The gender wage gap has shrunk, but women tend to be undervalued at work in terms of job titles, leadership roles and other job functions. Female leaders from Disney Streaming, Dow Jones, Nike and Uber converged at General Assembly’s networking space to debate how professional women can resist common practices that reinforce the gender gap in today’s workplace. Leaders should encourage women and men to take on jobs or projects they are not qualified for but passionately want; hire diverse teams without bias; sell themselves and their skills powerfully to attract new opportunities; empower upcoming generations of women; and bring men into the conversation. Sheryl Weaver, senior human resources manager at Uber, says there is a confidence gap when women apply for jobs, and she says that women can be “really transparent about what that gap is” and still express their passion for the new opportunity, which could lead to the training they need to do the job more effectively. Managers should be encouraged to look for passion and not just a checklist of qualifications. Managers also need to ask all the same questions to every job applicant to eliminate potential bias in the interview process. Trina Maynes, lead human resources partner at Nike, says women need to take the time to update their LinkedIn profile, adding testimonials from those they have worked with and updating their profile photo. If women are in a leadership position, they need to give back and help younger generations of women seek out the best opportunities they can. Weaver suggests joining Built by Girls, a New York-based nonprofit organization offering young women in high school and college mentor opportunities. “There is a power in a mentor and a champion who knows your vision. We are all in a position to receive that and give that,” says Maynes. However, as many leaders are men, they are often unaware of the imbalances in the workplace that women face, which is why women should educate them. Consider joining a networking organization or a local chamber of commerce to increase the likelihood you’ll connect with men in leadership roles, says Ally Tubis, senior director of retention analytics at Disney Streaming.
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