There it is again, that word—feminist. In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 TEDx talk, adapted to a published essay in 2014, she relays her early justifications of the term. “At one point, I was a happy African feminist who does not hate men and likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself and not for men,” she says. “That word is so heavy with baggage—negative baggage.”
There are a million different brands of feminists. There are a million different ways to express your beliefs, structure your family, pursue your career, or put your pants on as a feminist. And guess what? Each of us is still a feminist.
In October, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I was doing daily meditations on the mountain and having an Eat, Pray, Love experience. It was, however, one of the most fun, exciting, and challenging experiences of my life. While I did a lot of physical training, I think the most useful training came in the form of another fun, exciting, and challenging experience—starting Gild Collective.
According to a study published on PayScale, the legal industry has one of the highest wage gaps not influenced by education or experience, as high as 38.6 percent. While this gap is outrageous at first glance and may appear to never close, there are some noticeable caveats to that statistic. First, while there are more women working in legal professions than men (at 68 percent), men dominate the higher-paying and higher-ranking legal jobs. This statistic also includes legal support workers, paralegals, and secretaries, which slightly skew the statistics because these lower-status jobs are more likely to be filled by women.
Thanksgiving is an odd time of year, as in many ways it marks “the beginning of the end”. The end of the year, that is. It is a reminder to all of us to begin our processes of looking back on our year as it comes to a close, and to think of what we are most grateful for.
The paradoxical nature of motherhood, especially in the first year, is something that no one could prepare me for. This podcast helped me make sense of it.
Asking for a promotion, higher compensation or even partnership in an organization is a highly marketable skill. Yet it is a well-known fact that there is a huge gap in pay and representation between women and men in senior positions. There are a variety of factors that may contribute to this gap, but one potential answer is that women don't negotiate as hard, or as often, as men.
That’s not the whole story. The real question is: why don't women negotiate more?
It is rare to hear anyone dispute the benefits of having a mentor in the workplace. Mentors help guide you along the path of your career and advocate for you when you need them. Having a mentor can be the difference between getting ahead in your career and staying stagnant. However, of people being mentored, very few are being mentored by women. It’s important for women to act as mentors, not only to lift up future leaders but to also improve their own leadership skills.
When Starbucks began their run to success in the early 1990s, it was clear the brand wasn’t simply about coffee and over the last year, we have seen many headlines highlighting their hits and misses in an effort to shift their culture. Such indications include their announcement of equal pay as well as their all-staff diversity and inclusion training. If Starbucks has taught us anything in the past year, it is that bringing awareness to unconscious bias and how it affects businesses is imperative.
Above all else, the best part of joining a sorority is being surrounded by women who are both very similar and very different from you. You’ll make friends from different states, majors, and backgrounds and learn to see the beauty in all passions, interests, and personalities.