Financial Literacy - Careers
Lois Frankel
Women still lag in pay, business status

q_v2.gifWhat mistakes do women make in business?

a_v2.gifDo women make mistakes? Yeah, they do. There is a thread back to that diseased place, the desire to be the nice little girl we were taught to be, and be accepted, and that is what underscores the mistakes we make.

The mistakes look like waiting to be called on in meetings. If you are in meetings where there is a lot of debate, guys may be talking over each other.

You can wait a very long time and never get a chance to speak.

The workplace is not fair. It's a game, and you need to learn how to play the game. And play by the rules and on the field, but as aggressively as possible.

That is who is winning the game -- the person who plays the most aggressively. They play to win. And that doesn't mean playing dirty or stepping on other people's toes. It just means understanding that you just can't wait for somebody to notice you.

q_v2.gifWhy does the wage gap between men and women persist?

a_v2.gifSome of it goes back to who are the decision makers. But women play a part in this.

“The workplace is not fair. It's a game and you need to learn how to play the game.”

Studies show that when women go in to negotiate for their first salary, women negotiate 8 (percent) and 15 percent less than their male counterparts negotiate for.

When you ask women why they did that they will tell you, "I didn't want to sound greedy," or "I didn't earn it yet. If I get in there and prove myself, then they'll give me money." That strategy will leave hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table over the course of your lifetime.

And the other one is that they don't want to damage a relationship.

The most recent study that I saw, I think it was last year -- within one year after graduating from college and getting their first job, women are already earning about 15 percent less than men. Within one year.

q_v2.gifA lot of people would rather believe that they will be judged on the quality of their work by itself in their career -- but relationships in the workplace can affect their career even more. Do you have any tips for building relationships at work?

a_v2.gifPeople have to understand that there is nothing more important that they will do over the course of their career -- short of making sure they are highly educated -- than building relationships. When you need a relationship, it is already too late to build it.

People who are getting laid off today are saying, well they're keeping so-and-so because they like him.

Well, yeah! That is exactly who we keep, the people we like to work with, who are easy to be around and who you feel like you have a good relationship with.


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