careers

A Reflection on Equal Pay Day 2018

Last week, we observed Equal Pay Day – an important day to reflect on how our nation compensates women for the work they perform in a company. We loved the energy and buzz that this day ignited, and the important conversations we heard. We hope this continues beyond just April 10th.

At OutFox, we know unequal pay is a larger systemic problem in our society (unfortunately, the overarching issue is not limited to just women), and while that disheartens us, we are working towards taking small steps to improve women’s compensation in the workplace with what we as individuals can control for ourselves. Research shows that, on average, women are more likely to leave a job unhappy than to negotiate for higher pay, better benefits, or more fulfilling projects. This isn’t specific to an industry or function – across the board we as women aren’t asking for more, we aren’t putting our names in the ring to be considered for more, and this hurts us in the long-run. Sometimes it just takes the wisdom and experience of a woman who has been there, and who can talk you through how to approach the conversation, to build the confidence you need to assert that you deserve more and go after it. This is one of many reasons why we built OutFox. You can’t score without ever taking a shot – and we want to see more women taking shots on goal!

Below – we’re sharing some of our favorite conversations from equal pay day and important statistics around women’s compensation that keep us inspired.

Can this please be the last equal pay day? Cosmopolitan magazine is calling for #lastequalpayday and we agree – we want to see this important conversation turn into action! Millennials are more likely to discuss their salary with peers than any generation before them, which is why we love Cosmo’s urging of women to discuss what their male peers are earning and utilize this to ask for more.

By The Numbers: What Pay Inequality Looks Like For Women In Tech – Many in tech acknowledge that there is a pay and employment gap, but aren’t sure how to fix the problem. Forbes takes a deep dive into the employment disparity in the tech industry.

Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations  Harvard research shows, women are much more likely to negotiate for salary when the salary is explicitly stated as ‘negotiable’ versus men who will negotiate terms regardless. At OutFox we firmly believe that everything is negotiable!

If you’re looking to improve your compensation or to talk to a woman who can help you build your compensation negotiation strategy - check us out at www.outfoxmycareer.com or reach out to hello@oufoxmycareer.com

How Trailblazing Women Built their Dream Careers

On Wednesday, OutFox had the honor of hosting a panel discussion featuring 4 inspirational women at TechStars Chicago. They shared their insights on building careers with meaning, careers that make them feel fulfilled and motivated everyday. Unlike in casual conversation, where we often try and deflect questions as to how things are going with a confident "things are going great!" each of these women candidly described all the ups and downs of their career journey - something we don't see enough of in everyday life.

For those who were unable to attend our event, but still looking to learn from inspirational women, we wanted to share our favorite stories and pieces of advice from each of the four women.

Haley O'Brien | Power Construction "98% of the construction industry is male, and I didn't realize at the time how rare it was to have been paired with a female manager on my first project ... in the beginning, networking in a room with all men, it was so hard to overcome the awkwardness and the boys-club culture!"

Haley is a talent in the construction industry, despite being one in the only 2% of women who work in the field. She described to the group how her female mentor helped her to harness the unique strengths of being a woman in her field. As a project manager, Haley interfaces with many clients and has learned that her empathy, attention to detail, and ability to distill the client's vision are what set her apart. Incidentally, translating a client's vision into design is the reason why Haley got into the construction business, it is what fuses her love of engineering and architecture. A focus on these areas not only leverages her core strengths, but is the reason why she loves her job.

Nilam Desai | Mercato "I had my lightbulb moment as a teacher - I was weaving healthy eating into all of my teachings - when a student told me that she had saved up to buy hummus so that she could have a healthy snack. That was when I knew..."

Nilam made a pivot from the teaching world into the food-tech space. Her lightbulb moment, described above, or the moment when she knew she was ready for a career change energized her as she embarked on a complete 180 career change. Despite a drastic industry change, Nilam saw how her skills in teaching were leverageable strengths in her next career, and how while she wasn't working directly with food, she had a relevant foundation upon which she could build. It was this crystallizing moment that gave Nilam the confidence to make the leap, and reach out cold to the CEO of a startup where she'd eventually end up starting her career in the food-space.

Margaret Neiman | Groupon "Someone told me that I'd have many careers in my life, and that is what made me comfortable in making a change."

Margaret, a self-described recovering attorney, also made a sharp pivot in her career when she moved to the corporate side into HR & Benefits management. Feeling deeply unhappy in her hours and work environment, it wasn't until a friend told her 'you know you don't haveto do this job' that she realized it was time to make a change. Like many of us, Margaret felt the pressure to have a strong, linear career trajectory, especially after having gone to law school right out of college. But ultimately, it was the subject-matter expertise she gained in her law degree that gave her the confidence to make the pivot and move corporate side, and realize that while she was making a trajectory change, her background was a key component in her success. She ultimately made her way out by working her network to secure an interview at Groupon, where she'd eventually go on to lead her own division in the HR department.

Victoria Stroz | Adler University "Everywhere I've gone in my career has been due, in some part, to networking ... I make a concerted effort to keep my network updated and keep the connections warm."

Victoria has recently discovered her passion for helping others as a therapist. After moving from finance to recruiting to HR, she uncovered the best parts of each job she had, while they were different, was her ability to coach and help others, leading her back to graduate school to become a therapist. Along the way, she relied heavily on her network - past bosses, former coworkers - who helped her navigate each turn, and sometimes opening up the doors for her before she even asked. At times, her network helped give her the confidence she needed to take the next step, such as when she was thinking about applying for schools, because as we all know, sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else. Victoria's advice is to always keep your network sharp, utilizing it as a key tool in your career tool-kit.