BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Posts Tagged ‘business’

What Influences Women’s Leadership and Career Decisions? Take the Survey

Posted by YWM on September 18, 2012

By Sherylle Tan and Claudia Raigoza, Claremont McKenna College

The number of women entrepreneurs has been on the rise for the past two decades (Jome, Donahue, & Siegel, 2006). According to the US Census Bureau (2007), women owned 7.8 million nonfarm U.S. businesses, an increase of 20.1 percent from 2002. This accounted for 28.7 percent of businesses in the United States. A relatively new trend in entrepreneurship is the idea of the “mompreneur,” defined by Entrepreneur.com as “a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of the mom and the entrepreneur.” However, at the same time that women are venturing into entrepreneurship, the media is claiming that many professional women are opting out of the workforce to take care of their children at home[i]. In 2003, Lisa Belkin first drew substantial attention to the “Opt-Out Revolution” in her appropriately titled article published in the New York Times Magazine.

Subsequent research on women leaving the workforce has suggested that women experience many pushes and pulls that result in some women exiting the workforce[ii]. A primary pull factor for many women has to do with family responsibilities, whereas push factors often have to do with workplace challenges that women experience which include hitting the “glass ceiling,” slow career advancement, and lack of work schedule flexibility.[iii] Interestingly, many of those same family pulls and workplace pushes are the same reasons that women enter into entrepreneurship[iv].

While the reasons that women enter in entrepreneurship are similar to the reasons that women choose to leave the workforce, it appears that the relationship is not so linear. There appear to be more complex reasons that account for why women make the career transitions that they do. The career decisions and transitions that women make during the course of their lives vary and are influenced by women’s life-stages.  With the increasing number of women becoming entrepreneurs and seeking leadership through non-traditional career paths, it is important to identify and understand the important influence of life-stages in the career and leadership decisions that women make.

The Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College is interested in developing a better understanding of this issue. Please participate in our study, by taking our online survey. Participation is completely voluntary and confidential. The online survey takes about 20-25 minutes to complete. In gratitude, you will be entered into a drawing to win a prize of a Kindle Touch upon completing the survey. Please go to this link to start our online survey:


If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the Kravis Leadership Institute, please feel free to contact Dr. Sherylle Tan (Director of Internship and KLI Research at the Kravis Leadership Institute) at stan@cmc.edu or go to our website: http://kli.cmc.edu/.

[i] Belkin, L. (2003). The Opt-Out Revolution. The New York Times Magazine.

[ii] Hewlett, S.A., Luce, C. B., Shiller, P., & Southwell, S. (2005). The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women’s Careers. Harvard Business Review Research Report. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

[iii] Stone, P. and Lovejoy, M. (2004). Fast-Track Women and the “Choice” to Stay Home. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 596, 62-83.

[iv] Buttner, E.H. (1993). Female entrepreneurs: How far have they come? Business Horizon, 2, 59.

Jome, L. M., Donahue, M. P., and Siegel, L. A. (2006). Working in the Uncharted Technology Frontier: Characteristics of Women Web Entrepreneurs. Journal of Business and Psychology, 21(1), 127-147.

Hewlett, S. (2007). Off-ramps and on-ramps: Keeping talented women on the road to success. Boston: Harvard Business School Press

Posted in Career Advancement, Research, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

3 strategies to get the pay you deserve without being greedy or pushy

Posted by ptanji on May 31, 2012

By Patty Tanji
First published on the Next Steps Follies

Getting paid what you are worth is neither greedy nor pushy but rather earned and must be expected.

Do the Research

1.  Before asking your boss for a raise ask Mr. Google: Determine if you are being underpaid, overpaid, or somewhere in between. You must find out what people in other companies are paid who do your job and also those in your current company.

What do other companies pay?  Mr. Google lists many sites. Salary.com, payscales.com, glassdoor.com, simplyhired.com.

I did a quick search on “dog kennel maintenance wages’ spurned on by a teenage friend’s story. Turns out she is paid 30 cents/hour less than her colleague, a male, her age, same grade (11th ).  Check out the results here: http://www.simplyhired.com/a/salary/search/q-dog+kennel+maintenance

The salary range is daunting but can be made more accurate by putting in more data like age, experience, education, etc. Do not think of the lowest range as a place to start. Determine the level of skill, responsibility, education, years of service, etc. before coming up with your own range from which to begin negotiation.

What does your boss pay? Asking what others make inside your company is a little more tricky and often frowned upon by employers. And, like the example above, where my teenage friend learned she was getting paid less than her colleague, the information can be learned quite by accident. She was verifying hours worked with her team member who showed her his pay stub.  So, employees do learn what others make but mostly by accident.

Another way to find out what your boss pays other employees at your company is to ask, at an appropriate time and in an appropriate manner. As an exploration of  what your quality of life will be like in the future if you stay employed there. You might try asking:

How does my salary fit with how others are paid in the company?

Is my salary at the top of the pay scale?  Is there room for growth?

Am I paid more or as much as others?

In case you are worried that your boss will fire you if you ask your colleague what she is getting paid, check out this article. Seems the National Labor Relations Act say otherwise:  http://www.askamanager.org/2012/01/can-an-employer-require-you-to-keep-your-salary-confidential.html

So now you know what you should be paid. Go ask for it!

Money is a Funny Word

2.  Now lets talk about the words “greedy” and “pushy”.  In her book “Earn What Your Worth”, Nicole Williams lists the following words to determine how you feel about money. Then, of course, the rest of the book she tries to convince you that money is not a dirty word.

So, what do you think about these words?  Smart, strong, attractive, weak, greedy, efficient powerful, cutthroat, spoiled, innovative, deserving, cruel, self-centered, peaceful, selfish, generous, inspiring, ugly, disciplined, desirable.

Do these words describe how you feel about money and the people who have it? If so, lets do a little mindset shift shall we? Money is your friend. It is an indication of positive flow of energy in your life. It is the method through which you can fully show up and give your greatest gifts. Always being worried about where you next meal is going to come, or how you are going to pay for your child to play on the soccer team next season is not going to help you live your best life. You deserve it.

I am an advocate for strong pay equity laws in my state of Minnesota.  As result of our laws, women are sometimes given raises, the result of mandatory pay equity audits. These audits reveal that women are sometimes underpaid, according to their skill and responsibility levels. However, because these raises are very public (http://brainerddispatch.com/news/2011-01-25/equity-law-leads-pay-raise) there is often a sense of guilt that accompanies them possibly because they think they are taking away money from taxpayers. A very limiting view of money indeed.

Your Best Advocate

3. Think like an advocate. I am an advocate for fair pay for the public at large.  You are an advocate for yourself.  No one is going to negotiate a better salary for you than you. Unless you work in a unionized workplace, which is rare these days, you’re going to have to step up! Your boss or the human resource professionals at your company have been trained about compensation and benefits and many of them have graduate degrees on the subject. You must too. Know what your family’s needs are today and in the future. College expenses, increased car insurance once your teen starts driving, sports programs, retirement. Determine what you want and ask for it.

Your turn! Have you asked for raise at any time in your career? How did it go?

Posted in Career Advancement, Equal Pay, Financial Security, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stand by Your Brand

Posted by YWM on November 23, 2011

By Joan Grey, BPW Foundation Veteran PR Associate

I recently had the opportunity to attend the NOVA Women’s Business Conference at the National Conference Center in Leesburg. During the meeting I gained a whole new appreciation about how to think about branding.

Branding is a contemporary buzzword that means how you differentiate yourself or your business by having a clear, consistent, and memorable identity. For instance, Mother Teresa and Madonna have very different but note-worthy personas. Appearance aside, most people would not mix up these two women, though each has been able to attract and hold a large following (that has continued even after Mother Teresa’s death). And most people probably know something about the two, even though they have never personally met either woman. Mother Teresa and Madonna have distinctive brands, whether or not they set out deliberately to achieve that.

During the meeting we were able to select tags to attach to our name badges.  If you’ve gone to a conference, you know the usual labels: Presenter, Exhibitor, Board Member,–boring.  This conference offered the opportunity to brand yourself. Here are some of the choices that were available to add to our name badge: Official Smarty Pants; Trouble maker; Go green; OCD; Slacker; Know it all; I could be President; Plays well with others; I color outside the lines. We were instructed to pick up to four labels.  I chose just one, “Go green”, but came up with some ideas for tabs I would like to have seen: High energy, Re-invented the wheel; and Visionary.

What a clever idea!  And choosing labels was a great ice-breaking opportunity also. What makes you stand out from the crowd? What are the words or phrases you would choose for yourself? Are you a powerful, non-conformist, connect-the-dots person? Are you resilient or a trail blazer or progressive? What are your personal labels? And what’s the label for your company or business? If you asked friends and relatives; customers, clients, or stake-holders; how would they describe you? A word of caution—take care about defining yourself negatively, even in jest.

Here are three aspects of your brand to consider:

  • Reputation: What are you known for? What makes you valuable in the work place? What skills, talents, and expertise do people seek from you?
  • Connections and access: Who do you know?  Who do you know that knows someone else?
  • Influence: Can you move people to take action?

When an organization speaks with one voice, it reinforces its position in the marketplace. A job seeker becomes a more memorable candidate when she can articulate the aspects that differentiate her from others looking for employment.  With holiday party season upon us, put a selection of labels out at your events with the nametags and watch connections being made.   Or, better yet, respond to this post with your unique identifiers.

Posted in Career Advancement, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrating (Misbehavin’) Women’s History Month

Posted by gansie on April 7, 2009

jennp2As organizations proud of their legacy of supporting working women, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and BPW/USA honor today’s trailblazing women as they lead the way in creating successful workplaces.

This Misbehavin’ interview is one in a series as BPW commemorates Women’s History Month. Yes, we know it’s April – but we still have some celebrating to do!

Name: Jennifer Pflasterer

Title: Consultant

Organization: Plexus Consulting Group

Jennifer Pflasterer has a background in business marketing and international economics. By working for a small company, it  provides her with a diverse client environment and a vast range of responsibilities and opportunities. Active in the community through volunteering and participating in a pilot program for recruitment through her alumni association, Pflasterer also tries to get some running in when she can.anneboleyn21

My favorite woman in history is…Anne Boleyn

Women have helped me succeed in my career by…demonstrating that you can break barriers and accomplish your goals with determination.

I support Business and Professional Women’s Foundation because…it is a voice for women and equality in the workplace.

The foundation is making employers and employees aware of the need for successful workplaces and the positive effect on the corporate community.

I’m proud to be a Misbehavin’ Woman by…constantly challenging myself.

You too can celebrate a woman in your life by making a $50 donation in her honor to BPW Foundation.

photo credit

Posted in BPW, Feminism, Woman Misbehavin', Women's History Month | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Companies Hiring and Promoting Women Are More Successful

Posted by sherrysaunders on March 3, 2009

women-work-2Companies that want to be profitable need to hire the best and the brightest  and to do that they must hire women.

New research shows a high correlation between profitability and hiring women.  Roy D. Adler, a Fulbright professor and the area coordinator of marketing at Pepperdine University, reported on research he and colleagues had done that demonstrated that  Fortune 500 companies with a strong record of promoting women had better performance records than other firms in the same industries.

Didn’t you know that all along?  How come so many companies don’t get it?

They tracked Fortune 500 companies from 2001 through 2007 and the results were the same each year.  In 2008 they looked at Fortune’s “100 Best Companies for MBAs” as ranked by women with the same results being found.

Oh, by changing the criteria for the companies the list was reduced to just 56 companies ranked best by women MBAs.  This is a fascinating piece of research and we need to spread the word.

photo credit

Posted in Career Advancement, Education, Feminism, Research, Successful Workplaces | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »