We know that women are underrepresented in leadership across the board in this country. In the 2018 Women in the Workplace study our suspicions were confirmed when we learned that across industries progress toward gender equity in leadership has stalled nationwide. The chart below shows that women make up only 22% of the “C-Suite” level positions in this country, with women of color drastically less represented than that at only 4%.
My simplest description of emotional labor is to call it “invisible work”: The work that goes into managing households and relationships to make them run smoothly. It was first introduced and has been studied for many years as a workplace issue in sociology as the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. Of course the idea of managing feelings and expressions and fulfilling emotional requirements applies to the “jobs” we do at home as well, and the “invisible work” I described of managing households and relationships applies to the workplace. These two definitions complement and intertwine with one another and bleed into almost all aspects of life for many women. I can, of course, speak to emotional labor best from my personal worldview, which is that of a white, middle-class, heterosexual wife, mother, and business owner. Women of color, trans women, female immigrants, lesbian women, bisexual women, and impoverished women must navigate the complexities of marginalization (often several layers of it at once) along with their emotional labor. I cannot begin to understand the level of exhaustion that must bring.
In order to get specific about goal setting, we must look realistically at our plans and evaluate what we are willing to – or in some cases, excited to – give up in order to achieve our goals. We must firmly say “no” to many things in order to have maximum focus on what we want to say “yes” to.
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?