SLMA Director, Susan Finch had a lively conversation with Jill Rowley of Eloqua, deciphering what keeps women from taking credit for their own accomplishments. They also discussed what separates women who are comfortable standing up for themselves, their skills and accomplishments from those who quietly take the back seat, frequently to a man in a lateral position.
Following are some of the highlights of their discussion.
As reported by CNN just last month, 57% of men negotiate their starting salaries, yet only 7% of women do. Why? Taking into account that many women are single or the primary earners in their families, this is a staggering gap and would lead one to deduce that the lack of negotiation on the part of women has nothing to do with skills, education or need. Statistics also show that women walk away from careers or leave the workforce well before they reach higher positions they are qualified for, primarily due to projecting years in advance about marriage, motherhood, or potential failures, thereby sabotaging their own success. Not surprisingly, women who work outside the home still take on the bulk of household chores whether or not they share their homes with a spouse and/or children of age to assist. Even in instances where the woman is the primary earner for her family, the household duties stereotypically tagged as “Mom work” often await her and are not divvied up amongst the rest of the family. If Mom wants clean underwear, she’s likely doing the laundry after a long day at the office, after she’s picked up dinner and stopped by the dry cleaner. Both men and women clearly seem to agree there are still women’s roles that aren’t as quickly picked up by men, even though women today do jobs (quite well) that once were thought of as men-only positions.
This brought up another topic, the likes of Maureen Reagan. Had she been a man, she would have been better received by women. Women were intimidated by her strength, but why? Susan suggested that too often women are considered ball-busters when they are acting no differently than men would in parallel situations, but it is outside the EXPECTED behavior of women which makes men and women uncomfortable.
Recognizing that in order to succeed, we have to embrace failures, Jill said, "I eat failure for breakfast so that I can dine on success for lunch and dinner." Jill is a big fan of Ted Talks (http://www.ted.com/talks ) There have been some inspiring speakers on this topic of women's worth in the workplace – it's an inside job. It begins withIN us.
EMBRACE your feminine qualities. It sets you apart, but even more, it’s just what you are. You’ll never, EVER find a man looking for a less masculine suit or asking for a haircut that softens his features! If you feel like a million bucks wearing the heels that give you legs up to there wear them and click-click-click your way right into the board room. Have confidence! Being feminine in business doesn't have to take on negative connotations such as tacky, trampy or loose. If you’re speaking with authority and members of the roundtable can’t take their eyes off you in your well-fitted pink blouse or red-soled Louboutins – all the better! Now you’ve got their FULL attention! Being a woman in business is about balance – a balance of grace, dignity and confidence without apology for being in-your-face when it’s called for. Business is business so pull on your big girl pumps and get to it!
Jill and Susan are talking about those “woman shoes” in this episode. How do women dress when they go out for an evening of business networking in mixed company? What about when it's just with other women? Do they tend to dress like "strong males" with slacks, jackets and flats? The women on this show are fans of Carlos Santana, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Steve Madden and other feminine designers who know you may want to actually walk a few blocks in their amazing designs and look good doing so. If Kate Spade can build a business designing clothing and accessories, what sense does it make that a business woman wouldn’t wear them… to work?
The importance of doing time in the trenches for any supervisor position (the credibility is necessary) is also covered. Coming straight from an inside position into a higher role is tough for some teams to swallow if the new superior never walked in their shoes (that they know of). While it does sometimes happen, there’s a finesse to moving through the ranks and settling in while demonstrating qualifications and leadership for the role.
To hear the entire show click below.
About Jill Rowley:
Jill Rowley continues to be a force in the sales lead management industry. A pioneer in the space, Jill has become an expert and global companies (Rally Software, DocuSign, ArcSight) turn to her for guidance and knowledge.
Jill has spent the past 10 years building the marketing automation space with Eloqua and joined after 2 years with Salesforce.com. She is passionate about helping companies and individuals within those companies optimize their revenue engines by providing the knowledge they need to modernize their people, processes, data, content and technology. Jill has been an individual quota carrying Sales Rep for the past 12 years, but many of the experts, analysts, consultants and thought leaders know Jill is actually the “Chief Customer and Community Ambassador.”
About Susan FInch:
Susan Finch has had her own web solutions business since 2001 the day her daughter was born. She had to cancel a meeting with her largest client because she had gone into labor. She seized the opportunity to reformulate her day-to-day work life to include her home life. It was the beginning of great succcess at both ends. She began in PR/Marketing in 1985 at a small company in Irvine, California. In 1996 she transitioned into web design, while staying true to her PR and Marketing roots. Her clients benefit from the sum of these experiences.