(Originally posted at Craving Balance)
In the next ten minutes we will not be able to level the wage gap between men and women. But in the next ten minutes, if one woman somewhere, anywhere, wakes up and realizes that all she had to do was ask, we will be two feet closer.
And if we have a string of those 10-minute wake up moments, we just might make an immediate impact on the quality of our lives and make legislating pay equity unnecessary.
One of the primary reasons the pay gap persists is something we can be personally responsible for changing: We have to ask. Not just once, but persistently, relentlessly, until we get what we want, not only at work, but in every area of our lives.
Here’s a good example of a highly typical workplace conversation. I invite you to find the obvious holes and plug them.
A: I’m not really liking the new director.
B: Why’s that?
A: Haven’t you noticed? She came in talking all about creating new leadership positions, but not a peep since. Seems like she’s really close to the vest. Secretive.
B: Really? What evidence do you have to support that?
A: Evidence? As far as I know she hasn’t asked anyone into the corner office. She hasn’t met with any of the team.
B: Are you making assumptions, or do you know this for a fact?
A: Look, it’s been seven weeks since she’s been director and all we’ve done is have brainstorming sessions. Someone has a great idea, and she says, “It’s all yours. Give me some details by the end of the week.” That kind of stuff. I haven’t seen any follow up on those great ideas. And I was really hoping she’d consider me for leadership slot.
B: What have you done to make that known?
A: I would think she’d come to me. We met when she first came on board, and that was that. I mean, what have you noticed?
B: I met with her, told her what I’d like to offer the company, dished about my preferences and strengths and accomplishments.
A: I hate selling myself like that. Feels so car salesmanny.
B: I didn’t wear seersucker, I promise. We had a couple more meetings, and we’re supposed to meet again next week about me taking the communications team lead.
A: You’re kidding? That’s wonderful for you, but I’m a bit incensed. She just totally put me on the back burner.
B: Um, do you even hear what you’re saying? Why don’t you ask? She's good, but she's not a mind reader.
You would think that with all we now know and all the workplace leadership learning we’ve done that we’d be beyond this kind of conversation, but we’re not. Why do you think that is? Unlearning our upbringing and cultural inheritances? Implicit bias? What if we sit still for a moment and stop pointing fingers “out there” and take responsibility for what we want?
What are you ready to ask for?
She Negotiates starts July 19. Learn the strategies and tactics and support your learning with journaling, coaching and peer connection. Go!