International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has been celebrated since in the early 1900’s. Each year on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. It is also a time of reflection as Governments, organizations and individuals ask themselves what the women’s movement has achieved globally.

I was listening to Radio 4 this morning and the speaker on ‘Thought for the Day’ was reflecting on the fact that we still have a pay gap. In other words, despite the fact that we have had equal opportunities legislation for over 30 years, men are still paid 12% more than women for doing the same job.

I have a personal view on what causes the pay gap which may be controversial but, logically, there has to be some truth in it: Women simply don’t ask for pay rises!

I have taken 1000’s of women through our flagship programme GQ™ for Women Leaders and each time it’s the same. On the first day before lunch we brainstorm the topic of gender differences and how the politics of these differences play out at work. Invariably, there is a rich debate about whether or not we should be asking for pay rises, where they are deserved.

Most women believe that it is enough to keep your head down and you will be recognised for doing a good job and rewarded fairly for it. This simply isn’t the case. Research shows that the person who is most visible gets the promotion and the person who asks for the pay rise will earn more. Generally, when a male graduate is offered his salary package he sees it as a starting point for negotiation and the female graduate accepts the offer and says thank you. If this disparity continues throughout their careers, is it any wonder there is a pay gap?

What are you not asking for? Where do you deserve more in life but are too shy to speak up? If you know somebody who could do with some coaching in this area, please let me know as I am offering 1 complimentary place on the next programme 19/20th March in Central London for International Women’s Day.

‘One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.’ ….Helen Keller

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