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Around the Web this Week

February 12 - 18

Around the Web this Week

In the U.S., the average female worker still earns about 81 cents for every dollar a male worker makes. While this difference can be explained by the types of careers women choose and other factors such as education, age and experience, the gap still remains in all job sectors after having controlled those factors. What’s a girl to do?

Choose wisely. A New York Times article looked at which college majors in the U.S. have the biggest wage gap between men and women. The only one of these disciplines that graduates women who earn more than their equivalent male counterparts is information technology. Mechanical engineering and management information systems have about equivalent earnings. The majors whose male graduates earn the biggest premium over female graduates are architecture, education and criminal justice.

How can we explain that male and female graduates from a similar major have very different pay levels? Business Week argues that the pay gap isn't entirely a function of discrimination against women. It's largely a function of the choices men and women make.

As they put it: “If more men are using their business degrees to pursue careers in finance and consulting, more will end up working in some of the highest-paying industries. And if more women are pursuing careers in HR and marketing, more will find themselves working in lower-paying industries.”

In another article, the New York Times explains that perhaps women are making a trade-off between pay and other aspects of work that make them happy. “When asked whether their jobs make the world a better place, women were much more likely to say “very much so” than were men”. :-)

Around the Web this Week

A new Cornell study has determined that motherhood is causing a major drop off for women in science and math academia. It is not because their performance is devalued or they are short-changed during interviewing and hiring but because policies at institutions where these women work that make motherhood incompatible with a tenure-track research career.

Most scientists apply for tenure-track jobs in their late 20s and early 30s. If a candidate wins a position, she often has to relocate for it and then devote about six years to the research, teaching, publishing and grant applications necessary to create an impressive portfolio— which sounds impossible if you’re raising young children.

The news of motherhood hindering a career in scientific academia is not new. Women are in short supply in math-intensive fields, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science. For example, in the top 100 U.S. universities in 2007, women full professors in these fields numbered only 4.4 to 12.3 percent, and women were only 16 to 27 percent of assistant professors.

According to Working Mother, one solution would be for universities to reconsider the tenure model that was created when only men (most with stay-at-home wives) achieved full professorships. Alternative paths, such as part-time tenure-track jobs and shared full-time positions, could help women stay in the field while their kids are small; making sure there’s no penalty for taking time off from a career would help women pick up where they left off when their family demands are more manageable.

Around the Web this Week

Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to connect with people who can help you? Inc. Magazine suggests that you start doing what men do: build a big network filled with talent. As we said it in a previous post, women don’t take advantage of their ability to connect and are often reluctant to ask for help. It’s the networking gender gap!

For entrepreneurs, a network is especially important. Entrepreneurs with larger and more diverse networks, and whose networks include professional advisers, such as accountants and lawyers, tend to grow bigger companies, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: 2010 Women’s Report.

Inc. suggests 7 steps to get things started. Among those, focus on your “elevator pitch”, a short message to explain who you are and what you do, just to make them want to hear more. Also important during networking events: talk to lots of people and ask many questions. It is also a good idea to start by offering something to the person you’re talking to, your help for example. It’s about giving first. Lastly, follow-up with a phone call, a meeting or an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.

And if you want to find out what type of networker you are, head to The Grindstone. Read up to find out if you’re an “Observer”, “Reactor”, “Initiator” or “Director”.  

Around the Web this Week

This week’s self-improvement is all the rage. Brazen published a great post summarizing the 5 skills you need to sharpen if you want to improve your job prospects and your clout.

Number One: Web Design. Even the truly neophytes can learn basic web design skills. If your boss knows that he or she can call on you to make quick changes to the company’s website, it avoids having to hire a (costly) dedicated web person.

Number Two: WordPress. WordPress powers 14% of the internet, so the odds are pretty good that if a company has a blog, it’s being powered by this popular platform. If you’re in the market for a job, it may give you an edge to start a personal blog and hone your writing skills for a web audience.

Number Three: Learn a language. Sure, English is spoken widely across the globe, but Spanish and Mandarin are important for business interactions, with Arabic gaining momentum. If you’re looking to work overseas or pursue a position that requires foreign travel, knowing how to speak the local language will be an attractive quality for potential employers.

Number Four: How to sell. Knowing how to pitch has endless applications in the business world. From convincing your boss to give you a raise to cold calling clients to bring in commissions or revenue, solid selling skills are invaluable when dealing with customers.

Number Five: Social Media. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and blogs greatly influence consumers on trends and ideas, with the ability to reach anyone virtually around the globe. These are highly marketable skills for companies.

Also, if you want to find out more about building your personal brand online, read the Daily Muse’s latest advice

Around the Web this Week

Leah Eichler published a great post this week about career regrets. There are some regrets that arrive early enough to be fixed, but others strike us later as we gain a clearer picture of what could have been done. Don't let time pass you by and do something about it!

Eichler argues that women specifically may avoid confronting their career regrets because tackling them requires introspection, and that takes time, an ever-elusive commodity.

“People tend to have signs. Their instincts will tell them they are not happy, that they are not aligned to what they should be doing,” said Patricia Barbato, author of Inspire Your Career: Strategies for Success in Your First Years at Work. “When you feel that, you need to act on it. You can’t just sit around and let another three years go by,” she warned.

A Canadian study on retirees who reflected on their careers showed that those who regretted their career choice but did nothing about it suffered a mental and physical toll that had an impact on both their personality and personal relationships.

It’s important to talk about your frustrations and regrets. So take the time to review your choices and tell yourself it’s never too late to do something about it. “Don’t try to fit into a box because it will give you a good career. Find your personality and then find the career that matches your personality.”

Around the Web this Week

We’ll end our web review with a really funny post by Logan Sachon in the Hairpin about her long established habit of saying “okay” to whatever money offer is made. As The Grindstone puts it, if you’ve ever accepted a horrible baby-sitting job for $5 an hour, you’ll sympathize with “Recalled Transcripts of My Salary Negotiations,” which traces Sachon’s long history of inept salary negotiations. 

Here’s an excerpt: “We’ll pay you $8 an hour to hang out with our baby and then watch HBO until we come home.” “You don’t have to pay me! I’m your neighbor and friend!” “Kid, take the money.” “Okay.”

“What would you charge for this project?” “Um, what are you paying?” “That’s not how this works. You tell me what you want, and I tell you if I can pay that.” “But don’t you already know what you’re going to pay me anyway? Can we just skip this part?” “No.” “Okay. I want, fifty … one … hundred? One-hundred? $100.” “$100 what?” “Um, per thing?” “Per day or per article?” “…” “How about you keep track of your hours and we pay you $20 an hour.” “Okay.”

More seriously, I suspect that lots of women still feel like that 13-year-old babysitter when they negotiate their salary

Dimanche 19 Février 2012

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