“Women in the Workforce” Workshop
Written by jdinino November 10, 2017
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop led by one of CIMBA’s best professors: Charla Caponi. The workshop was about succeeding as a woman in business, so of course, Charla was the perfect choice to lead it. As a member in Women in Business Club at my home university, I didn’t see much of a point in attending her talk. I felt I knew all there was to know since I had already sat through dozens of panels led by women of high positions in large companies. I was so wrong. Charla introduced ideas that I had never considered. Since I related to what she had to say so greatly, I figured I’d share some of her helpful tips!
- Negotiation is key
One of the points Charla really honed in on was the idea of negotiation. She explained that men tend to negotiate more for higher salaries, while women tend to accept the first salary they are offered. If women negotiate more, this will further close the wage gap. A major recommendation was to take a negotiation class and/or read the book Getting to a Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury.
Additionally, she explained that women tend to think they need to fill all requirements before applying for a job or reaching for a promotion. In contrast, men even if men satisfy as little as 50%-60% of requirements, they will still apply for the job. The key is to have the confidence to convince employers that you can take on a greater challenge.
- Be competent
One of the biggest pieces of advice women in college receive is to have good “soft skills,” for example, be a strong leader, have empathy, be respected, and treat others with respect. However, Charla challenged this idea by saying those skills are important, but women are never inspired to improve “hard skills.” Hard skills include math, technology, and knowledge about relevant concepts. Focusing more on this type of intelligence will help women get more opportunities to be promoted; we should never stop learning.
- Own your success!
Don’t be afraid to brag about your achievements. Charla explained that the more women embrace their success and receive feedback, the more confident we will be. With this confidence, we will stop settling for mediocrity and push ourselves more. People will start to realize how awesome women are once we stop being so humble.