83 cents do not equal 1 dollar—We have work to do!

On August 26th, we celebrate women receiving the legal right to vote in the U.S. Our rights as women to have a voice in what happens to our nation began back in 1878. A bill detailing the 19th constitutional amendment was introduced to the legislature and from there was stalled for 42 years.  It wasn’t until 1920 that it was ratified and that was due in great part to Women’s visible contributions to America during World War I. How could America fight a war to provide others with democratic rights when half of the population did not have any?  Click here for more information on Women’s Equality Day and the accomplishments of women throughout this movement.

It is now 2022, a full 122 years from gaining the right to vote. Women continue to have to prove their worth, and there are still organizations and communities that see women as citizens, but with no rights of their own. The discussions and efforts around pay equity is a tangible demonstration of what it means to be seen as second-class citizens even though women are doing the same work.

This month, we have the pleasure of hearing from Sandy Howe, Chairperson of The WICT Network Global organization as well as Board Director of three boards, two non-profit boards that includes The WICT Network, and has held multiple top leadership positions at Cisco and Arris and other technology companies over her 25+ years of experience. Sandy shares about the importance of closing the gender pay equity gap and how we can all play our part in this important 100+ year issue.

What is the impact of the lack of equal pay for women on their families? 

US census shows that 23% of homes have a single mother raising the family, and as a woman, she makes $.83 to every $1 a man makes.  The most recent impact of pay inequality was during COVID, with nearly 3 million women leaving the workforce.   McKinsey & Company’s Diversity Matters research reports that company profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher when women are well represented at the top. We have much rebuilding to do to get women back into the workforce at higher levels, and pay equality is instrumental in doing so.

What are the tangible steps allies can take to close the gender pay equity gap? 

Building diverse teams starts at the top with a diverse Board of Directors as it sets the stage for a culture of inclusion. A diverse board creates a diverse executive team, and diverse executive team members build their own diverse teams.  Companies with gender diversity in leadership outperform their less diverse peers, and, according to the World Economic Forum, their advantage is seen in a 48% high operating margin.  Diversity is simply good business!

How can women advocate for themselves when negotiating their salaries? 

Early in my career in technology sales, I learned one thing quickly: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Sales is all about asking for the order!  Women need not be afraid to ask and learn simple skills of negotiating their salaries.  Be prepared for these discussions, research your market value and know the numbers. What is the “going rate” for someone in your position?  Ask questions such as “How do I get to the next level?”, “What would it take” or “Would you explain to me how this role fits into the larger organization?”  Finally, I encourage you to understand the company policies and job level structures.  But most importantly, I encourage you to ASK!

Sandy Howe is a senior executive with extraordinary operational go-to-market experience and deep knowledge of the global communications and media industries, including broadcast, 5G wireless, IP and fiber networks. Throughout her 25+ year career, she has built a track record of solid P&L management and product development capabilities. Her strategic insights, business acumen and strong customer and partner relationships are widely sought after in the global technology industry.

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RESOURCES FOR SALARY NEGOTIATION

There are videos, articles, and classes out there to help women become better negotiators when having the critical conversation with an employer. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to negotiation. We are providing different ideas from different people. Take what works for you and leave the rest for someone else. Please come back and share what worked for you or has worked for you in the comments on this page. Thanks for taking the time to visit and we hope you take something good away from your time with us!