Full disclosure of salaries by women and men. It would be foolish to leave men out of this fight for equality. We need their support to tackling this wage gap and multiple fronts. One important step men can take to support women would be to disclose their salary in order to ensure women (and the rest of their peers) are paid equally.
As part of my series about “the five things we need to do to close the gender wage gap” I had the pleasure of interviewing Sabine Joseph. Sabine is the Founder of Resumes for Women, a company dedicated to optimizing personal brands for women in the workplace and increase their salary worth.
Thank you so much for joining us Sabine! Can you tell us the “backstory” that brought you to this career path?
I was fresh out of college and on the hunt to find my first “real job”. Through some networking, I landed a job at a global advertising agency in Manhattan at a salary of $65K (let’s talk about salaries so we can close the wage gap — please/thank you). I was stoked and thought I hit the jackpot. That was until I spoke to a male colleague of mine that let me know he was making $80K. We had the same title and same level of experience. I did some digging, found his LinkedIn profile and realized his resume represented him as a leader, trusted relationship builder and multifaceted asset to our company. I was blown away. How did he know to sell himself this way? The next day I immersed myself in all things resume writing and learned how to develop the perfect resume. 2 weeks later I applied to 5 positions and got interviews to all 5. I knew I had something powerful, and now had the ability to change the course of someone’s career. It then become my mission to help thousands of women make that happen.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
I was scrolling through LinkedIn one day and connected with a woman who I noticed left her job a year ago, she wrote me back immediately and said “I literally just searched in Google “how to write a resume’ and then you reached out minutes later….” The universe does amazing things.
Can you share a story about the funniest or most interesting mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The very first resume I did 10 years ago for a friend, I left out the contact information! I caught the mistake before she sent it but I imagined the hiring manager would have needed to take fingerprint samples from her resume to get her contact information. I mean, she was worth it.
Lesson: Proof read, Proof read, Proof read.
Ok let’s jump to the main focus of our interview. Even in 2019, women still earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Can you explain three of the main factors that are causing the wage gap?
- Lack of salary disclosure
- Not using leadership language in your personal branding i.e resume, cover letter, creative portfolios etc to get in front of hiring mangers.
- Not speaking up and standing firm on your value proposition.
Can you share with our readers what your work is doing to help close the gender wage gap?
We are making sure the leadership values of women are represented accurately and powerfully in their personal branding when applying for job positions. This, in turn, gives them the power to properly position their experiences with the highest level of value and get them the salaries they deserve.
Can you recommend 5 things that need to be done on a broader societal level to close the gender wage gap. Please share a story or example for each.
- Society should not penalize mothers for being caregivers. Women make $0.81 to every dollar a man makes, but if you dig deeper into the statistic, women who are not mothers make $0.83 for every dollar their male peers were paid, and women who chose to be mothers make $0.71 to a father’s dollar. So the issue here is society’s view that mothers are worth less in the workplace, not only in comparison to men, but also to other women who are not mothers. This is called the Motherhood Penalty. Source
- Full disclosure of salaries by women and men. It would be foolish to leave men out of this fight for equality. We need their support to tackling this wage gap and multiple fronts. One important step men can take to support women would be to disclose their salary in order to ensure women (and the rest of their peers) are paid equally.
- Stop the “previous salary” questions. This question keeps holding women hostage by their current and previous salary and widens the pay disparity and women move along in their careers. If a previous employers paid her unfairly, she has to pay for this throughout the remainder of her career. In some US states, employers are barred from asking this questions but we need more than 20+ states to join the movement.
- Dividing labor equally at home. Women have traditionally taken on more household responsibilities such as taking a sick child to the doctor, going to parent/teacher conferences and attending scheduled activities for their children. Many of these tasks require women to take time away from work and those can be setting their career back. Major change has to be taken at home and men have to be willing and able to take equal share of the household responsibilities.
- Mentor our youth. Women need to realize they are just as proficient and competent in, every type of field they pursue. Social barriers from certain occupations are slowly being removed (very, very slowly). And we need to continue to each young girls that you do not need to play with the pretty pink princess and yes, you can play with the construction truck. You can become an engineer and don’t have to become a nurse. We need to start breaking down gender barriers so women can move forward and pursue their purpose and passions. We can’t strive for equality in the workplace if we are not in it.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Every single woman in the workplace should connect with one fellow colleague and ask them “What can I do to support your career growth?”. I guarantee magical things will happen.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’m a rule breaker. Can I give two?
“Each one of us has a responsibility to leverage our power and our gifts to advance humanity.”
We are all here to support one another. Everything we do each day was made possible by another amazingly talented human being. Your coffee cup was designed and manufactured by a talented inventor and sculptor, the chair you are sitting in was designed by a talented artist. We are all connected. Find your gift, find your power and make tomorrow a richer and more colorful place to enjoy life.
“Never give up.” Some days are hard as **insert your favorite curse word here**. A few months ago, I planned a campaign that took months to prepare, after a few weeks after launching, our expectations we quickly deflated with poor performances and minimal user responses. I wanted nothing more than to give up and start applying to positions back in corporate. But I kept pushing forward and within one week, I received a request to do this interview. The universe always has your back (great book by the way).
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Tiffany Dufu, is a friend in my head. She inspires me each day to keep pushing forward and never give up.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.