Tag Archives: pay equality

Heart candies - it's not me it's you


A report from Bain and Company explores frontline managers and their impact on women’s career aspirations.  What the study brings to light is that a significant number of women have nearly the same story. At the start of their careers women are ambitious and confident. As they progress and attempt to work their way towards the C-suite they gradually begin to lose confidence. What’s the confidence killer? Well, that can partially be blamed on the lack of women in upper management to serve as examples as well as working for direct supervisors who are of little help. 

All that ambition you’ve got… it’ll last about 2 years.

The study shows that 43% of women aspire to top management when they are in the first two years of their position, compared with 34% of men at that stage.  Wow, look at how ambitious we are. It’s not surprising that fresh out of school we are bright eyed and bushy tailed. We’re equally confident as men. We aim for top management and are ready to kick ass and take names to get there.

But then…

Over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same. Among experienced employees (those with two or more years of experience), 34% of men are still aiming for the top, while only 16% of women are.

To be frank, the “It’s not me. It’s you.” statement above isn’t completely fair. Understandably, sometimes this drop off occurs as women get older and start putting more emphasis on marrying and having children. What’s interesting is that the study’s findings suggest that marital and parental status do not significantly differ for women who aspire and women who don’t. The picture improves only slightly for more senior female employees.

What’s happening?

As far as education, the population of women seeking higher education continues to grow. Currently, women account for more than half of all college graduates and are earning approximately 40% of all MBAs. Yet our numbers at the top of the corporate hierarchy remain abysmal. Women number only a slim 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 17% of board members.

For women the confidence gap is real and not simply because we don’t believe in ourselves. We don’t believe in our leadership or our companies to make this issue a top priority.  Women, just don’t believe they have an equal opportunity to advance. There are three critical areas that help incite this feeling of inequity: a clash with the stereotype of the ideal worker, a lack of supervisory support and too few role models in senior-level positions.

To sum it up, too many women believe their supervisors don’t know where they are in their career aspirations, aren’t supportive or don’t know what to say or do to support them. The end result is a decrease in employee engagement and loyalty and missed opportunities to develop female talent (all bad for business if you ask me).

To read more on the study  and suggested remedies click here

woman screaming show me the money jerry maguire text


So a little over a week ago Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella made a comment that landed him in some hot water. In regards to women in the workforce asking for raises, Nadaella had the following to say:

“It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise,”

Sure that’s easy to say when you’re pulling in $84 million. I ranted and raved about Nadaella’s suggestion that “good karma” would get us (women) the raises we deserve on Twitter but felt like I needed a more appropriate forum to express my gripes; one that gives me more than 140 characters to air my grievances. Oh wait... I have one, this blog. So here's my issue with Mr. Nadalla and his asinine statement. Actually here are 3 of my issues:

  1. Women have a tendency not to ask for raises. So while the men are busy asking for raises and negotiating salaries we fall behind because we don’t feel comfortable enough to ask for what we believe we deserve.
  2. The system Nadella is suggesting we wait on is the same system that statistically speaking, continues to pay women approximately 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man.
  3. Nadalla is speaking from the male perspective, a perspective that provides no insight on what its like to be a woman competing for opportunities in today’s workforce. Say what you will but business is competitive and part of the competition lies in knowing your worth and going after it.


Of course Nadalla later back tracked. He quickly went back to Microsoft human resources and requested data on male-female pay equity for positions of the same title within the company and was able to later report that there wasn’t much of a disparity in pay for men and women at Microsoft. That’s a great start for Microsoft but even Nadalla admits they have some work to do when it comes to the velocity of promotions for women and minorities in senior ranks. When it comes to senior ranking positions, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that men dominate the top of the ladder across the board.

So what’s my bottom line? Ask for the raise you believe you deserve because history and unfortunately current statistics pretty clearly show that waiting around for good stuff to happen to you will get you zilch. There’s a great quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that says:

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

Even Honest Abe knew that to get what you want, you have to go out and get it.


Thanks for reading.  Now… “Let the power moves continue.”