For most of us, negotiations are daunting. And when you factor in the reality that the playing field is far from level for men and women at work, negotiations can be especially tricky for women. We’re often starting from a place of disadvantage when we negotiate for ourselves, whether we’re subjected to unequal pay or unconscious (or even conscious) biases.
We know that getting educated, and arming ourselves with information, is the key to negotiating successfully. And fortunately, you now have the chance to spend a day doing just that. On May 8, Women’s Insights on the Art of Negotiation (WIN) will be hosting a summit in NYC specifically designed to help women hone their negotiation skills.
The WIN Summit will be packed with inspiring speakers — among them Romy Newman, Fairygodboss co-founder and president; Matthew Richards, director of Talent Acquisition at Cognizant; Michelle Lee, editor-in-chief at Allure; and Yxa Bazan, executive director, JP Morgan Chase Bank — who will offer attendees actionable tips for negotiating effectively.
Fairygodboss recently chatted with WIN Summit Executive Director Daniella Kahane about what attendees can expect to learn at the summit, who should attend, and why negotiation skills are more relevant than ever.
Tell us about WIN. What are the main objectives of the organization?
WIN Summit, in academic partnership with Columbia University, is a one-of-a-kind professional development learning event that centers around empowering women through negotiation skill building. We’re unique in that we focus on empowerment through negotiation and sit at the nexus between academia and industry.
Our summit combines interactive, hard skills-oriented workshops with industry and research-based panel discussions. We believe that through developing negotiation skills for women, and addressing the root causes around our statistically/historically proven discomfort around negotiation, we can elevate women and make strides toward the goal of achieving gender parity in the workplace.
Essentially, we want women to leave the summit feeling more confident and competent in their negotiation skills, which will help them better advocate for themselves and their companies.
How has it evolved since its inception?
WIN Summit, ironically, was born by a man, which goes to show you the importance of creating male allies. Jack Simony, founder of WIN Summit, started as chairman of The Negotiation Institute, the longest running negotiation consulting company in the United States (founded by Gerard Nierenberg, the author of the pioneering books around negotiation).
Because of his exposure to negotiation training, Jack realized that men and women had different needs and brought different skills to the table vis-à-vis negotiation. This knowledge, combined with the asymmetrical statistics around women negotiating, inspired him to found WIN Summit in order to bring women’s voices to the table to discuss the art of negotiation.
What began as a simple panel and keynotes-based summit has grown into what it is today: a fully immersive, interactive skills-based summit with workshops at the heart of it all.
Rather than just talk about challenges and potential strategies, we wanted to help women obtain and grow their skills, and the best way to do this was in a workshop setting. We are constantly evolving and always listening to and attempting to better address the needs of our community and of women at large, but our focus has remained consistently and solely on the skill of negotiation. We want to be the premier destination for servicing and growing this skill.
What should women know about the upcoming WIN summit? (What can they expect in terms of the schedule, speakers, etc? What should they expect to learn? How should they prepare)?
Well for starters, we could not be more excited about our amazing lineup of speakers: academics, C-suite leaders, founders, and professionals this year. We are also excited to be evening out the score in terms of female to male speakers (according to a recent Bizzabo study, “manels,” or all men panels are still the norm, and nearly 70 percent of all speakers at conferences were men). Nearly all of our speakers are women.
In terms of our agenda, every year we choose themes under the umbrella of negotiation that feel most resonant and needed; this year’s themes are leadership, diversity and inclusion, and integrative well-being. We start the day after our morning breakfast, keynote, and welcome, with our longest workshops focused on negotiation skills, and then divide the day into segments discussing and interacting with the themes as they pair with negotiation. We make an effort to intermix workshops and panel discussions so that women can choose which suits them best. And this year, for the first time, we will be featuring a co-ed panel to discuss how the #MeToo movement has shaped the workplace.
Do you recommend women in all career stages attend?
Yes. Every woman will gain something significant from attending WIN Summit in terms of her awareness, her confidence, and her competence around negotiation. We encourage all women, but especially those climbing the corporate ladder, to advocate for themselves and coworkers by requesting their companies send them. Company support shows investment in their female workforce and creates an internal swell that forces the ‘system’ to respond accordingly.
What do you most hope attendees will take away?
A lighter load of negotiation baggage! ...and a sense of greater confidence and competence around negotiation and a desire to continue learning and practicing – hopefully through our continuous year-round WIN Workshops and Master Classes.
Why do you believe WIN is more relevant than ever?
With the growing awareness around gender bias, the pay and opportunity gap, and in the wake of a historically explosive time for women with the #MeToo movement, Times Up, the Women’s March, and our new electorate, our country seems more poised than ever for change. And yet, the problems are still there. Awareness is one piece of the solution, and letting the light in and calling out the problems are the first steps.
However, in tandem with that, change needs to come from an army of strong women, willing to advocate for themselves, confident in their abilities to stand alongside men as leaders, to populate boardrooms, to serve as founders and business leaders. Negotiation can refer narrowly to our self-advocacy in contracts and salaries, which is of course important and can, alongside industry awareness around built in biases, help bridge the pay gap. But beyond this, we need to view negotiation as communication- in our day-to-day interactions, with our teams, our supervisors, our clients, our customers, our families, and ultimately ourselves. Improving how we as women communicate will help us create the changes we want to see in the world.
Want to be a part of the WIN Summit? Register here!