It’s International Women’s Day. Let’s shine a light on the state of play in women in leadership in Australia

Happy International Women’s Day – #beboldforchange

From Cath Nolan – MD Gender Gap Gone

As we head into International Women’s Day and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, it’s time to #BeBoldForChange.

According to the International Women’s Day website, ‘progress has slowed in many places across the world, so global action is needed to accelerate gender parity.[1]

This year’s theme is #beboldforchange. And there are a number of ways we can do that. Both men and women.

I recently saw a post in a women’s business group online. Someone had shared an article from the Guardian[2] about gender pay inequity and discrimination. What surprised was, sadly, not the statistics, but the reaction from some of the women in the group to the article. That they had never witnessed gender discrimination in the workplace and they resented the inference that we are not successful unless we are CEO’s. That they were “feminist to a point” (whatever that means).

It’s important to clarify that sharing statistics and wanting more women in leadership roles across industry and government in Australia is not anti-men. Nor is it to point out that if you are not in a senior leadership role that you don’t play a significant and important role in our community, society and economy.

What it’s really about is power and decision making. If the most important decisions about our place in the global economy, product development, health and education, every layer of government policy making, every layer of our community and society, are made largely by men – is that right? Not that the guys don’t have valid ideas. But we all know that a balance in opinions, intellectual strengths, ways of working and decision making, and gender amongst other characteristics, bring a more rounded, innovative and inclusive decision.

Let’s investigate some of the Australian statistics about women in leadership, and celebrate some wonderful stories about women at the forefront of change.

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What Do The Stories and Stats Say?

The good

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Director Libby Lyons: the data confirms gender pay gaps in favour of men in every industry and the under-representation of women in management and leadership roles.

At the same time, it shows employers are stepping up to the challenge in greater numbers with proactive gender equality policies. For the first time, more than 70 per cent of employers reported they have policies in place to support gender equality.

“42.6 per cent of those appointed to managerial roles last year were women. So even though only 37.4 per cent of managers are currently women, we can expect that figure to trend up as more women rise through the ranks. Your boss today is still much more likely to be a man, but the data shows we are moving toward gender equality among managers.”[3]

Elizabeth Broderick, sex discrimination commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission brought together a group of business leaders. Redefining the role of men in the promotion of gender equality—and improving the environment for women leaders in their own organizations.

‘So we started the group, the Male Champions of Change, by identifying a dozen powerful men in some of Australia’s most prominent organizations. I picked up the phone and rang them. The group formed from there, ultimately reaching 25, its current size.

From the beginning, we were quite strict about participation in meetings and told the men they couldn’t send delegates. My rule was: “This is you I’m inviting, not your organization.”[4]

 

A McKinsey study, Why Diversity Matters, revealed that gender diverse companies are 15 per cent more likely to outperform others. Ethnically diverse companies are 25 per cent more likely to outperform. Great reasons for organisations to put into practice the policies they are proud to spruik. As Fiona Smith from the Australian Financial Review states, organisations with results in diversity implement “targets with teeth.”[5]

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One of the reasons for this is that teams of people with different backgrounds, experiences and networks are less likely to indulge in “group think”, take different approaches to problem-solving and are more likely to be innovative. According to US leadership expert, Katherine Phillips, diversity makes us smarter.[6]

 The Bad

The Australian Financial Review report states: ‘First, the good news. The number of women chief financial officers in Australia’s top companies has increased. Now for the reality check.

Australia’s top 100 companies employ about half the number of female chief financial officers their international peers do, according to new research.’ [7]

The Ugly

Women make up half of the nation’s workforce but earn only 77 per cent of men’s average full-time income, according to the latest gender equality scorecard, launched by the WGEA.

The new data shows the average full-time female employee took home $26,853 less than the average male employee in 2015-16, with the salary difference rising to $93,884 at the top level of management.[8]

If you were offering me a senior leadership role and $93000 less than my male peers I might not be in too much of a hurry to take the job!

One of KPMG’s key findings (In the Gender Devisersity Quarterly Report for the Australian  Institute of Company Directors[9]), was that very few entities set or disclosed transparent quantitative objectives such as “30 per cent director seats to be held by women by 2018.”

The majority instead referred to the implementation of diversity programs or initiatives such as pay equity reviews as their best steps towards increasing the number of women on boards. Is this enough? Does this relate to direct action?

 

Stories from the front

IBM: Overall Diversity Management

Diversity means supporting women’s career aspirations without requiring them to sacrifice their other priorities or compromise their natural working style. Recognised as an Employer of Choice for Women, we have a strong focus on making our workplace more inclusive for women and to have greater representation of women in technical, leadership and professional roles.[10]

Want to know more about programs offered to women at IBM? Have a look here.

Companies doing it well:

The Weekend Australian’s Chief Executive Survey 2015 canvassed 71 chief executives and found that more than 25 per cent had less than 20 per cent women as a direct report senior executive level.

 The CEOs who rank highest in terms of having the greatest number of female direct reports include:

  • Smith Family boss Lisa O’Brien
  • Tabcorp’s David Attenborough
  • Telstra boss Andy Penn
  • Transurban chief Scott Charlton
  • GE’s Geoff Culbert
  • Westpac’s Brian Hartzer
  • Bendigo Bank’s Mike Hirst
  • Korn Ferry’s Katie Lahey.

The business leaders I’m talking to are highly motivated to create change and generally its for both productivity and for the greater good. How does your business fare?

Cath Nolan

MD, Gender Gap Gone

Over To You

We’d love to hear from you about how your organization addresses gender equality and how that impacts the culture of your workplace.

 Join us live at the Diversity Collective in Sydney 23rd May.

We’re broadening the conversation when it comes to diversity, inclusion and engagement.

We’re talking live case studies, looking at the cut-through strategies for gaining traction in inclusion and driving engagement across the business. Also, what are the tried and tested pitfalls that you can avoid for your business?

We’d love to see you there to continue the conversation about building diverse and inclusive workplaces and what support or success stories you have to share.

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[1] https://www.internationalwomensday.com

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/mar/02/australian-women-at-work-underpaid-discriminated-against-and-told-to-be-more-confident?CMP=soc_567

[3] https://www.wgea.gov.au/media-releases/australia’s-latest-gender-equality-scorecard-released

[4] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/championing-gender-equality-in-australia

[5] http://www.afr.com/brand/boss/how-deloitte-pwc-get-beyond-lip-service-on-diversity-20151104-gkqlzo

[6] http://www.afr.com/brand/boss/how-deloitte-pwc-get-beyond-lip-service-on-diversity-20151104-gkqlzo

[7] http://www.afr.com/news/gender-diversity-in-top-australian-finance-roles-lagging-world-20160301-gn7krq

[8] https://www.wgea.gov.au/media-releases/australia’s-latest-gender-equality-scorecard-released

[9] http://www.companydirectors.com.au/~/media/resources/director-resource-centre/governance-and-director-issues/board-diversity/board-diversity-pdf/05385-2-coms-gender-diversity-quarterly-report-june16-a4_web.ashx

[10] https://www.dca.org.au/strategic-planning-overview/leading-practice-case-studies.html

 

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Workplace Diversity: What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

What is workplace diversity?

Diversity has to do with more than race or ethnicity. Diverse workplaces are composed of employees with varying characteristics including…religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and geographic location[1].

Put simply, a diverse workplace should reflect the population we live in. Represent our communities and the people we interact with in a day to day lives.

People with the skills and ability, and desire, to work should have the same opportunities for employment as everyone else in our society, regardless of personal characteristics.

What Do The Statistics Say?

The statistics based on the general population compared to our corporate and government employment statistics tell an interesting story:

  • Only 16.9% of Australian CEOs are women[2]
  • Women make up half of Australia’s total population, however as of 1 January 2012, less than one-third (29%) of all Federal Parliamentarians across Australia were women[3].
  • In 1993, 55 per cent of Australians with a disability were employed, compared to 77 per cent of people without a disability. That figure dropped to 53 per cent in 2013, with 83 per cent of people without a disability participating in the workforce (ABA)
  • Around 6 in 10 employees work in an industry that is dominated by one gender[4]

Organisations throughout Australia have policies in place for a diverse and inclusive workforce, including 70.7% of employers with a gender equality policy/strategy in place,

62.9% of organisations with a policy/strategy for flexible working arrangements, (i.e. part-time, job sharing, flexible hours, time in lieu. Up 0.9% from 2014-15), and 66% of employers are committed to recruiting a multi-cultural workforce.

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So if workplaces are out of sync with the general population, even those with policies and programs in place, then perhaps restating the benefits of a diverse workplace might help move the conversation along.

The Benefits of Diversity In The Workplace

There is a large body of research showing that diverse and inclusive workplaces deliver improved productivity and profitability, greater creativity and innovation, higher employee well-being and engagement and reduced employee turnover, to name just a few.

In business, cultural diversity within an organization is considered beneficial to the retention of staff as well as their productivity. It is also likely to increase an organization’s flexibility and responsiveness to the diversity of its clients, customers and partners in an increasingly globalized world[5].

Larger talent pools, and narrow teams come to faster conclusions and therefore can look more productive, but their decisions are less robust and not as comprehensively thought through.

Some more social and economic benefits include:

  • Employment for people with a disability can increase their financial independence, their social networks, and overall personal wellbeing, amongst many other benefits[6]
  • A culturally diverse workforce increases creativity, language skills, opportunities for a broader client base, innovation and inclusivity which is great for morale.
  • An organization that activity promotes diversity and inclusiveness will have a better reputation with job seekers and customers alike. 74% of gay and 42% of straight consumers are less likely to buy products from organisations holding negative views around sexuality[7]

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Examples of Diversity in Practice

If we look at the case studies of large law firms, utility companies, multinationals, professional services and more, all seem to have one in thing in common – diversity is something they value, and work on in everyday decision making and behaviour.

Freehills Director of Human Resources, Gareth Bennet, points out that framing diversity to ‘diversity of thought, link it to leadership, targeting inclusive practices and behaviour and ensuring it is ingrained in organisation culture’ has seen improvements throughout the organization in the people calling out their unconscious bias in recruitment, as well as promotion within the organization[8]

AGL has built in checks and  balances into the remuneration review process to address pay inequalities.[9]

IBM international makes it clear in their recruitment practices that they rely on a diversity of ideas from a diverse workforce[10]

There are plenty of examples of organisations that seem to be getting it right, across industries and sector.

Let’s learn from that best practice in diversity and inclusion to build our own organisations as ‘workplaces of choice’ for great candidates, companies that consumers admire and want to purchase from, and contributors to the growth of our community.

Over To You

Join us live at the Diversity Collective in Sydney 23rd May.

We’re broadening the conversation when it comes to diversity, inclusion and engagement.

 

You’ll hear live case studies from the leaders of some of our best known brands and network with business leaders and diversity specialists. Take a look at the cut-through strategies that are gaining traction in inclusion and driving engagement and productivity. Also, what are the tried and tested pitfalls that you can avoid for your business?

We’d love to see you there to continue the conversation about building diverse and inclusive workplaces and hear what support or success stories you have to share.

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[1] (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/define-diversity-workplace-4926.html)

[2] (https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/80653_2015-16-gender-equality-scorecard.pdf)

[3] (Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library, 2012, Representation of women in Australian parliaments, Dr Joy McCann and Janet Wilson, <www.aph.gov.au>

[4] (https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/80653_2015-16-gender-equality-scorecard.pdf)

[5] (https://www.reference.com/world-view/diversity-important-32cd76d567ddff1c)

[6](http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features40March+Quarter+2012

[7] Harris Interactive research data

[8] http://workplaceinfo.com.au/hr-management/eeo/analysis/diversity-case-studies-awareness-training-collecting-data-using-metrics#.WK-QZbFh1mA

[9] http://workplaceinfo.com.au/hr-management/eeo/analysis/diversity-case-studies-awareness-training-collecting-data-using-metrics#.WK-QZbFh1mA

[10] http://www-07.ibm.com/employment/au-en/diversity/index.html

Struggle To Get It All Done? Sleep!

From Cath Nolan, MD Gender Gap Gone

If you’re reading this, you’re busy. So I’ll be quick.

A little while ago I was participating in an Entrepreneurs Roundtable. Suzi Dafnis, CEO of Her Business (formerly Australian Business Women’s Network) asked what one thing we wanted help with or were struggling with. Most at the table cited technical issues or people management. I felt like a square peg at that moment- mine was much more internal.

I was struggling to spread my energy. Three small kids, working mostly from home with a start up business, maintaining established consulting clients,  and managing the household… splitting my time was manageable but I needed more headspace! There was no  prep time in between intensive, ‘on now’ critical moments.

I was capable of doing every task ahead of me, but with so many balls in the air at once my brain was overwhelmed and foggy. I didn’t feel I was giving any of my priorities the attention they needed.

Suzi’s priceless advice? There were two things: one of them was sleep. It seemed so counter-intuitive. I wanted MORE time, and Suzi was suggesting I cut into those precious quiet hours of the night to sleep?!

Despite the protest voice within, I took her advice. I trust this highly accomplished, well balanced woman. If Suzi advocates sleep as a business management tool, I was going to give it a try.

There have been a great many lessons I’ve had to learn throughout my career. The difference between encouraging and patronising, the red flags to look for in financial reports, how to code!!! But none were as instantly transformational as this one.

The hours between 9am and midnight are said to be worth double any hour after midnight.   Ok so I hear your protest. Your day isn’t finished by 9pm so you can’t possibly get into bed then?

But what if there’s a possibility that you too could actually get MORE done in less time. What if fewer hours away actually led to fewer mistakes, higher quality work in less time with significantly less frustration? Wouldn’t it be worth trying?

Watch these FOUR MINUTES of Ariana Huffington on how to succeed via more sleep.

Here’s what I found. I knew that what I was doing was flawed. I was prepared to give this new approach a try, at least short term. But how to switch off the brain at 9am to let sleep in?

No one strategy worked a miracle for my busy brain, but being ok with that made a big difference. One of the guided meditations I now listen to reminds me that it’s ok not to be sleeping, that your body is still getting benefit from the rest.

Here’s the list of strategies my research turned up.

  • Guided meditations ( I like a couple of apps, iSleepFree and Relaxation, but a quick search of the app store will reveal many others too)
  • Remove LED clocks from the bedroom
  • Fresh air
  • Feel-good crisp linen
  • Lavender in the room
  • Lots of water through the day, but not too much at night
  • Reduced caffeine (including chocolate!)
  • Stretching. Even the most basic stretching before bed seems to settle the body hugely.

I needed some strategies to GET to sleep but once I was there, banking my 7 – 9 hours a night, other things just started falling into place. My decisions were sharper, my frustrations lower. The incidence of external complicating factors like IT issues simply dropped.

Do I get 7-9 hours every night? Nope. But when I have a few 1am finishes in a row I’m aware of the difference in my performance. Now I know the remedy and how instant is the impact. It’s one more resource in the toolkit.

May it be equally useful to you too!

Oh and Suzi Dafnis’ second piece of advice, for managing the overwhelm of a big workload and busy homelife? Outsource all you can and don’t feel bad about it.

Sensational isn’t it, how mentors can provide the right piece of advice at just the right time? Even if it’s advice you’ve heard before, from an intuitive mentor it resonates.

Cath Nolan

 

An executive coach and MD here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe HERE for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.

What Difference Can YOU Make This International Women’s Day?

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. What will you do to mark the day? Perhaps you’ll attend an event with inspirational speakers? But what are you going to DO, to see the Gender Gap Gone?

When we support women, we support individuals. Quality, low-cost childcare options are good for families, for economies. Corporate policies that are attractive to women (merit-based promotions, encouragement of collaboration, more integrated work/life flow etc) are appealing to most employees. Collectively crafting a society intolerant of violence… everyone benefits.

Eloquent advocates of large-scale change are vocal this week particularly. Governments are lobbied, businesses in the spotlight. I want to talk to you about what YOU can do.

If you’re walking along a street and the only other person on the street ahead of you trips and falls, you’ll stop to check they’re ok. But if you walk along a busy street, someone falls and 3 or 4 people ahead of you stop to help? You’re probably going to keep walking.

It might be tempting this week to believe that with all the focus on the Gender Gap, your personal attention is not required. When it comes to diversity and in particular, seeing the Gender Gap Gone, if you’re prepared to let others deal with it, you’re likely adding to the problem – certainly as it exists for yourself and those who follow you / aspire to be like you.

Remember Lieutenant General David Morison’s now iconic line,

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept

Well my question for you this week is what are you accepting in your own life and what will you do differently? Okay, so that’s two questions!

To take action you can tackle the gap for others or you can start, possibly more powerfully with yourself. For your sake and for those around you. Let me share a few tangible ideas.

Take External Action to see the Gender Gap Gone

  • Sponsor a young girl in poverty, to provide safety and education
  • Donate new or nearly new business clothes to Dress For Success
  • Support a women’s shelter financially
  • Advocate for the women around you. If their voices are drowned out in meetings, ask their opinion on the important issues.
  • Look to the individuals in your team. Understand what makes them tick. Engage them individually, not en-masse in a style that suits how you would like to be managed.

Take Internal Action to see the Gender Gap Gone

Here is where the real magic happens. We can make changes to policy and changes to available opportunities, but unless individual women believe they want and can have more, our progress will be limited.

You know the story of the baby elephant that was tied to a rope, held to the ground with a wooden peg? He had about a 3m diameter to move in. The baby elephant didn’t have the strength to pull the peg from the ground, so he learned that the 3m diameter was all the space he had, despite the field around him. Over time that elephant grew. He could easily have pulled the peg from the ground, but he never did. He didn’t think he could so he didn’t try.

Ladies, don’t be like the baby elephant. Know that you CAN pull that peg from the ground. When we look at senior leadership roles in business, government, sport etc there are many more men that women. But there ARE women. It CAN be done. There are tools available to help you discover where you want to go and support you if you choose to Lead Bravely.

Indeed, a number of our resources and events are free – much the same as many leadership and career specialist organisations.

Even without that support, what can you do, right now, to see the Gender Gap Gone for yourself?

If you only do ONE THING, try this:

It may feel unnatural, but CELEBRATE YOU. It will boost your confidence, it will inspire you to stretch more and maybe boost your profile or ask for a pay rise. I have seen this one little act make such a big difference literally thousands of times. (And I do mean literally, not the just-for-emphasis use of literally!)

If I’m asking you to get uncomfortable though, I’m going to do the same.

Ok, so I may quietly have an internal replay stuck on a loop with Will Farrell in Old School, running naked and alone through the streets beaming “Come on honey, we’re all doing it”

If that’s the outcome, I’m good with that too.

You might join me publicly (use the #CelebrateMe and tag @GGapGone on Twitter or @GenderGapGone on Instagram or Facebook)

OR

You might just have a quiet word to yourself, writing a note somewhere that will be prominent just for you.

Whichever approach you take, please take a moment to #CelebrateMe

You get that I mean celebrate yourself, not me, right!!

However, when you’re contemplating whether to celebrate with me via social media, or privately, please consider this.

As long as there are few photos of women in annual reports and on reception area walls, celebrating success; as long as there are few female voices raised with messages of “I did it, my family and my values are in tact, you can do this too if you choose”… then women will feel like a minority. We’re not.

When you’re considering your actions to support International Women’s Day 2016, I urge you to be vocal.

Raise your voice in support of women. The women you admire and the woman you are. Can’t think of anything to say? Try this:

I am kind.

I am capable.

I am powerful.

I GOT THIS!!!!

Or

You are capable.

I have huge respect for you.

I admire your work.

You GOT THIS!!!

Since I won’t ask you to do something I won’t do, here’s my post from Instagram, Facebook at Twitter moments ago:

I am fierce &amp; I am kind.

Whatever action you take this International Women’s Day, do it for yourself, for the people we love, for our communities and the sustainability of our economies and way of life. There are benefits for everyone.

Ladies, raise your voice. Allow me and others to celebrate you too.

Cath Nolan

 

An executive coach and MD here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe HERE for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.

A Kind of Naked…

Hey I’m Cath,

I’m the founder here at Gender Gap Gone. For International Women’s Day I’m going to do something that I hope you’ll join me in.

We’re not experts in ending domestic violence or providing equal access to education or quality health for women and children at risk… but we CAN HELP with the Gender Pay Gap. See I KNOW as true as I’m alive that you have the power to make a change in your life.  I want to get you started.

Everyone faces barriers at some point… and some push through to achieve what they want. Or something better than that. You can too.

You HAVE the power to do this, you can make your career exactly what you want it to be. You CAN have a job that’s perfect for you, that nourishes you; you can be paid well if you choose… The how is clear and well- tested. You just need to follow the steps.

One of the first steps is to feel good about you. Take stock of what you’ve done that you’re proud of. It doesn’t come naturally, does it? Not for me either.

I can happily take stock of all that I’m grateful for, but what I’m proud of is much harder. But since I know how liberating self-awareness and bravery are, I’m going to take this very simple step.

CelebrateMe

This isn’t as bold as Nigel Marsh’s communal, nude Sydney Skinny Ocean Swim. For some of us, it may be tougher.

I may stand alone in this. I may be judged as being full of myself. But I hope I’m not. I hope that some of you will join me so you can feel the benefit. Add your voices. Share what’s great about you.

Since I know the positive impact it’s going to have, I’m authorising an incentive, from Gender Gap Gone, to encourage you. We’re going to select a #CelebrateMe post from among our Insta/Facebook / Twitter followers to receive a 12 Month Career Empowerment Membership, RRP$276

A few years ago I heard a Makeup Artist speaking about skincare. Speaking on the perils of skimping on self-care, she said “no matter what you think about your skin right now, in 5 years you’ll wish you had exactly what you’ve got right now – take care of it!”

The same can probably be said of lots of things (I wish I was the size I was when I first thought I should lose weight)… but when it comes to our careers, at all levels women particularly are inclined to say “Oh I haven’t done that”, rather than affirming “I’ve done this” of the capabilities they do have.

Gentlemen if there’s a woman who’s work you respect, whose ethic and character you admire, perhaps you’ll join in too. Let them know. Better yet, let it BE KNOWN. Advocate for them in the boardrooms and among people of influence within your organisation.

Speak of their leadership abilities and contribution.

I’ll post my #CelebrateMe on Monday, ahead of International Women’s Day on the 8th March. Not just to GGG’s informal social media outlets, but even to the conservative LinkedIn. Can you feel how deep I’m digging? My need to psych myself up?

JoinMe

It’s still a few days away. That gives us all some time to think deeply about what we can say about ourselves 🙂 Or the women we respect.

 

Want to see the action? Connect with us on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram. Sure I may end up standing alone… but I’ll risk it. The potential benefits are worth it. For all of us.

#IWD2016 #CelebrateMe #Inspiration

Cath Nolan

An executive coach and MD here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe HERE for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.

Ask for More

From Cath Nolan:

There’s sense among many women that we’re getting a bit of a raw deal when it comes to workload and income. Research shows consistently that women do more work in the home (2.9 vs 5.2 hours) and get paid less in the office (24% of total remuneration).

Of course most men aren’t purposefully setting out to get the upper hand… although for anyone with a competitive streak that’s a necessary factor- male or female. The big question for me, is how can women get a little more of that competitive spirit without feeling dirty?

Let’s tackle the ‘paid less’ issue.

I’ve asked Kelly Magowan, author of The Busy Women’s Guide to Salary Negotiation to join us for a free Webinar in a few weeks, for our subscribers. You can access that HERE.

Kelly quote

Meanwhile, here are my top tips for increasing your competitive urge so you feel ready to take on that conversation.

  1. Be Prepared. First know what you want. Then know your market worth and pitch that rather than how committed you are. If your conversation is all “I deserve” you’l come across and whiny and frankly uncompelling. Kelly offers 7 steps to Salary Negotiation in this article – a few of them are the what-exactly of Being Prepared.
  2. Be Confident. Take stock of all your achievements. Not so you can list them off when you’re sitting down with the boss necessarily, but so you feel better about your abilities. Creatively the market knowledge you’ll get from Kelly’s preparation tips will help with this big time too.
  3. Use Science. You can manipulate your hormones to induce that feeling of competitive drive. By increasing your testosterone (the risk-taking hormone) and decreasing your cortisol (the stress hormone), you’ll be statistically more likely to have that tough conversation.

If you haven’t yet heard Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are – now’s the time to tune in. If you have heard it, watch it again and share it. Which power pose works best for you? And when will you apply it? Before the big meeting, or will you ALSO use it as you’re preparing?

I’ve heard many disgruntled employees complain that “I’m overlooked”  or “I didn’t get a raise / promotion / support for training I wanted”. When I delve further, they’ve not actually asked for these things that they want.  Exit surveys are filled with evidence that people leave businesses thinking that what they want isn’t available… even though it really is available. Wasted opportunities.

Don’t leave money on the table. Or opportunity or flexibility or whatever it is that’s important to you. Others are asking and receiving. Why not you?

Gear up your confidence and gather your data, be clear about what you want then Ask For It!

You never know, the same strategies that work to get you more income might even work to buy you more equity in the household care department too 🙂

Want to strategise that conversation? Join us for Kelly Magowan’s Webinar and take the opportunity to have your questions answered by the guru.

Cath Nolan

An executive coach and our CEO here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally in this space, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe here for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.

Resilience

From Cath Nolan

We’re all trying to get more done but be less stressed out while achieving it, right? There’s a particular item on every too-busy person’s to do list and I’d like to know if you’re happy with it being there, or if it bothers you.

It’s that ever-present but always low-down item … you know, the yoga class / marathon / massage / meditation course that will inject more balance into your life? Does it make you feel good to have those unmet plans lingering? Or are they actually contributing to your stress?

I know what the answer is for me… so I’m sharing something powerful with you. See a little while ago I came across a TED talk from Kelly McGonigal. Kelly (a Stanford Uni psychologist) revealed an 8 year study of over 30,000 adults, where they asked 2 questions then monitored subsequent death records.

Did I mention yet that the study was on the impacts of stress?

So the 2 questions:

“Have you experienced significant stress in the last year?”

and

“Do you believe it’s harmful?”

Now you’d probably imagine that the group who answered yes to the 1st question had the highest risk of dying (43%). You’d be right – but ONLY if they also answered yes to the 2nd question too. In fact those who answered yes, they had experienced significant stress BUT NO, it wasn’t harmful? They had the LOWEST risk of dying.

So in fact stress itself is not harmful to you. The belief that stress will kill you, is what will kill you.

In Kelly’s TED talk, she references another study and solutions to help you embrace the reframe. Let her shift your perspective on stress. Instead of panicking when you start to feel stressed, embrace the sensation of heart beating fast, breathing heavy and know that it’s your body preparing you to meet a challenge. After all, even before you read this, you knew that your heart beating fast and breathing getting heavier wasn’t always a bad sign, right? 🙂
So if that yoga/marathon/masseuse on your to-do list is bothering you, then scrub it off without guilt free and embrace your body’s ability to rise to any challenge. Feel stressed? Remind yourself: You got the goods, honey. You’re prepared, you have solid expertise. YOU GOT THIS!

Cath Nolan

An executive coach and our CEO here at Gender Gap Gone, Cath is renowned for her expertise in individual and organisational development. With over 16 years experience consulting to over 500 businesses globally in this space, Cath has coached over 300 individuals and worked with some of Australia’s best loved and most recognised brands.

Cath is a frequent key note speaker nationally, invited to share the stage with leaders of industry on Leadership and Career Advantage, particularly for women and diversity groups.

Want to hear more strategies for good leadership, diversity and career leverage? Subscribe here  for the latest on our programs, free resources and articles.