer speak 60% of the time. Candidates should also watch the interviewer’s body language for signs that they’re engaged, such as maintaining eye contact or leaning slightly forward. If the interviewer’s eyes start to glaze or they begin tapping a foot or pen, you’ve lost them. (the discussion should all be related to “what are you going to bring to the table”?)

But the wrong kind of silence can also damage an interview. Many women are reluctant to tout their accomplishments, fearing they’ll appear arrogant or overly ambitious. “Women have a tendency to wait to be discovered,” says Lifedesigns’ Blanke. She suggests that the applicant boldly and clearly state their achievements and talents.

Career coach Hollander also notes that some women have a tendency to issue disclaimers in their interview responses. For example, when asked a question about her management experience, the applicant prefaces her response by saying, “To be honest, I haven’t actually been in charge of an entire division, but …” Hollander calls this “testifying against yourself,” and says that this stops people from hearing what may have been an acceptable answer and projects insecurity and self-doubt.

If a candidate focuses more on their weaknesses than their strengths, the interviewer will likely do the same, she says. Instead, Hollander advises applicants to focus on the assets they’ll bring to the job. For example, asked the same question about management experience, the savvy job seeker could say, “I’ve always been great at motivating a team, and I could apply those same skills as a manager here.”

Since first impressions have a lasting impact, women need to choose their interview outfits wisely. A common mistake that women can make is appearing “too flashy,” says Patricia Cook, CEO of Cook & Co., an executive recruiting firm. Showing too much skin or wearing too much makeup can damage an applicant’s chances for employment, she says. Cook suggests that women wear sedate colors like navy blue, dark gray and black; tone down jewelry and makeup; and keep hemlines long and heels short. It’s also a good idea to find out what the dress code is for the company’s employees. Ask around, and if all else fails, go to the site and watch people as they’re coming in and out, noting formality. Ultimately, “it’s better to overdress than under dress,” Cook says.

But even when a woman successfully leaps over these interview hurdles, there’s another big obstacle in her path: the pay package. According to Sara Laschever, coauthor of business advice books Women Don’t Ask and Ask For It, most women don’t negotiate as hard as they should, and they tend to set their targets too low.

“Women tend to get excited and feel automatically grateful, and they end up accepting [the offer] right away,” she says. Since employers rarely offer the maximum salary that they can pay, women who don’t negotiate can cheat themselves out of a substantial amount of money. Laschever recommends searching Web sites like and for salary information, as well as talking to other professionals in your network and job recruiters about what the market is currently paying.

Once an offer has been made, Laschever recommends asking for a higher amount than your goal and then pushing back a few times until both sides are in agreement. She cautions, however, against negotiating too aggressively. She recalls a woman who worked as a high-end designer and made it through several rounds of interviews at a trendy, bohemian design firm. The company loved her and offered her the job, but for considerably less than she was hoping. She felt she needed to make a strong case and forcefully negotiated for a higher salary. She watched as her potential employer wheeled back in his chair away from her, eyes wide and mouth agape. Knowing that the approach might have actually cost her the position, she went back and softened the request, clearly explaining her rationale and illustrating that she would be flexible if he would be fair. They ultimately agreed on a package, and she accepted the job.

Being flexible can be a valuable asset for job seekers in this down economy. Instead of latching on to the perfect salary figure, candidates should also consider the other benefits that go along with the job, such as office space and title. During negotiations, prospective employees may be able to trade salary points for a better office, more vacation time or an assistant to help with some of her tasks.

In the end, the company has a role to fill and positioning yourself to meet that role will benefit both sides. “I think the most important thing to remember is that the interviewer usually knows less about what you’ve accomplished and sometimes knows less about the job than you do,” says recruiter Cook. “Just remember that you’re the expert on you.” It might be the very thing that convinces them.

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