Author: Mani Mukhija
Fear can be an extremely paralyzing emotion and oftentimes stands as an obstacle between us and the goal we are aiming to accomplish. It can stop us in our tracks, and keep us from taking the necessary steps to leading a successful life. It can cause us to question our abilities, shrink back from a situation or challenge, and give up when it gets tough.
Taking the leap from living in fear to embrace courage and success will yield results that are beyond your wildest dreams. But how do you get there? It can seem like a daunting task, but with the right mindset, you’ll be able to take the leap with confidence and come out triumphant. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and embark on a journey of success, here are 10 proven ways to overcome fear and take the leap into success.
- Identify your fear: The first step to overcoming your fear is to identify what it is that’s holding you back. Oftentimes, it’s not just one fear that is plaguing us, but a combination of fears that keep us from moving forward. Acknowledge the fears you have and attempt to break them down so that you can get to the root of the problem. Once you know the real fear you’re facing, it’ll be easier to formulate a plan to conquer it.
- Take small steps forward: Tackling fear head-on can be overwhelming, so don’t underestimate the power of taking baby steps. Start by making small changes in your life that may help you overcome the fears that have been preventing you from chasing success. Even if the changes you make seem insignificant, the cumulative effect of moving forward can have an immense impact over time.
- Create a support system: It’s difficult to take big leaps when we don’t have support. Having a group of people who can motivate and encourage us can have a huge impact on our progression. Consider building a support system of family, friends, and mentors who can support you as you take steps toward your goals. Knowing you have people who believe in you can go a long way in helping you overcome fear.
- Visualize success: Start envisioning what success looks like for you. Visualization can be a powerful tool in helping you stay focused and inspired as you move towards your objectives. Spend some time to visualize the end result and remind yourself on a daily basis of the goals you’ve set for yourself.
- Turn setbacks into lessons: No one is successful overnight, and fear of failure can be magnified by not achieving desired results quickly. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if setbacks occur. Instead, take the time to assess what went wrong and learn from it. Find the silver lining behind the setback and use it as a lesson to propel you closer to success.
- Overcome perfectionism: Many of us are our own biggest critics which leads to a fear of not measuring up to our own standards. But perfectionism has a way of holding you back from achieving your goals because it creates impediments to progress. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet your own expectations. Instead, set realistic and achievable goals, and prioritize progress over perfection.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. This statement holds true for many reasons. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of measuring your success with someone else’s. We all have our own unique paths to success, so instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on how you are progressing and celebrate your own wins.
- Take risks: If you’re aiming for success, you’ll need to take risks. Fear will tell us that we should stay in our comfort zone, but taking risks is the only way to break out of our old habits and unlock new possibilities. Take small risks and remember that failure is a part of the process.
- Celebrate your successes: We’re all guilty of being too hard on ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget to celebrate our successes. Acknowledge the milestones you achieve along the journey and use that as a reminder to re-evaluate your goals and readjust as needed. Celebrating your wins along the way will act as a fuel to your progress.
- Believe in yourself: Fear can be an intimidating emotion that can cause us to doubt even our own abilities. But it’s important to have faith and trust in yourself and the process. Believe that you are capable of achieving success and it will be easier to take the necessary steps. Be patient and don’t forget to take time to reflect and appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve got this!
Taking the leap from a fearful state of mind to a state of success is no easy feat, but with the right tools and mindset, you can move beyond your fears and achieve anything you set your mind to.
Achieve Work-Life Balance As A New “Mompreneur” With These Effective Strategies
Being a business owner and a stay-at-home mom is a busy, yet rewarding lifestyle. Not only do you get to enjoy maximum time with your children, but you also get to fully realize your professional talents and interests. Often, women in this position enjoy the best of both worlds.
While there are so many positives to being a mom and a business owner, staying organized and being intentional with your time is crucial. The hours you invest in both your personal life and professional life are extensive, so having a game plan is a must to achieve balance and harmony. If you are a new mompreneur who is striving for work-life balance, explore top strategies from the Virago Network.
Begin networking with other “mompreneurs”
Networking is a vital activity for all business owners. Not only is it a fantastic way to connect with other professionals in your industry, but it is also an excellent way to find new clients/customers. For stay-at-home moms who are also business owners, networking is arguably even more important. The ability to share and connect with other mompreneurs is invaluable. By talking with other women who are in your exact (or similar) position, you can share tips and strategies, and provide support to one another.
Not sure how to start networking? Join the Virago Network to quickly connect with other professional women.
Design a plan to prioritize your self-care
Although it may feel like you have no time to yourself, regularly practicing self-care is critical for the healthy functioning of you, your business, and your family. When you aren’t feeling your best, your emotions and performance begin to slide. This negativity can creep into every facet of your life and cause problems that you don’t have the energy to face. If your self-care is neglected for too long, you can even begin to experience symptoms of burnout.
Prevent burnout and fatigue by designing a weekly plan for your self-care. Decide when you’ll allow time to yourself, and what activity you plan to practice. Whether you have 10 minutes or 2 hours, any amount of self-care is beneficial. Consider incorporating activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, running, yoga, reading a book, journaling, talking with a friend, or painting.
Set a fixed work schedule
The quickest way to throw your work life and personal life out of balance is to not have a fixed work schedule. Loosely planning to start work at “some point” during the morning hours is a sure way to get caught up in the chaos of the day. Having a focused plan for each day will leave no room for ambiguity, and will help you prioritize the most important things that need to get done. Although you’ll almost certainly have to make exceptions from time to time, having a framework for your day is an effective strategy for accomplishing as much as possible.
Make smart business moves from the beginning
Making decisions in haste, and then having to correct them in the future, is time-consuming and stressful. When faced with important decisions (such as selecting a business structure and choosing a name that you like), do the research right away. Making smart moves for your business from the very beginning will prevent extra work that can leave you feeling frazzled.
For example, as you assess which business structure is most appropriate, one quick search will show that an LLC can protect your personal financial assets (among its many other benefits). Instead of paying sizable lawyer fees to form an LLC, you can use a formation service that offers a straightforward approach. Before diving in, it is also worthwhile to research individual regulations in your state.
Outsource time-consuming tasks you don’t enjoy
As a working mom, it is unrealistic to think that you can do it all. Outsourcing where you can is a wonderful way to free up extra time, get everything done, and reduce your stress levels. Consider outsourcing tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping, social media management, fulfillment and shipping, and customer service. On occasion, hiring child care services can also be valuable in helping you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.
On the journey of being a mompreneur, there will inevitably be bumps and imperfections. When striving for balance, give yourself grace and understanding. Nothing is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Enjoy every moment possible in both your work and home life.
Virago Network is a women-focused platform for professional networking. Our goal is to connect women around the country with other professional women and industry leaders to create new possibilities and opportunities. Join our network today.
Why Women Need Mentors (And Where to Find One)
In business, it’s not just what you know — who you know matters, too. That’s why mentorship through platforms like Virago Network is such a valuable tool for professional women. Whether it’s connecting with women who have been in your shoes or finding an ally at work, mentorship can be the launch point for women’s career advancement.
With so much to gain, why have 63% of women never had a formal mentor? Most women don’t know where to start. 44% of organizations lack a mentorship program and in many companies, there simply aren’t enough senior women to go around. Finding a suitable mentor shouldn’t feel like a wild goose chase for women at work. Here’s how you can find a mentor to help your career.
How Mentorship Helps Women’s Careers
It’s a well-established fact that the people you surround yourself with influence your growth. So when you want to propel yourself to the next level, it makes sense to partner with someone who’s already achieved the success you’re chasing. When women team up with a mentor, they benefit from improved:
- Career development
- Personal development
- Job satisfaction
- Workplace confidence
Mentors achieve this through personalized career guidance and support. A mentor helps a mentee develop a structured path for career development, identify professional development and networking opportunities, and learn how to balance professional and personal demands.
Mentors may also serve as sponsors. Sponsors use their influence to advocate for and advance the career of their sponsee. Unlike mentorship, which occurs one-on-one with a mentee, sponsorship generally takes place behind closed doors with senior leaders. A sponsor may be another woman but there are benefits to finding a male sponsor.
Where to Find a Mentor
Where do you find a mentor if your company isn’t among the 56% with a formal mentorship program? External mentorship resources help women find a suitable mentor outside their organization.
Take Virago Network for example. This global community of professional women not only helps members connect with other working women and industry leaders, but it also spotlights women leaders so there’s always a fresh dose of inspiration.
Virago Network isn’t the only mentoring network for women. Whether you’re in business, tech, science, academia, or another field, there’s probably a mentorship program for you. Here’s where to look when you need a mentor:
- Your existing professional network.
- Professional associations in your industry.
- SCORE (for small business mentorship).
- Career counseling services specific to your career goals.
Don’t rule out finding a mentor within your company. Even without a formal mentorship program, it’s possible to establish a mentor relationship with a female leader at work. If there’s a woman you admire, reach out. Explain why you’re interested in her work and what you hope to gain from a mentorship relationship. It’s also important to make sure a mentor is the right fit before making the ask.
How to Make the Most of Mentorship
Choosing the right mentor is important, but that’s not the only factor influencing the success of a mentorship. It’s also up to you to be a good mentee.
- Have well-defined goals. While your mentor helps with the roadmap, it’s up to you to know where you want to go. Keep your goals realistic and time-constrained and enter the mentorship with a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Respect your mentor’s time. Mentoring is just one of many responsibilities on a professional’s plate. Establish a timeframe for your mentorship relationship, follow a consistent meeting schedule, set agendas, and use email to keep your mentor updated between face-to-face meetings.
- Be open to feedback. Hearing criticism is never easy, but sometimes mentorship comes with hard truths. Learn how to accept feedback, both positive and negative, without letting emotion take over. Take notes to help you implement constructive criticism rather than brushing it aside.
It’s difficult to accept that working harder isn’t always enough to get ahead. But when you’re a woman at work, you can’t afford not to use every tool in your kit. Whether you need career planning advice or a cheerleader in the workplace, take the leap and find a mentor. With the experience, wisdom, and influence of a mentor, you can finally take the steps to get ahead in your career.
For more resources for growth and stories that inspire, explore the Virago Network website!
Green Business Ideas to Jump-Start Your Entrepreneurial Career
You may be looking to further your career while you follow your passions and lead with your values. This is a common trait that many employees are looking for this year — CSR. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is what businesses do to give back to their community. For instance, shoe brands may hand out shoes or a certain percentage of profits go to a charity of their choice. In addition to that, companies may support employees that spend working hours on charity or help increase recycling ability across the team.
Whatever those initiatives may look like, it means more to employees than you may think. And, employers and employees are heavily looking at these CSR opportunities to grow internally and externally.
While working for companies that have strong sustainability practices, you may be looking to go further with your efforts — starting a green business or side hustle. To get started on building a green business and the valuable aspects of starting a green business, check out our infographic below. But, before you dive too deep into your business strategy and goals, ensure you have your back covered. Consider talking to legal experts to ensure all trademarks are submitted and that your business is fully owned by those you want it to.
DESIGN SUSTAINABLE HOME GOODS GREEN BUSINESS IDEAS GREEN CLEANING GREEN INFOPRENEUR GROW LOCAL FOOD AND HERBS ONLINE RESALE SHOP PLAN SUSTAINABLE EVENTS RECYCLE WASTE IN
4 Financially-Savvy Famous Females and What We Can Learn from Them
You can probably remember the famous female you looked up to as a girl. Whether you admired the fashion of the royal family or the entrepreneurial spirit of Oprah, they likely influenced the way you carried yourself. While some who accumulate millions of dollars and instant fame let it change the way they live, others don’t let it affect their values.
Whether these modest celebrities were a rags-to-riches story or came from old money and a family of good values, there’s a lot to learn from the celebrities that manage to keep their heads while living in the flash of Hollywood. These four financially-savvy celebrities live a “rich” life, and we don’t mean from their net worth.
Take a page from these four famous females for your own accounting books. They set an example for young and seasoned women alike: don’t fall victim to keeping up with fads, find coupons and discounts, pay off loans, and give back to your community.
Tiffany Haddish is a classic break out story. From being raised in a foster home to becoming a successful comedian starring in her own film, her acquired millions could have warranted glamorous outfits and designer everything. Instead, this humble star chooses to live below her means, and without waste.
Haddish chooses to repeat outfits, especially the ones she loves, despite the advice from her managers and public relations team. Where they urge her to keep up with the latest fashion, the ‘Girls Trip’ star chooses not to let the fads phase her. If we all grew up with role models a little more like Haddish, perhaps we would feel less inclined to keep up with the Joneses constantly.
The sloth-loving star Kristen Bell isn’t shy about the lessons she teaches her kids. She prefers to communicate her fame to them as her job, rather than celebrity status. She believes this instills the same values in them that her father once instilled in her.
Despite a net worth of twenty million dollars, she still chooses to clip coupons and wear designs from budget-friendly brands. Bell is a great example of accessibility, even in the face of clear abundance.
Lovable Zooey Deschanel stole our hearts on the set of New Girl. Her thrifty spirit wasn’t just in character, she truly lives by example. Deschanel could rack up plenty of credit card debt with fancy dinners or splurging on shopping.
Instead, she chooses to improve her credit by paying her loans, in full, every month. The star consistently keeps a $0 balance on her credit card, an impressive feat for any adult. More inspiring still, her monthly expenditures net less than a quarter of her total earnings.
Dolly Parton is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Her face can be found on everything from roller coasters to album covers. Even still, she manages to keep a cool head and remember her values. Parton is constantly donating her wealth to improve the lives of others and vows to do that for the remainder of her life.
The singer, songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur-galore has started her own foundation that promotes literacy for low-income children. More recently, the star donated a whopping $1 million to COVID-19 research in order to develop a vaccine. Talk about a worldwide impact.
Dolly’s financial influence and examples go deeper than saving a few dollars on clipping coupons. What she emulates and inspires others to do is donate what they can. Whether that be time, knowledge, or finances, these donations can make giving a habit. Habitual giving has the possibility of increasing your income potential by indirectly increasing disposable spending within your budget. Give a little, get a lot.
What other stars make a viable financial role model? You’d be surprised who keeps their pocketbooks tight compared to what you see on social media. Whether you have a little one who needs a positive influence or need a little bit of celebrity to inspire your own goals, follow the lessons from these 8 financially responsible celebrities.
This year has sent various unexpected situations our way. One of the biggest shocking events was COVID-19 that largely affected the world and the majority of our day-to-day lives. Instead of going about our regular routines, the majority of us were spending more time at home — more than many of us were used to. For some of us, it set a full wave through our way of way of living. And for others, it may have only adjusted your working situation.
While this slow time started to hit, many companies had to shut doors and halt production to prepare for the unknown. Yet, women-lead businesses and industries seemed to have been hit the hardest. Many are starting to label this recession as a she-cession — pointing out the overwhelmingly negative effects on working females. Forty-seven percent of jobs held by women are within the three industries hit hardest by COVID-19; hospitality, education, and health services.
Not only does this take your career for an unexpected detour, but it also hinders your budget. For instance, making rent or paying for groceries becomes harder than normal when you don’t have your monthly income to fall back on. To add to the cake, many industries had to shut down operations for a short period of time to stop the spread. Many of those industries were ones that people could benefit from after losing their jobs; the service, hospitality, and educational services.
During these events, it is heartbreaking to see business women diminish with all their hard work. While returning back to work is still made possible, it’s definitely a harder market to get into. While building your resume back up and taking the leap into your next career path may be a great fresh start, it’s hard for women that were affected by this she-cession to go unnoticed.
To help out women in the community, we compiled our tips to getting back into the swing of things. Also be sure to check out the infographic below for more insight about the she-cession and tips to navigating this change.
How to bounce back from a she-cession
This time is hard for anyone that may have lost their job, Yet, it’s how you handle the unfortunate news that could propel your career. While getting back into the job market after getting let go can be hard, you and your budget could profit in the long run. To really get back into your workflow and find the right fit for you and your expertise, follow our top tips below.
First, take some time to breathe
If you need to take a step back, take a step back. Hearing the news that you’re being let go isn’t ever easy. It completely flips your world upside down. You may not be able to pay the bills you have coming in every month, and you may not be able to afford your morning coffees. The things you love the most are more than likely being cut out of your budget.
To take in this change and really evaluate your next steps, take a while for yourself. Start up a new (and inexpensive) hobby, or take up journaling to help you understand your thoughts a little better. From there, you may feel like you have a better idea of what you’d like to do with your career. Not to mention, you may find a new motivation for it.
Touch your toes back in the water
Now it’s time to start the search. Create an account on online job sites or check out local businesses that may need some extra help during this time. Even though many of us are still settling in at home, the holiday season is upon us. There are most likely many businesses that would need your help to get through the season.
Start looking through career opportunities to see what resonates with you the most. Are you wanting to take the same career path before or pivot it? Are you wanting to have the same or more benefits in your package? Really dig in deep and see what career positives could come out of this situation.
Craft your resume to perfection
It’s time to start on your resume. Whether you haven’t used it in a while, or you’ve been perfecting it for a while now, it’s time to put it to the test. If you don’t want to design your own resume, there are many different free templates online, or premium ones that may cost you a little more on Etsy.
Once you find the right template for you, make it perfect! Fill out all your job expertise, achievements and skills. Once it’s completed, send it over to a few friends to take a peek at. If they have any edits, be sure to make them before sending or handing them out. And, always keep your head up and your confidence high!
9 TED Talks Every College Grad Needs to Hear on Life, Money, and Career Success
If you’ve just graduated, congratulations! This may be one of the most important achievements leading up to this day. You’ve finally checked off everything you needed on your class list, and you’re ready to jump right into a career. Or, you may be wondering what you’d like to do with your degree.
Graduation can sometimes be a weird stage of your life. Instead of attending classes with your closest classmates, you may be heading to meetings. You may be wondering if you’d like to get right out into the real world, or wait it out. Either way, the world is finally your oyster, and you get to go out and make the most of it.
Post-college you may be asking yourself the hard questions. For instance, should you get a roommate or live on your own? What career path should you take your degree? Do you want to stay in the town you reside in, or move across the country? What should your monthly budget now look like? The world is your oyster — you’re now able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want without having school in the picture.
During uncertain times, you may find yourself stressing about this more than normal. From figuring out what area you’d like to apply your degree, to moving across the country, or even learning how to live on your own. Sometimes, getting your feet on the ground can be a little shocking. Even though college may have taught you a lot, there may have been some things that have fallen through the cracks. From how to manage your life, money, and passionate projects like a boss.
Career Tips You Wish They Taught in School
Honestly, school may not have taught you everything you wanted to or needed to know. For instance, how to balance your checkbook, or even how to nail an interview. You may have got a degree in something that’s just not right for you. If you find yourself wary of what you want to do after college, you may want to take a gap year, or learn how to make a career change if you later choose to take a different path.
When I first started out of college, along with many of my classmates, this was a stressful question. You feel like you’re committing your life to your first job. It does show an impact on your resume, but it doesn’t have to control your entire career journey. Not to mention, setting the right goals to reach the career of your dreams and making sure you perfect your skills that you’re passionate learning about.
Money Advice to Make You Humbly Rich
Most of the time, we get out of college and you think you’re going to be rich. You definitely may find a career path that pays well, and you may not have to pay any debt back. But, for those of us that have student debt, and may not have been paid what we thought we would right out of the gate, you may be looking for money management resources. To get rich, you may have to exercise the habit of being smart with your money.
To save more and spend less, you have to trick your mind into saving more money and switch around your money language. Turns out, if you think and talk about your money goals you want to reach in future tense, you may not be likely to meet them. Instead, think about your goals as if they are in the present day. Not to mention, learning and changing your money habits. Who knows, you may use shopping as your therapy, and you may not have actually been honest with yourself. You most likely aren’t able to fix something you don’t know needs to be fixed.
Life Advice Straight from the Experts
Growing up can be a culture shock — especially when you’re coming out of college. Most of the time, when you’re in college you’re surrounded by those going through the same things as you. You many feel comfortable asking questions, working together, and trying to understand the in’s and out’s. But, when you step foot into the workplace, you may be working with people of all ages and experience levels.
You could be working with CEO’s, directors, associates, and clients from all over the world. Not only can this be intimidating for some, it could also hold you back from asking questions you want or need to ask. You may be faced with hard questions you never thought you’d have to make, or even break habits you’ve had for years.
As freelance work becomes more commonplace, gig workers are starting to make up a substantial portion of the U.S. workforce. Many people are attracted to the gig economy as a way to earn extra cash, pursue their creative passions, and gain new skills.
For some, side hustles represent a way to supplement their income in their free time since other important responsibilities like childcare or eldercare may take up a large portion of their day.
For others, side hustles and freelance work is their full-time job. A study by Payoneer showed that over 80% of professionals work 1-3 jobs at a time. Individuals who work multiple freelance jobs can be considered “serial side hustlers”, whether or not they have a traditional full-time job as well.
While freelance work and side hustling is a way to break with traditional “9-5” jobs and gain more creative freedom over one’s work, it does not come without potential downsides. One major issue is that just like in every other industry, female workers typically make less than male employees. In the freelance world, women make over 4 times less, as shown by an AND.CO survey.
The gender wage gap is a phenomenon we try to fight every day, and pursuing a non-traditional route is one way to step away from age-old practices. As more women join the freelance workforce, it will undoubtedly accommodate talented people who deserve more for their hard work.
Whatever your reasons for pursuing multiple gigs, and whether you aim to work as a freelancer, in the service industry, with app-based services, or online, check out this serial side hustle guide to learn how you can succeed with several jobs at once.
Side hustling has the potential to be very rewarding, but it’s important to understand the challenges that can arise.
Ineffective time management
This is one of the biggest issues for many new and long-term freelancers and side hustlers. Especially if you have a full-time job already, picking up one or multiple side gigs can significantly decrease your free time, or the time you would typically spend with family or friends.
Organization can be a challenge when managing multiple projects and gigs at the same time. Having too many things to remember and figure out can contribute to a lack of structure and organization that can make life as a serial side hustler potentially stressful.
Creative burnout is a very serious issue for many freelance workers. It can be challenging to keep coming up with ideas and solutions when you’re spending all your time working on one task.
Solutions and Tips
Fortunately, despite the challenges, there are many ways to increase your productivity and alleviate possible stress. Side gigs can be very rewarding and enjoyable, and if you take the right steps, you’ll love your new serial side hustler job.
Block your time
Considering the ever-present challenge of time management when pursuing multiple gigs, blocking your side hustles into chunks of time in the day can be a great way to set a consistent schedule and stay organized. Pick one time that you work on a specific task, client, or job every day or week, depending on the demand, and try to stick to that schedule.
Plan your schedule ahead of time
In a similar vein to blocking your time, creating a schedule ahead of time is a good way to make sure you are not getting overwhelmed and effectively managing all your tasks. When committing to a new project, carefully consider how it will factor into your current schedule and whether you have the bandwidth to take it on.
While finding a mentor may not be as easy in the gig economy as it is in the business world, it is still doable, and can be very helpful in the freelance industry. Whether you’re graphic designing, programming, ride-share driving, or copy editing, you will likely need help at some point. Consider searching for someone who has been on the platform or app you’re using for a while, and asking them for guidance on things such as getting used to a new platform or finding more clients.
Take time off
Serial side hustles are a great way to stay busy and productive if you have free time, but it’s incredibly important to make sure you still have free time after everything you’re doing. Being fully booked at all times is an easy way to quickly become exhausted and stressed. To avoid burnout, proactively build time into your schedule to relax and take a break.
A good way to stay focused and organized is by setting an end goal in terms of the side hustle you’re doing. Whether that’s earning a certain amount of money, mastering a specific skill, or finding a new passion, an actionable and optimistic goal will motivate you and create a sense of bigger purpose.
Becoming a serial side hustler can be a way to achieve your creative goals and realize a lifelong passion without committing to a full-time job or having to work for someone else. Up your side gig game and learn more about this career path with the infographic below from ZenBusiness.
Two Ways Women Can Combat the Gender Wage Gap Today
Women have a history of jumping through hurdles on their journey up the corporate ladder. Fighting for equal pay is one of them.
While the pay gap is shrinking, we still have a long way to go. A study done by Glassdoor analyzed over 4000,000 positions in 2019 and found that the current unadjusted pay gap between men and women is 21.4%.
To help women overcome this disturbing reality, we’ve included some top ways to overcome this obstacle below.
How to Combat the Gender Wage Gap Today
While it is true that the wage gap is shrinking, there are still many industries where this is not the case. Below are two major ways women can overcome this obstacle.
Mentorship: Women that have been trailblazers in male-dominated professions are often available as mentors, even looking to help other female candidates to help raise up. The more women that can be mentors, the more it is possible to break into a particular profession. Searching for a mentor through associations and networking opportunities is a great plan. Network with like minded individuals and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Negotiation tactics: Women are less likely to use aggressive negotiation tactics in an interview and therefore tend to settle for lower salaries. Investing in learning negotiation strategies has been shown to level the playing field significantly. Some other potential strategies simply require a change in thought process. For example, it’s been demonstrated that women negotiate more effectively on behalf of others rather than advocating for themselves. By thinking of negotiations as affecting, for example, other women in the field, colleagues, or family members, a woman can learn to negotiate for themselves more effectively.
By connecting with mentors and learning the right strategies for negotiation, women in the workplace can work to try to avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with the gender wage gap.
This article has been contributed by Sierra Skelly from Siege Media.
Incredible Things Happen When Women Support Women in the Workplace
“Keep Aside Competition and Nurture Collaboration” ~Mani Mukhija
Our minds have been trained to compete against each other since there used to be a scarcity of opportunities at the top as compared to the number of aspirants. This mindset has been residing deep within our unconscious mind which is not ready to change. We have tried this strategy over years now. Hardly a few women could be successful with this competitive approach while the majority of women lagged behind when it came to making it up to the decision-making table. There are so many researches that prove the number of female representation in the board rooms is very less as compared to men.
Knowing that the competitiveness has created barriers for women in the workplace and there have been impediments to their professional growth, it’s time we keep aside competition and nurture collaboration.
The time has changed. There is neither a scarcity of opportunities nor the lack of talent pool in the industry. So, why compete against each other? Why not follow a more tactical approach to raise ourselves while lifting other women up.
Until now, we have been trying to fit-in the men’s club at workplace where we could never feel belonged and could never form an equation of parity. This has been the biggest reasons we lack representation of women in the C-suites.
So, here are some of the ideas to support women professionals in the workplace which in turn will help them grow professionally:
Build a strong network
Trying to fit-in the men’s club at workplace hasn’t worked in any ways to improve our professional growth & status. Women have been made to justify their capabilities at each rung of the ladder while men easily get to the higher positions since the decision-making tables are male-dominated and the unconscious bias tend to follow the trend to give preferences to a male over a female.
However, this in any way doesn’t mean or prove that women are less capable than men in any ways. We just need our own club where we our valued, respected and heard. Forming or joining a women-centric network can help exchange viewpoints and seek advice and support for other women who have faced and tackled similar issues. This sure empowers to grow together.
Virago Network is one such junction where women connect and carry the feeling of sisterhood along the networking journey. It’s a newly launched platform and can be imagined like ‘LinkedIn for Women’ where women professionals connect to support and uplift each other. Remember, we’re better together by all means!
Celebrate the differences, raise one another
No two women are alike in personal traits and professional qualifications. Then, why not benefit from our differences by sharing our traits and experiences with one another to raise ourselves. We need to give up on the competitive attitude. Rather start to respect other’s talents and learn from each other. Researches have shown that women are underrepresented at the top. If we knit strongly together to form a pack, we can eliminate gender inequality in the workplace. We need to also build a circle of trust with one another and have each other’s backs when in need. We need to hold each other’s hands to empower and uplift our societal and professional status and gain parity in the workplace because United We Stand and Together We Win!
Keep Aside Competition and Nurture Collaboration
A true leader is someone who is a great team player first. If you want to grow as a leader, be genuine to your goal and work towards it. You first need to be a supportive team player and a mentor. A true leader is one who leads by example. So, amplify other women by collaborating within the network by providing professional advice and support. Nothing can be more gratifying than making the sincere efforts to help change the place of women in the workplace and bring gender parity by helping each other grow together. Remember, we need our supportive network because it is important for our career as well as mental well-being.
The message to the women professionals is that they should not underestimate the power of women supporting each other at work. When women lift each other, they model the respect and opportunity they wish to see. And the change is bound to happen!
-by Mani Mukhija