March 8 is International Women's Day and the entire month of March is reserved to honor Women's History Month. There is good news - more women than ever are in leadership today, but there is still a gap in the top rooms where decisions are made. It’s costing women, and organizations, in their potential and their paychecks.
26% of C-Suite leaders are women
For every 100 men promoted into management, 87 women are promoted
The pay gap persists as women, depending on ethnicity, make 62-82% of what men make.
As I argue in my book, Closing The Confidence Gap: Boost Your Peace, Your Potential & Your Paycheck, closing these gaps is a both/and approach. It requires organizations to address the systemic issues that can impact a woman’s confidence, advancement and leadership at work. Yet, I wholeheartedly believe in supporting women in navigating the very real challenges they experience like overcoming doubt/imposter feelings, making brave asks for pay equity, setting boundaries to protect their well-being and leading in alignment to their values. 🔥 I'm on a mission to help women advance to the rooms where decisions are made and I believe in advocating for change in the system while also providing women the tools they need to advance with confidence.
PUT THIS IDEA INTO ACTION
Here are three of my “client favorite” tools to boost your peace, your potential and your paycheck this month as we celebrate and empower women: 1) BOOST YOUR PEACE What do my clients say brings them the most peace at work and home? Defining what they value and saying no to everything that isn't that. Your values are what you stand for. They must be present in your relationships or at work. A clue that you are living outside your values is feeling resentment - it is often a signal that a boundary or value has been crossed. 2) BOOST YOUR POTENTIAL Stop doing and start leading. When clients work with me, many of them come in more “doing” mode than they think. It makes sense, our whole lives we are rewarded for doing and we are often promoted because we are the best doers - we can complete projects better and faster than others. AND, it keeps us from fulfilling our full potential. Here are some self-coaching questions to ask:
What is no longer a development opportunity for me that someone would benefit from?
Where am I intervening because I don't like to watch someone struggle?
How can I delegate when the stakes are low so mistakes are okay and part of learning?
3) BOOST YOUR PAYCHECK Apply for the dang job! :) Did you know that women will wait to apply for jobs until they feel 100% qualified whereas men will apply when they feel they meet about 60% of the qualifications? As a former HR director, I can tell you that this is true. Thus, women tend to hold back and apply for lower paying roles because they “feel more qualified.” I am here to tell you what I tell my clients (from my HR experience), if a job excites you apply for it. Those qualifications lists are many times a best guess as to what is needed for the role. I hired “unqualified” but talented leaders all of the time. Go for it!
Kelli Thompson is a women's leadership coach, speaker and author who helps women advance to the rooms where decisions are made. She offers 1-1 private coaching and is the founder of the Clarity & Confidence Women's Leadership program (online group training for corporate women leaders). She is the author of Closing The Confidence Gap: Boost Your Peace, Your Potential & Your Paycheck.