07775 707140 karenhands@thoughtintoaction.com

Gender pay gap reporting is altering what we thought we knew. It’s creating momentum for change.

The green triangle (left) highlights some of the main reasons why large companies are reporting a gender pay gap, now that it’s a legal requirement.

At the bottom are reasons that will lead to legal challenge because equal pay for work of equal value has been UK law for decades. The cost of redress will inevitably impact on individual men and women as well as the organisations who employ them.

Moving up the triangle, excuses could be made as to why women fail to make it into well-paid jobs. There are cultural barriers. Careers advice in schools is too often gender-specific. Families bring up their children with different expectations. Women are still more likely to be care-givers than men. Organisations can’t be held responsible for all of these things, but the price of missed opportunities will be borne by companies who fail to recognise the power of knowledge now falling into women’s hands.

This is no longer women’s problem alone. The Gender Agenda is landing on the desk of managers and leaders around the UK and the wider world and it’s a brilliant opportunity for us all.

Home Phenomenal Woman

External links you might find useful:

Delivering through Diversity

McKinsey Report, January 2018

Saturday interview / Harriet Harman on exposing the gender pay gap: ‘This is kind of… revolutionary’

The Guardian, 12/01/18

Improving the Gender Balance on British Boards: Women on Boards Davies Review Five Year Summary

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, October 2015

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Why me - why now?

Image courtesy of Carat Leeds and The Yorkshire Mafia

I started my career as an engineer and worked in the chemical industry for a decade, managing teams and projects. When the choice finally came down to yet another sideways move or redundancy, I took redundancy.

My career didn’t turn out how I expected but when I left engineering behind, I thought the blame lay solely on my shoulders. I had failed. As a child who had excelled at school, I never expected to reach this point. Nothing had prepared me for work in a predominantly male environment and I found my contribution was almost completely overlooked, even though colleagues told me I was a good engineer. The evidence pointed to my ability: projects which came in on time, on budget and did what they set out to do. Yet when my line manager said to me,

“Karen, the problem is that you lack confidence”,

my inability to make myself heard in meetings suddenly had a name. I used it over and over. Every time I came out of a meeting, having failed to say what was on my mind, the voice inside my head confirmed that it was all because I lacked confidence. Instead of being an intelligent, reserved and reflective person who spoke whenever she had something of value to say, I became invisible.

The tragedy was all mine and I moved on.

Except that now I know it wasn’t all my fault. I see women falling at the same hurdles as I did, at every stage in their career, across every sector, whenever we’re in competition with men and sometimes when we’re competing with each other. We can’t afford to waste female talent like this!

I reflected on what had happened to my career and I researched into the literature. I spoke to women clients and I observed their trajectory. Learning to speak to an audience was part of the solution - not the whole answer but a big piece in the jigsaw. I’d overcome my nerves with help from a colleague in industry but it was too late to save my career and I still wasn’t really getting my message across back then.

That’s the difference I’ve made with the PHENOMENAL WOMAN SPEAKING CLUB: I help my clients to work out WHAT they have to say as well as giving them the skills in HOW to say it.

I’m well-positioned to help women who find out uncomfortable information in the Gender Pay Gap reports, whether it relates directly to them or in comparison across their sector. I can give them a voice to negotiate the rise they’re owed and I can give them the skills to succeed at interview if they choose promotion or to go elsewhere. That’s my track record over seven years of running the PHENOMENAL WOMAN SPEAKING CLUB: supporting women to do what’s right for them.

But it’s bigger than this:

Come and hear me speak:

Time for women to act smart!

To launch the PHENOMENAL WOMAN SPEAKING CLUB in different locations, this introductory session provides an opportunity for you to meet me, network, listen and ask questions.

It’s open to men and women, so that women interested in my training can invite their budget-holder or decision-maker.

It’s also so that men can come and find out more about how I can help you address the GENDER AGENDA in your business.

The next event is planned for 22 February in London.

For details and booking, please click the button:

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Whether your reason for tackling the GENDER AGENDA is because there’s a LEGAL case against you, whether it’s because there’s a BUSINESS case for involving women in decisions at the highest level in your organisation, or whether it’s because of the MORAL case to do the right thing, please contact me to take this further.

Karen Hands - Director & Principal Consultant

Contact me