Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Year, New You: Be Brave in Your Career

We wanted to start out our "New Year, New You" series with an area that impacts most women: negotiating your value.  Statistics show that women still lag men overall in pay.  Women are still making only 77 cents to a man's dollar. We wanted to inspire you with a post that summarized the great negotiation tactics and experiences shared by some amazingly brave women in the June, 2013 issues of Marie Claire (No copyright infringement intended). 

Their advice, inspiration and bravery can be adopted by anyone, whether you are in sports, an entrepreneur, a fashion designer or a inspired by their words and choose to make 2014 your year to get paid and/or recognized for your value!

I had to make it clear that my voice was important. - Sarah J Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker:  I was brought in to help run a fashion company for about a year.  I was shocked to experience an old-fashioned attitude about women and business: Women had titles but were treated as figureheads.  So it wasn't one negotiation but an ongoing negotiation to make clear that my voice was just as important, and that if they wanted me to be an active participant, it had to be an open conversation. 
I was on the executives constantly and told them we all have to be candid with each other.  I don't feel comfortable with any sidebar conversations.  I sought outside advice from my lawyer and agent on occasion but I can't call Mommy and Daddy all the time. If I take on responsibility, I want to handle it with the authority given to me.

I didn't want to be seen as the girly sidekick. - Katie Couric

Katie Couric:  When I was offered the job at the Today show in 1991 as the full-time co-anchor, I told the then president that I really didn't want the job it if wasn't going to be a 50/50 division of labor between Bryant Gumbel and me.  I didn't want to be relegated to all the soft stories involving cooking and lifestyle.  I had worked hard to establish myself as a credible journalist.
The conversation followed a turbulent time on the show so perhaps I had more leverage in terms of asking for what I wanted.  At that time, I was less concerned about salary than with responsibility. (Gumbel was paid twice as much as Couric.)  I was new and largely unproven.  Rather than expect parity immediately, I thought, "Let's see how it goes."  As I became more successful, salary increases followed.

It's not about female or male--it's about tennis. - Serena Williams

Serena Williams:  In 2002, Serena Williams beat her sister Venus in both the French Open final and Wimbledon...overshadowing the men's final both times.  However, the women's prize money awarded for the French Open was $18,000 less than men and for Wimbledon $56,000 less than men.  The pay discrepancy wasn't lost on Williams.  Along with Venus and a cadre of young female tennis stars, she championed for equal pay in the sport in the press, much like Billie Jean King did in the 1970's.  The women persisted, and finally, in 2007, the French Open and Wimbledon caved, offering men and women the same award.

I had to convince them to take a chance on me. - Tory Burch


Tory Burch:  When I launched my company, I went from factory to factory- Rhode Island, Brazil, China, India-- with books of tear sheets and sketches.  They didn't know who I was. I brought this concept, which was a retail store that felt more residential, and the idea of making beautifully designed, well-made clothing that didn't cost a fortune.  I had to convince them that if they took a shot on us, we would remain with them long term.  And many of the people we started with we're still with today, nine years later.
I learned to negotiate on the job.  I didn't go to business school, and I certainly didn't have any design experience.  I started off with an idea and surrounded myself with incredible people.  In general, as a woman, I had to realize that you can't shy away from asking for what you want.
No matter your industry, career field, level or years of experience, be inspired by these amazing women who boldly made decisions to own their worth and negotiate what they believed was living up to their value.  And what's even more amazing is that once you get in the practice of defining your value, it gets easier to be brave and be bold.
Be brave in your career in 2014...Curva-Lish Team

P.S. Stay tuned for our upcoming and inspirational posts as apart of the "New Year, New You" series that will include taking ownership of your health, wealth, relationships, wardrobe and much more!

Make this your year!