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Would you look for a new job during your maternity leave and still nursing? My current workplace has a great lactation room. Easily accessible and provides an onsite pump. There is also the possibility that my employer will allow me to WFH one or two days a week when I return. However, I know I won't last long in this company due to stress and the hours. Should I stay and try to get by for as long as I can or is being on maternity leave a great time to go on interviews?

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Tags: Career change, Job search, Maternity leave
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Trying to start a women's group at my company - has anyone done this recently and what would you suggest for best practices?

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Tags: Career advice, Diversity, Networking
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I am the co-founder of a women's employee reesource group at a Fortune 500 company. I agree with everything that has been suggested. One thing I would add is to show how the company will benefit financially from having a women's employee resource group (i.e., women control 87% of the spending based on my research in 2008, increased employee engagement = improved profit and retention).

Remember having a women's group is a business decision regarding where to allocate resources. Show the company the return on investment in measurable terms.


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This is great that you want to get this started! Below are some initial steps you might want to think about:

1) Develop the mission and goals of the group. What is it for? (relationship building, increasing visibility, engaging with the community, recruiting, etc.)
2) Get the buy in of a senior leader who will provide support and help you navigate some of the internal politics of getting it launched
3) Identify the leadership of the group. These are the people who will formulate the goals and agenda for the year and who will represent the group internally.
4) Decide on membership - will be it opt-in or opt-out membership? will you allow men to join?
5) Figure out programming. What kinds of things do you want to do? Tie those activities to the objectives/goals you've established.

Hope this helps!


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We have one at my company and I was instrumental in spearheading its inception. It's a positive contribution to company culture because it gives women an outlet for this type of conversation during working hours (a lot are working mothers and don't have the flexibility to network after work). One downside is that you're so familiar with everybody that it's hard to say who's telling the truth during the really hard and interesting conversations. An additional challenge is getting people to take on the task of programming while not making it seem like "more work". If you can have a group of 3-4 people who are seriously committed to the project, it can definitely work.


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I've been involved for close to two years in my company's women's resource group, Women@Groupon, but it was started shortly before I came on board.

Partially echoing the others, here are three things to do to start one:

1) Get an executive/leader of the company on board. This person can be any gender, and can help make your group's voice louder when pushing certain initiatives or asking for funding for events and programming.

2) Start small, and see how you grow. Set up a recurring lunch between you and a small group of women, and encourage each person to bring someone new each time. Your group will inevitably grow, and you'll meet more people!

3) Create a Google Calendar to add events to for the group, which people can subscribe to and RSVP for. You can alter the settings of the calendar so that only certain people can add events, or anyone can, depending on the level of openness you're going for. Use this calendar for lunches, happy hours, external networking events, and more. Sometimes, the difference between someone attending an outside event is simply having a colleague to go, too!

Good luck!


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We have one at my company. The company is fairly large.
I wasn't involved in the inception, but it just started as a google group. It was not official, but gave us a place to connect with other women in the company. Then they started having luncheons to meet face to face. There are no men involved in our group.
I guess it depends on what your goals are, but I like having a space to connect with other women (I'm a software developer and work with 5 men under my male supervisor).


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I was laid off in November of last year from a very overbearing tyrant boss. The main issue for me was being asked to go against the company policies as well as what is legally proper (I am a real estate attorney). I do not want to return to the industry I was in but cannot seem to find any company that is willing to give me a chance. I have applied for positions that only require a high school diploma just to get my foot in the door but to date no one in HR seems to appreciate that to give me a phone call to discuss my credentials or why I am applying. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am willing to move too. Right now I am disheartened that my law degree counts for nothing and that I cannot even get a human to reach out to me but only automated emails.

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Tags: Career change, Job search
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If you're still interested in practicing law, and perhaps willing to move, check out the IAAO (assessment officers for property and business... I don't know how much of a stretch it would be, but on the side of government or one the side of business, valuations make a difference to the taxes being paid. Good luck!!


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Try a job fair, that way you are seen in person. This made things different for me.


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I work in finance and I'm trying to make a career change into a startup in a non-financial role. Has anyone else done this and do you have any advice for me?

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Tags: Career advice, Career change
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I wouldn't obsess over whether you got a finance role in the startup -- it's easier to make a move out of finance once you are at the startup -- I would be patient and think about it taking 2 steps to make a really big career change.


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I'm not sure when to tell my boss I'm pregnant. When did you guys do it? Any suggestions?

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Tags: Career advice, Pregnancy
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I said something around 12 weeks; I knew we had a strong culture for women and maternity leave so I felt good about telling my manager. Plus, she had just come back from maternity leave. You can wait as long as you want; there is no legal timing around when you need to say anything.


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Wait as long as possible. I had responsibilities taken away from me "because I will be going on leave." I waited until 16 weeks. Wish I had waited until 20-24 weeks.


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Wait as long as possible so long as you're feeling good.


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I did it when I was 12 weeks along.


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I just had a terrible annual review that I thought was very unfair. I was really surprised but it was so bad that I think I'm living in an alternative universe to my manager. Should I just start looking for another job? The feedback was really different than what I think I deserve so I normally would just try to improve but it feels kinda hopeless.

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Tags: Career advice, Career change
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Something similar happened to me a couple years ago and I did end up quitting but not before trying my hardest to have a conversation about what the disconnect was. It's hard to know what you should do unless you have a very straightforward conversation with your boss. I would start there.


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I'm having an issue with my boss where I think he favors one of my colleagues simply because they have a lot in common. He happens to love the same sports team and they talk about sports all the time. I'm trying to build a better relationship with him socially but it's awkward and harder for me. Has anyone been in the same situation? It's definitely not a bias situation but I'm just struggling to build the same interpersonal relationship without having something obviously in common with him.

Tags: Career advice
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I don't know if there's really a point in trying to find something in common with him. In real life some people get along for a lot of different reasons. In this case it clearly seems to be a guy's thing but sometimes it can be a boss and a female direct report bonding b/c they have the same / similar personality. I don't know that there's much you can do here, unfortunately...except making it clear that you really want to do great work, learn from your boss, etc.


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I keep running into situations where men keep creating awkward tension when alone with me and at times displaying inappropriate behavior. For example, one co-worker who is around my age keeps telling me about his affairs with women in the office. He even tried to hit on me but I put a stop to his advances before he went any further.
Reporting him seems like the obvious thing to do and is the policy at most companies but most guys who cross the professional boundaries usually develop some type of friendship or a friendly behavior which makes me hesitant about reporting the behavior because it will result in him being terminated from his employment. I don't want to be responsible for him losing his job because he has a family even though he has done everything to deserve it. I don't think he deserves that type of ramification but I want him to stop the behavior.

Tags: Inappropriate situation
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You must report him. That is not work appropriate; he chooses the consequences that come with the behaviors. Do not make excuses for him because you wouldn't do that for yourself - you and all the women at work deserve to feel safe and supported at work. Not your problem if he loses his job. It is a problem if someone is a victim to sexual harassment.


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He chooses his behaviors, therefore he choosing the consequences. His behavior is completely inappropriate and constitutes a hostile workplace.


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You wouldn't be responsible for him losing his job. He is responsible for his own bad behavior.


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I know that around my company, there are several people who work from home on Friday. But my manager always says that it's not possible in my role. Has anyone successfully negotiated friday's from home? or a 4-day work week? any advice?

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Tags: Consulting, Flexibility
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I wanted to work from home Wednesdays for my own mental health - breaking upthe work week, change of environment, etc. My role was client-facing, so my manager was very against it, and almost slipped to say "But you don't have kids!" I talked openly with HR, and I had HR on my side to help my manager understand the long-term benefits. With HR's help, I proposed we have a 1- or 2 months trial period first to allow my manager to see whether my working from home on Wednesdays could work out. Sometimes it's just the initial knee-jerk reaction that needs to be addressed! Turned out all was ok during the trial period, and I was successful in making the work-from-home-Wednesdays a long-term thing.


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This week, there were layoffs at my company - and I've been given a second department to manage. With no pay increase. Is that typical? Would a man be more likely to have gotten a raise with incremental responsibility? Do I have any leverage here?

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Tags: Negotiating
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This is a great question, and Fairygodboss will be giving a more in-depth answer in a Career article next month. You’ve recognized that there is the possibility that you could be compensated for the additional work that you’ve been assigned, and now you’ll need to determine whether you should be getting that raise. Consider comparing your salary to other similar job descriptions in your field, and then compare to similar positions in your own company, if you can. If you find that you should be paid more, be sure to ask! If you don’t make management aware that you feel undervalued, they can’t adjust your compensation and you’ll continue to become more dissatisfied with your job. If the answer is no, don’t give up! Schedule 3-month or 6-month reviews to continue to check in with your supervisors, and let them know of the outstanding work that you’re doing. Regardless of the reason that your employer may be underpaying you, it’s important to be prepared with a list of accomplishments and successes—show your employer that you enjoy your work and that you are a powerful asset, whose happiness should be a priority. Good luck, and go get ‘em.


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In my last position, this happened all the time. Man or woman. It didn't matter.


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