We kicked off the Summit by setting an intention — be here, with others, for ourselves. Too often we’re so focused on getting through a to-do list that we forget to focus on our own development and growth. The Summit was intended to provide space and time to turn inward to learn about ourselves and, in the spirit of inclusion, share that time with fellow LimeMates.
We welcomed women’s advocate and leader Laura Espriu to lead us in a session devoted to “Defining Your Leadership Brand.” Espriu challenged LimeMates to own their strengths and define their skills.
Finally, we closed our session with the renowned pay equity expert and advocate Lydia Frank, VP of Content Strategy at PayScale. Our employees were so inspired by Frank’s insights and action that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves.
Check out the highlights of our fireside chat with Lydia Frank below:
Q: How do you sustain your energy and inspiration while constantly advocating for pay and gender equity?
A: Advocating for pay equity is an opportunity to educate broadly. It could be easy to give up, but ultimately, what is at stake is so critical. Women leave an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million on the table in lost earnings over their lifetime by not negotiating early in their career.
At an individual level, sometimes advocating for yourself and for equal pay can feel self-serving. You might think, “Why should they give me more money?” And the answer is: “You are worth it.” But what’s also at stake is who is coming up behind you and how you’re creating a path for them.
Q: What advice Do you have for people prepping for discussions around promotion or compensation?
A: First, research an appropriate pay range. You can use tools like PayScale to give you a salary range. PayScale asks a lot of questions to pinpoint the most accurate salary range for your skillset, experience, education, etc., so you’re prepared with what’s reasonable when you enter the discussion.
Then, prepare for the negotiation. Some people say you should negotiate like a lawyer or an FBI agent. That would be weird (if you’re not a lawyer or FBI agent, that is). This is likely a discussion with your manager who you work with closely, so just be your authentic self. And definitely practice. Even though it may feel really awkward, practice in front of a mirror or use a site like BigInterview.com to help you improve and build confidence.
Q: What advice do you have for men looking to be allies and advocates for women in their career?
A: Showing up and speaking up is an important step. At PayScale, we rebranded Equal Pay Day this year as Equal Power Day to focus on paths to power for women, people of color and other underrepresented groups and on creating better alliances between men and women. I think it was Brooke Shepard from Weber Shandwick who coined the term “BAM” for “Bring a Man” during our Equal Power Day event, and I just love that! We want — and need — men in the room to advance the conversation.
Q: A topic that has come up frequently in our Women in the Workplace discussions is imposter syndrome and never feeling “good enough.” How have you learned to navigate these feelings in your career?
A: I still struggle with it, and surprisingly, also think you feel it even more as you advance in your career. It’s important to recognize that everyone feels it at some point. If you’re a person, you’ve had this feeling because this is a human experience, not just a female experience. Just because you see someone with bravado or confidence doesn’t mean they’re not struggling.
Q: There’s this narrative that the aggressive woman who elbows her way to the top is the one who finds success. What do you think of that?
A: I don’t believe that is necessarily true now. It’s more important to own your own leadership style and not apologize for it. Often, we fall into false ideas that people who are aggressive, loud or confident are the leaders. Instead, research studies have found that most people — regardless of gender — say that successful leaders show vulnerability, compassion and empathy.
Q: What’s your favorite mantra?
A: No regrets. It’s dangerous to live with regrets because they keep you from moving forward. Instead, I try to always think, “What did I learn from that?” and view moments that would be easy to view as regrettable as learning opportunities.
Learn more about “Women in the Workplace” at Limeade — our first professional group devoted to the well-being of women.