I have worked in Corporate America for almost 20 years from major corporations like Coca-Cola to a Private Equity owned small company like DRM-JPC Brands. By all accounts, I have made it. I am a Chief Marketing Officer with a 6 figure income, I have traveled all over the world and worked on some of the most recognized and used brands. But on January 1, 2013, when most people were making a resolution to lose weight, stop smoking or stop shopping. My resolution was far more dramatic! I RESOLVED to expose and fight against the uncomfortable truth that there is a high level of discrimination and disrespectful treatment that exists in Corporate America. This treatment is not from the usual suspects but in fact, came from Women and even more painfully disturbing some of them were Black Women. Now let me be clear! I have been blessed with having several amazing professional mentors who were Women and Black, and without them, I would not be where I am today. But they, unfortunately, were the exception, not the norm. So when I heard the quote from Madeleine Albright "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I had comfort in knowing that many of my past managers and some co-workers would be there together gasping for air. All too common
After speaking with several women, I realized my experience was not all that unique. In fact, many of the women that I spoke with had very similar experience and felt their biggest roadblocks came from the very people that they assumed would provide guidance and support. Now one may say, we should not automatically expect support from other women. That may be true but what we should expect is not to be mistreated by them. I was disappointed to discover that in 2016, there are only 32 female CEOs in the Fortune 500 meaning that only 6.4% of the U.S.'s companies are run by women. Even more disturbing women are working full time in the United States typically are still paid just 80 percent of what men are paid. So why is it necessary to supports other women? We can't afford not to.
How To Close The Gender Gap:
1. Become a mentor for at least one junior executive at your company. FACTS: Sponsorship makes women more likely to aim high. Women with sponsors are 8 percent more likely to ask for both a stretch assignment and a pay increase than women without sponsors.
2. Celebrate the success of other women in your industry. <strong>Facts: In a performance evaluation study, men who stayed late to help prepare for a meeting were rated 14 percent more favorably than women who did the exact same thing. When both men and women failed to help, the women were penalized with a 12 percent lower rating than the men.
3. Actively seek and recruit qualified women into your organization. FACTS: Men will apply for jobs when they meet 60 percent of the hiring criteria, while women wait until they meet 100 percent.
4. Evaluate Men and Women Fairly. FACTS: Gender-blind studies consistently show that removing gender from decisions improves women’s chances of success. One study found that replacing a woman’s name with a man’s name on a résumé improved the odds of getting hired by 61 percent.
5. Support working mothers. Facts A recent study found that a job applicant with “PTA coordinator” on her resume was 79% less likely to be recommended for hire compared to an equally qualified woman without children.
Kindness is a choice! Doing good for others builds a stronger society, community, family and you!