20-Something Women – Step up to the Table

“57% of men are negotiating their first salary and only 7% of women.”

I tweeted this fact from Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg at the TEDWomen talk on December 8th. She went on to comment on how women are still not making it to the boardroom table in many professions.

“Women are not making it to the top of any profession in the world,” she said, not pointing to unfair power structures and the like but to the “messages we tell ourselves and our daughters.” Female success is not about “luck or working hard.” Those are explanations, even excuses. “Own your own success,” she says. “But I don’t have the answers, even for myself.”

A lot of 40-somethings have talked about this issue with me and there have been a few blog entries here on it. As Sandberg points out,  women tend to site luck for achievements and think their hard work will speak for itself. We have to be more accountable for both our successes and failures.  40-somethings advice is encouraging but not a solutions. In a nutshell they say to go for it. Be prepared, know your stuff and you have nothing to lose.  Take charge and talk up your achievements. Or “fake it till you make it” (https://4020vision.com/index.php/2010/11/fake-it-till-you-make-it/) as we talked a few weeks back. How you act at work is more important than what you say or do. This was also touched on in the entry “What to Take with You from a Job”.  (https://4020vision.com/index.php/2010/12/what-to-take-with-you-from-a-job/). But here is Sandberg’s take on it which is worth a watch.

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