Today, I am taking to the stage alongside some dynamic women in an event organised by Marie Claire and Salesforce in response to a recent survey they undertook speaking to 1,000 women about their careers.
What transpired makes for hugely interesting reading. For younger women, the main finding was that although they are extremely aware of the fluctuating gender pay gap, lack of equality and the hugely outdated and unwelcome presence of sexual harassment in the workplace, their issues with confidence stop them from speaking up.
Awareness of all these factors is highwith 92% of all women surveyed stating that more needs to be done to close the gender pay gap. Despite this, findings showed that younger women are the least likely to ask for a pay rise to correct a disparity between their male colleagues.
What makes for worrying reading is that 20% of the women spoken to stated that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. There still seems to be very blurred lines regarding peoples’ understanding of what constitutes harassment which is preventing women speaking up and coming forward. This is clearly unacceptable and needs to be stamped out immediately by giving these women a clear voice and clarity on what is harassment. However, in young women especially, there is an added worry that speaking up might hamper their future career.
The survey also explored women’s attitudes to the future of work and found that the biggest worry for 60% was future proofing their career. To be a leader in their field they were aware that they need to be extremely agile and well-rounded in terms of skillset and highly in tune with the challenges that will come their way and how to tackle them. Sadly, although 60% of women wanted to retrain or change career direction, only 38% knew where to start.
So what can be done? Well, knowledge is power which is why Salesforce’ research is so valuable and why panel discussions such as this are imperative to really understanding what is going on and providing practical guidance on what women and organisations can do to tackle these issues head on.
Together with panelists, Kathleen Saxton, Heather Black and Fiona McIntosh, the discussion, chaired by Andrea Thompson will discuss how women can take control of these issues and use their voice to initiate change.
The panel could not be timelier for me in light of my new book, Power Up, coming out in November, which will address all the issues we will be discussing on the panel next week. I have been immersed in how women can unleash their potential and have all the success they want and deserve so I can’t wait to get on stage and share my tips, insight and experience to help support the next generation of female leaders.
And of course I’ll be reporting back afterwards.
If you have any burning questions you’d like answered about these issues at the event, let me know and I’ll share in a future blog. Here’s to Powering Up your career potential.