Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome
graphics image of women taking off masks

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. Many question whether they’re deserving of accolades.

Talisa Lavarry was exhausted. She had led the charge at her corporate event management company to plan a high-profile, security-intensive event, working around the clock and through weekends for months. Barack Obama was the keynote speaker.

Lavarry knew how to handle the complicated logistics required — but not the office politics. A golden opportunity to prove her expertise had turned into a living nightmare. Lavarry’s colleagues interrogated and censured her, calling her professionalism into question. Their bullying, both subtle and overt, haunted each decision she made. Lavarry wondered whether her race had something to do with the way she was treated. She was, after all, the only Black woman on her team. She began doubting whether she was qualified for the job, despite constant praise from the client.

Things with her planning team became so acrimonious that Lavarry found herself demoted from lead to co-lead and was eventually unacknowledged altogether by her colleagues. Each action that chipped away at her role in her work doubly chipped away at her confidence. She became plagued by deep anxiety, self-hatred, and the feeling that she was a fraud.

What had started as healthy nervousness — Will I fit in? Will my colleagues like me? Can I do good work? — became a workplace-induced trauma that had her contemplating suicide.

Today, when Lavarry reflects on the imposter syndrome she fell prey to during that time, she knows it wasn’t a lack of self-confidence that held her back. It was repeatedly facing systemic racism and bias.

Read the full article at HBR.

Precious Lee Is The First Plus-Sized Model To Walk The Versace Runway
Precious Lee plus-sized model at a marver premier wearing a black bodycon dress

Precious Lee, a Black fashion icon from Atlanta, Georgia, sat down with Good Morning America to reflect on her historic achievement as one of the first plus-sized models on the Versace runway. The trailblazer, who was one of three plus-sized models to make history at the runway show in Italy last year, said she was overcome with emotion before her interview last week.

“I’ve always imagined myself on that runway,” Lee said. “I’ve always adored Versace. I grew up in a Versace home. We always loved Versace as a family.”

When she took the stage in Milan, Italy, the 31-year-old said she was thinking of her sister, who was also a model, according to Allure.

“The show was the day before her birthday,” Lee said. “Anytime I have a really big moment or just when I’m feeling the need for the energy of my sister — I felt her right before I was about to go out.”

As she relied on the energy of her sister while waiting for her turn to walk, Lee heard another comforting voice.

“I’m so focused and all of a sudden I was about to cry and then someone backstage was like ‘you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Go!'” the Georgia native said. “I turned the corner and I zoned out and I started to float.”

In the midst of the momentous occasion, Lee became more grateful for all the support she received during her journey.

“It was an acknowledgment of how supported I’ve been,” she said. “It was such a proud moment of arriving at an actual dream.”

Lee has also made history as the first Black curvy model to appear on the cover of Vogue, according to her biography. Additionally, she’s appeared at New York Fashion Week for designers Christian Siriano, Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Adams Nolan. Lee has also been featured in other magazines such as Glamour, Paper Magazine, V Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and M Le Monde. 

Read the full article at Blavity.

Best U.S. Cities for Jobs in 2021
US map in purple for the best cities for jobs

By Stephanie Asymkos for Yahoo Money

Even before the pandemic, Americans were fleeing populated states like New York and California to escape high taxes and expensive housing. Remote work has since enabled a segment of workers to tap into the benefits of lower costs of living with gainful employment in smaller cities.

WalletHub evaluated 182 of the most-populated U.S. cities — including at least two of the most populated cities in each state — by analyzing 32 metrics. Each city was assigned a score based on job opportunities, employment growth, starting salaries, and socioeconomic indicators like median income, housing affordability, and safety, along with an overall score. Additionally, COVID-19 metrics were added to this year’s rankings, and the measures for weekly cases and mortality were weighted more over commute times and transit accessibility.

(Graphic credit: David Foster, Yahoo Finance)

“This year is more of an anomaly than last. We’ve been doing this study now for five years and we do see a lot of the same cities in the past 10 or 20,” Gonzalez said. “This year, we saw a little bit of a shakeup.”

Recent data from the Census Bureau indicates that moving levels are at a 72-year low and more people are searching for remote-work opportunities. But uncertainty about working in general remains and that could be what’s precluding the masses from picking up and moving.

The pandemic’s cruelty has been evident in the U.S. job market. While unemployment has rebounded from 14.7% in April to 6.7%, President Trump’s term ended with 3 million fewer jobs than when he started in 2017. The economy still needs to add at least 9.8 million jobs to be back to its pre-pandemic levels.

With people largely staying put, Gonzalez predicts offices and workspaces will pop up in smaller cities to accommodate booming job markets and those looking to return to office life.

“We won’t see people really moving for new opportunities for quite some time,” she said.

Read the original article at Yahoo Money.

In Last MidEast Push, White House Launches Women Business Network
Kelley Currie and Ivanka Trump Speaking at the event wearing blue

By Forbes

Days before leaving office, the Trump Administration has created a new network of women in business that aims at implementing the Abraham Accords, a series of normalization agreements that were signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and subsequently Bahrain and other countries, backed by Washington.

The initiative, called “United Women’s Economic Development Network” is part of Ivanka Trump’s flagship work in the White House, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative, and was spearheaded by Kelley

(Photo Credit – MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Currie, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and Aryeh Lightstone, a recently-appointed Special Envoy for Economic Normalization.

The network is one of the Trump Administration’s last efforts to promote the Abraham Accords and its work in the Middle East before the end of the Presidency—but it’s unclear what is going to happen to the initiative once a new administration is in the White House.

“Following the signing of the Abraham Accords in September 2020, signatory parties have worked to establish across the region a warm peace, inclusive of all, and to develop new cross-country economic partnerships,” a press release issued by the White House on Thursday said. “In pursuit of those goals, the advancement of women’s economic empowerment has come to occupy a role of central importance.”

According to the White House, women entrepreneurs from the United States, Bahrain, Morocco, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and Kosovo took part in the launch of the initiative. A group of about 40 women attended the event, including Dr. Shaika Rana bint Isa Alkhalifa, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, and Netta Korin, co-founder of Israel’s largest blockchain infrastructure company Orbs.

Read the full article at Forbes.
New Colorado Law Helps Women Know if They’re Paid Fairly at Work
graphic three women and a man with salary comparison

A new law that took effect this year tries to ensure “equal pay for equal work” by allowing for more transparency around salaries.

Remember when water coolers were something you could talk around with your coworkers?

One topic that was taboo: salaries.

That’s not the case anymore with a new Colorado law that took effect this year to tries to bring “equal pay for equal work.”

“I was probably being paid anywhere from $50,000-$80,000 less than my colleagues,” said Wendy Rockwell, who fought for equal pay at her company. “It was five years where I felt that something was off. And in the company, we were not allowed to speak with our colleagues about their income and about their merit increases.”

Rockwell kept a detailed spreadsheet of her pay and accomplishments at work, and realized she wasn’t getting paid for work equal to her male coworkers.

She told some trusted coworkers her salary and got surprised reactions.

“My colleagues, they were horrified because they were like, ‘no, I’m not being paid that at all,'” said Rockwell. “A new colleague shared with me they were $30,000 more.”

Colorado’s “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” was signed in 2019 but didn’t take effect until Jan. 1.

One of the provisions prevents an employer from retaliating against an employee for discussing salaries with coworkers. That wasn’t the case when Rockwell was trying to investigate her pay disparity.

“No, because then I would have violated the company policy of not discussing,” said Rockwell.

While she was fighting for equal pay, without much success, her company was bought, and the new owners made good.

“When I went to the new company, they put in an emergency rectification of $30,000. Within six months, they’d increased it by $50,000 for me doing the same job,” said Rockwell. “For five years that I was pursuing this and not getting anywhere, it was a loss of about $250,000.”

“Based on today’s wage gap, white women would lose approximately $400,000 over the course of a 40-year career. And for Latinas, the career losses are over $1.1 million, and then for black women, a little over $900,000,” said Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

Her group helped lobby for an equal pay law for years.

“Equal pay for equal work, it’s not that complicated,” said Casteel. “One of the things that this legislation requires is transparency. And it’s one of the things that makes people anxious, is the transparency about pay, but the value of that is accountability.”

Besides allowing workers to discuss salaries without retribution, the law requires job postings in Colorado to have a salary range posted.

“For instance, if you see your job being posted and you’re not in that salary range, that’s a pretty big key that you’re not being paid fairly,” said Rachel Ellis, managing partner at Livelihood Law, an employment law firm.

Ellis was on the committee that helped write the new equal pay law.

It lists reasons why it would be within the law for a man and a woman to be paid differently.

It would be OK for the wage difference to be based on all of the following:

  • Seniority system
  • Merit system
  • Earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • Geographic location where the work is performed
  • Education, training or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work in question
  • Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed

Read the full article at 9News.

How High-End Restaurants Have Failed Black Female Chefs
Black woman Chef in the restaurant kitchen making a cake

By The New York Times

Training and advancement as a chef can be hard to find in American fine-dining restaurants, according to Black women who have tried.

Eight years ago, Auzerais Bellamy landed what she thought was a big break: a stint as a stagiaire, or apprentice, at the French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s world-renowned restaurant in the Napa Valley. She wasn’t paid for her two days trailing the pastry team, but she saw it as an ideal training ground where, if asked to stay, she could learn from some of the best cooks in the business, sharpening her skills.

(Image Credit – Stephanie Mei-Ling for The New York Times)

“If you want to be a great player you have to be coached well, and I felt like I could be coached well there,” she recalled.

Ms. Bellamy, who grew up in a restaurant family in the Bay Area, had graduated from the Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts, and was working as chef de partie at Mr. Keller’s more casual Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, Calif. But when her apprenticeship ended, she wasn’t asked to stay on at the French Laundry. “They said I lacked the technical skill to work there.”

She stayed with Bouchon Bakery, and even moved to New York City to work as a demi-sous-chef at its branch in Rockefeller Center. And when a job as pastry sous-chef opened up at Per Se, Mr. Keller’s East Coast fine-dining flagship, she applied — only to be told again that she needed more experience in the company.

The job was filled by a young Asian woman from outside the restaurant group, said Ms. Bellamy, 30. “They even had her come to our property to trail me to see how things were done companywide.”

Ms. Bellamy eventually left the restaurant business altogether, at one point cleaning apartments. In 2016, after an employer raved about a blondie she’d made, she started a Brooklyn bakery, Blondery. Looking back, she says she isn’t sure her experience could have been different.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

Women Have Lost 700,000 More Jobs Than Men Since the Pandemic Started
woman working from home with child and dog nearby

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the U.S. economy and workforce upside down. Once again, gender inequality in the labor force rears its ugly head.

Over the past nine months, millions of Americans have lost their jobs or seen their income drop substantially. But according to a CNN report based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have taken a harder hit than men.

As of November 2020, women held 5.3 million fewer jobs than they did when the pandemic started in February. Men, by contrast, only had a 4.6 million job shortfall. All told, women are down a good 700,000 positions compared to men. And that’s a hit they might struggle to recover from.

Why women have lost more work than men have

Certain industries took a particularly strong beating in the pandemic — notably, restaurants, hotels, and retailers. Women tend to make up the majority of employees in these industries. By virtue of that alone, it’s easy to see why women have lost more jobs than men have.

But let’s not forget that childcare — or a glaring lack thereof — has been a nightmare. And that has also disproportionately affected women. Historically, women have been more likely to give up their jobs to address childcare needs. Women are also known to earn less money than men thanks to the ever-present gender pay gap. As such, it stands to reason that women would be more likely to give up a job in the absence of childcare.

How women can recover

If you’ve lost your job in the course of the pandemic or had to leave the workforce temporarily to care for a child, do your best to maintain your job skills and knowledge base. That means keeping up with industry updates and staying in touch with former colleagues and contacts.

It’s also a good idea to secure some type of part-time work to avoid a dreaded resume gap. If you’re a marketing professional, for example, reach out to local businesses to see if you can do some consulting work. And if you can’t do that work on a paid basis, volunteer — it’ll still be something you can put on your resume.

Financially speaking, you may have a hard time getting by. If you have an emergency fund, now’s the time to tap that savings account — it’s better than racking up debt. If you have equity in your home, you can also look into borrowing against it to generate extra cash. And of course, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for relief if your income is down. You might be able to lower your monthly credit card payments or get more time to cover your utilities.

Hopefully, the current economic crisis will start to resolve as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out to the general public. Restrictions will ease, schools will reopen, and businesses will begin to rehire workers. Until then, it’s imperative that women do whatever they can to make themselves viable job candidates and avoid getting buried in debt. Men are also struggling during the pandemic, but women seem to be bearing the brunt of it. There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. However, female members of the labor force will have to work extra hard to emerge unscathed.

Continue to the full article at The Ascent.

Do Professional Women Over 50 Have An Expiration Date? How Gendered Ageism Sabotages Women’s Careers
three business people in office, sitting on desk in conversation, informal business.

“Men age on TV with a sense of gravitas, and we as women have an expiration date,” Roma Torre, 61, stated after her departure as anchor on NY1.

Torre, along with four of her female colleagues, recently settled an age and gender discrimination law suit against the New York cable network, Charter Communications. In the suit, Torre and her co-plaintiffs, Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, Jeanine Ramirez and Kristen Shaughnessy, claimed that their anchor airtime had been reduced and they were excluded from promotional campaigns due to their gender and age.

(Image Credit – Forbes)

Why is this not surprising? History has repeatedly demonstrated that women, especially those in the public eye, face the consequences of aging. As a result, actors like Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Cher, and scores of others, have felt compelled to alter or enhance their appearance. You may dismiss this as vanity, but that dismissal negates a much more important point. They need to look young and pretty to compete and stay marketable. Their career success and financial security depends on their appearance.

The impact of gendered ageism is not limited to celebrities. In our youth-tilted culture, professional women over 50 face gendered ageism every day. According to a 2018 AARP report, 64 percent of women say they’ve been the target of or witnessed age discrimination. It’s important to note that’s just a tip of the iceberg. It’s estimated that only 3 percent of older workers have ever made an official complaint. Many professional women are afraid to complain about ageist behavior for fear they’ll lose their jobs. And then what? It’s almost impossible to get rehired as a woman over 50.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Red Sox hiring Bianca Smith as first Black female pro baseball coach
Bianca Smith smiles wearing a baseball jersey

Bianca Smith is making baseball history.

The Red Sox are hiring Smith as a minor league coach, according to the Boston Globe.

MLB confirmed to the Globe that Smith will be the first black woman ever to coach baseball at the professional level.

Smith, who most recently was an assistant baseball coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University (Wisc.,) will primarily work with infielders at the Red Sox’s minor league facility in Fort Meyers, Fla.

“She was a great candidate coming in,” Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett told the Globe. “She’s had some really interesting experiences and has been passionate about growing her skill set and development herself.”

Smith has interned in the baseball operations departments of the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds and worked in amateur administration for MLB. She played softball at Dartmouth from 2010-12 before working as director of baseball operations at Case Western Reserve University from 2013-17 and as an assistant coach with University of Dallas in 2018, according to the Globe.

Smith’s hiring is a barrier-breaker.

“It’s a meaningful, meaningful thing for the organization,” Crockett told the Globe.

The San Francisco Giants made Alyssa Nakken baseball’s first full-time female major league coach earlier this year, promoting her to assistant coach. She became the first woman to coach on-field in an MLB game in July, coaching first base during an exhibition game.

Continue on to The New York Post to read the complete article.

Photo Credit: New York Post

Yes, Investors Care About Gender Diversity

Tech companies used to be tight-lipped about the gender breakdowns of their employees. Some even argued that such information was a trade secret.

But in recent years, that trend has reversed. Google, Facebook, Apple, and many other tech firms have released diversity reports, which show that the fraction of women ranges from about one-sixth of workers to nearly half.

These reports got Thomas Lys, a professor emeritus of accounting information and management at Kellogg, and collaborators wondering: Do the investors who read these

(Image credit – Lisa Röper/Kellogg Insight)

reports value gender diversity? “Our focus was: Can you make a business case for diversity?” says Lys. If so, then reports revealing relatively high diversity should boost stock prices more than those revealing low diversity.

That’s exactly the pattern that emerged in a study of technology and finance companies, conducted by Lys and his colleagues. When companies reported a higher percentage of women, investors appeared to reward them with larger increases in stock value.

The magnitude of the effect is “surprisingly large,” Lys says. For example, the researchers estimate that if the share of women at Google had been one percentage point higher when the firm released its diversity report in 2014, the company’s market capitalization would have been about $375 million higher at the end of the day of the announcement.

For Lys, the message is clear. “Investors value gender diversity, that’s for sure,” he says. “They value it very strongly.”

Read the full article at Kellogg Insight.

There Aren’t Enough Women CEOs in the Beauty Industry—These Colleges Are Changing That

For an industry that caters almost exclusively to women, the number of female decision-makers at the C-suite level is alarming. But thanks to recent pushes for equal representation, business schools are hearing the cries and adjusting their courses accordingly.

When it comes to gender equality at the highest level, the beauty industry comes out on top. In a 2016 report by LedBetter, a research group that measures the gender disparity across big-name companies, it found that beauty outranked every other profession in terms of the highest  (Image Credit – Aimee Sy Glamour)                               percentage of women seen on the board and in executive positions (apparel and retail came in second and third).

Unfortunately, that number was 29 percent—29 percent—which paints an incredibly bleak and a very real picture about how far away we are from achieving equal representation at the C-suite. For a business that caters largely to women and that’s built on the dollars women spend, it’s aggravating to see that in 2019 it’s still rare for a woman to reach the upper echelons of a major corporation.

But a handful of schools are determined to change that. New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology boasts two beauty-centric programs: a bachelor’s in cosmetics and fragrance marketing, which packages the business, science, and marketing aspects of the industry into a two-year curriculum, and a master’s that’s loaded with management courses for future execs. As the longest-running programs of their kind in the country (30 years for the bachelor’s, 20 years for the master’s), both provide their graduates with the tools to succeed in the beauty industry.

“We’ve been around for a long time, so we can see the results and track the students’ success stories,” says Virginia Bonofiglio, associate chairperson of FIT’s cosmetics and fragrance marketing department, naming the president of Nars, one of the founders of Milk, and senior VPs at Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, and Shiseido as alumni of the program. “All of the students who graduate go into the beauty industry, and many of them have been extraordinarily successful in moving up the corporate ladder. The key is finding people who, at a very early stage, know this is what they want to do.”

Continue to GLAMOUR to read the full article.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021

Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021