On July 31, the news broke that FEMA’s HR chief, a man named Corey Coleman, had been engaging in sustained sexual harassment of female staffers for years, including allegedly hiring female employees specifically to serve as sexual partners for male colleagues. It’s a shocking story, but only in scale; this kind of culture of exploitation is not new in the American workplace, as almost any woman professional can attest. And while it’s usually not so blatant, there are still workplaces where the people responsible for keeping employees safe are the ones perpetuating the abuse.Read More
I’ve been writing for some time about the unique barriers women face when pursuing their careers. Corporate culture is often less accessible to women for very clear historical reasons: the modern workplace was built around the assumption of a nuclear family with a working father and a stay-at-home mom, and for as much as our society has changed, that model is still assumed in workplaces across America. The result is a culture that excludes all but a specific type of employee and isn’t actually good for anyone (in which the only way to excel is to work all hours because the employee presumably has a wife at home keeping the fire lit and the kids fed).CONTINUE READINGRead More
Let’s talk about #MeToo.
It’s been a little under a year now since the hashtag started blowing up as Harvey Weinstein’s crimes rapidly came to light. But as much as the conversation has continued, we must remember the challenges and opposition we face; the White House has announced that a former Fox executive who helped shield Roger Ailes would be joining the administration, and just this week, President Trump publicly mocked the movement during a rally in Montana. All of which points to a simple question:
At this point, what has #MeToo actually accomplished beyond the outing and ousting of abusive figures like Weinstein and Kevin Spacey?Read More
Earlier this week, LinkedIn published a study demonstrating that, in the finance industry, women see a gender opportunity gap – and men don’t.
The study, done in partnership with CNBC and particular to one economic sector, demonstrates how much of the business world operates: through a myopia which prevents people from seeing (and working to fix) problems that don’t affect them. The numbers are telling; women only make up 17% of leadership in the industry, and the overwhelmingly male population is more likely to believe gender discrimination is receding; men are far more likely than women to believe promotions are given at equal rates for men and women, by a margin of 74% to 47%; and 75% percent of men, as opposed to 40% of women, believe men and women are paid the same for the same job.Read More
You can’t have it all. Not at the same time, anyway.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true. The work involved in getting ahead, especially for people starting their own businesses, is so immense and so consuming that all other concerns tend to fall by the wayside. Add to that the sad reality that mothers are much less likely to be hired or promoted, and you’re stuck with a simple truth: if you want to get ahead, work just has to come first. Certainly in the early years, at least until you get to a certain level. Like legendary golfer Gary Player once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.
That doesn’t mean there’s one way to do it, or a single path to success, or even to say that you have to focus on your career if you’d rather do something else; but getting ahead in your professional life, as a woman, means recognizing some hard realities about what that means, why things are the way they are, and how you can navigate this often hostile world.Read More
#MeToo feels more like a revelation than a revolution. For all the progress this national conversation has made, its effects are still relatively detached from most women’s experiences. In fact, according to a recent study conducted jointly by Fairy Godboss, The Female Quotient, and Progyny, a full three-quarters of women surveyed report that #MeToo hasn’t meaningfully impacted their workplaces; women are still facing a long uphill battle toward equality at work.
At present, it’s clear that company policies and how they’re enforced have a long way to go; real change from the top is going to be slow moving. The truth is that change happens on the ground via real-life conversations and encounters. One way we as women can start making our professional lives at least a little bit better is to start having difficult conversations with our partners (especially if that partner is a man) to create the foundations of professional success.Read More
The biggest obstacle to starting your own business is money. You need it. You probably don’t have it. And it’s a challenge at every level, whether you’re a mom-and-pop dog biscuit bakery or a high-concept tech startup that’s going to change the way we think about inflating our tires. Investment capital is absolutely essential; it pays for your facilities, your employees’ paychecks, your supplies, your shipping costs – but for entrepreneurs who happen to be women, it’s harder to get. Vastly harder; from 2011 to 2013, female CEOs got only 3% of venture capital funding. That’s $1.5 billion out of $50.8 billion. In 2017? It was 2%. In other words, women are being systematically shut out of entrepreneurism, with the capital needed to create fast-growth startups being withheld at every level.Read More
Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation and advocate for women's equality, will be joining forces with the American Heart Association to encourage and empower young women and girls interested in careers in science and technology with STEM Goes Red. The day-long event, to be held at the New York Academy of Sciences on April 20, will include an exciting panel discussion, hands-on speed mentoring, and a full-day of interactive activities allowing high school girls to explore STEM outside of the classroom.Read More
You may recall my last post, 4 Books Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Read. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to cover some more territory; How do you navigate a competitive work environment? How do you get your team on board with your vision? How do you even find your vision? So, with that in mind, I decided to put together one more list to help women like you get on your way – and get ahead.Read More
Striking out and starting your own business is scary, and all too often women who are considering it get caught up in fear; “it’s too risky, and I don’t want to prove naysayers right by failing.” We have, as a society, done our best to suck all the gumption and drive out of far too many women, assuming we’d relegate ourselves to the domestic sphere instead of putting out boldly into the world.
It is a problem created by longstanding and deeply entrenched biases against ambitious women, but that doesn’t mean it’s an intractable one; we can, and must, seek out inspiration, or even inspire ourselves to push through, challenge ourselves, and chase after what we want. That’s why I’m going to share with you some of the books that inspire me as a businesswoman to keep fighting, keep striving, and keep pushing forward. These are leaders – men and women alike – whose insight, work ethic, and vision never fail to call me to be a better leader, a better thinker, and a better doer. I hope they’ll inspire you, too.Read More
It’s no secret that women get penalized for the kinds of behaviors that earn men respect. This phenomenon has many knock-on effects, making it harder for women to advance in corporate or other organizational settings, normalizing bad behavior because it’s coded as masculine (and thus powerful), and perpetuating the idea that women are best suited for specific service roles. But perhaps the most frustrating is the way it makes women disregard their leadership potential.
There’s a reason for that; the very behaviors and traits – ambition, assertiveness, an uncompromising vision – that women get picked apart over are the very behaviors we look for in our leaders. But there’s good news; you don’t have to give into that. And the best way to break through your own glass ceiling is to take possession of your bossy, ambitious, wonderful self.Read More
I am a strong believer in entrepreneurship, and I’ve made it one of my life’s core missions to encourage women to go into business for themselves. Entrepreneurship offers women access to a unique kind of social and economic power as well as a potent kind of self-sustaining financial independence.
While I've always been and still am an advocate for women getting into entrepreneurship and making their ideas work for them, I also realize that not everyone is ready or interested in building a business full-time; the truth is, it requires extremely long hours, hard work for many years, and complete dedication. But that doesn't mean you can't start learning the ropes, building your skills, and creating real financial independence for yourself (and who knows, maybe you'll love it so much, you’ll want to make entrepreneurship your full-time gig).Read More
One of the most interesting aspects of the ongoing discussion about the obstacles women face in professional life has been the rise, over the last decade, of the discourse surrounding imposter syndrome.
The concept, in the unlikely event you’re unfamiliar with it, is the pervasive belief held by successful people, very often and perhaps usually women, that they are in fact frauds who have managed to dupe their way to the top. And we often internalize messages that we aren’t good enough, and a sense of our failings can undercut our ability to accept our own achievements and successes.Read More
I’m a big believer in entrepreneurship. It’s an abiding passion of mine to encourage other women to take the plunge and start their own businesses; the benefits are myriad, giving you more control over your financial future and more social capital than almost anything else in modern America. Empowering women is my number-one mission, and women’s entrepreneurship is the best route to self-empowerment and social change that I know of, giving women the ability to excel on their own terms instead of being trapped in the limbo of a toxic and prohibitive work environment.Read More
Liz Elting, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of TransPerfect and advocate for women's equality and health, is serving as New York City Goes Red Sponsor and Campaign Co-Chair at the 2018 New York City Go Red For Women® Luncheon on Friday, March 2. This annual event benefits the American Heart Association's efforts to increase awareness of the deadly risks to women's cardiac health and how it can be improved, leading to a longer, healthier, happier life.
"I have been involved with Go Red For Women for the past five years, and it has been an absolute honor to serve as campaign co-chair of this movement," said Elting. "Right now, we have an opportunity to educate and empower women by providing them with the tools to fight their number-one killer: heart disease."Read More
2017 is drawing to a close; it’s been a tough year, but it has also been one of a great deal of progress. Capped by the ongoing reckoning of sexual predation and assault, this year has been the starkest reminder that progress for women tends to be conditional: we get welcomed into the workforce at the price of sexual exploitation, and when that exploitation is challenged, our right to be angry is called into question. It always seems as if it’s one step forward, two steps back. And that may be the case for some time, so long as we let other people set the boundaries of the playing field and write the rules of the game. But this isn’t just the resurfacing of trauma; it’s a truly massive opportunity to level the playing field in some very interesting ways. Because it isn’t really about rights, or laws, or fair treatment; it’s about power.Read More
This is for my fellow CEOs, managers, supervisors and everyone else out there with hiring and firing power at companies large and small. I didn’t think it was possible for any single story to prove powerful and enduring enough to distract from the mess in Washington, but the harassment and predation reckoning unfolding throughout politics and media has done exactly that. It’s been so dominant a narrative since the Weinstein story went from being an open secret to a full-blown movement that TIME Magazine named “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year. While it’s certainly been painful for victims of abuse to endure the constant airing of so much trauma, there’s another dimension to this that hasn’t faced nearly enough scrutiny.Read More