Staci and I met in new employee orientation. She was about to start work as a marketing assistant for the magazine. I would be the newest advertising sales assistant, joining a team of twelve. In the beginning, I envied Staci–the other women (and they were all women) in my position were a few years older than me and I found their existing friendships intimidating.
Plus I looked goofy like this:
Staci and I were the low women on the totem pole, just weeks removed from college graduation.
I am always reading articles and books and tweets and such about how I can Live My Best Life, particularly as a Woman in Business.
In particular, I love to learn about negotiating tactics and career development. I know not to be afraid to ask for what I deserve, but I get tripped up on this: the other side has to be open to hearing me.
There have been times when I have spoken clearly about what I am seeking, only to be labeled “aggressive” and “confident.” What he (and it’s always been a he) meant was “cocky” or “arrogant.” It was not a compliment, I felt sure.
Recently Ellen Pao, interim CEO of Reddit, announced that the company has eliminated salary negotiation from the hiring process in an effort to address the gender wage gap.
Acknowledging this is key. From Pao:
Men negotiate harder than women do and sometimes women get penalized when they do negotiate.
But part of me worries that this is akin to teaching women how to avoid being raped instead of telling men not to rape. Shouldn’t we all just learn that it’s normal to have women ask for what we’re worth?