Anyone considering asking for a pay rise need look no further for inspiration than the example of Henrietta Royle. The CEO of consultancy firm Fanshawe Haldin and a founding member of the 30% Club says she has achieved pay rises of between 40% and 100% every time she’s asked for one. ‘Shout about your achievements,’ Royale told the 100 women who attended MT’s inaugural Inspiring Women conference (see below for photos). ‘Research competitors’ pay and opportunities, then leverage this to win a pay rise. Never tell potential employers how much you earn or they will lowball you. You don't want to sell yourself cheap.’
Penny de Valk, the chief executive of careers and employment consultancy Fairplace Cedar, agreed that women tend to shy away from discussing money with their boss: ‘Women are shy of pay negotiations. They are too conscious of their relationship with their employer.’
Returning to work from maternity leave also remains an anxious issue for women. Charlotte Crosswell, who heads up NASDAQ OMX Europe, said it’s better to be straight up. ‘If you go to an interview pretending you don't have a child, it’s a disservice both to yourself and to your child.’ And, if you are in a minority, make the most of it: ‘In the macho culture of banking, it can be a big advantage being the only woman in the room.’
Microsoft’s Abigail Rappoport agreed that women bring a different dynamic to the team. ‘Departments with the most diversity are the most productive,' she said. On the other hand, managers' approach to flexible working needs to change. ‘Remote working is crucial to the success of women at work,’ Rappoport said. Yet only 52% of workers trust fellow workers when they work from home, Microsoft research suggests.
Cilla Snowball, Group Chairman and CEO of advertising giant AMVBBDO and chair of Inspiring Women’s afternoon session agreed that taking maternity leave shouldn’t be something to apologise for: 'I think we worry too much about losing skills while on maternity leave - you're actually learning new skills,’ she said.
Alex Mahon, CEO of media production company Shine Group and mother to four children under the age of five, said you have to be realistic about the difficulties of juggling the work/life balance: ‘It's not possible to have a career and be perfect in all other ways. It’s disingenuous to claim that you are.’
Mahon also spoke about the lack of women at the top in the TV business. ‘There's senior female representation in TV, but the majority of CEOs are still men.’ On her relationship with Shine’s founder, Elisabeth Murdoch, she said Murdoch Junior has 'laser-like focus on what she does - as you'd expect from Rupert Murdoch's daughter.’
- For more information about MT's women in business events and awards, check out our 35 under 35 homepage.
Photos from the event:
Created with flickr slideshow.