A "Hair"-oing Tale: What Does It Mean For Your Career?
57% of men entering the workforce negotiate their salaries, while only 7% of women do.Ouch. This is one of the many powerful messages I took away from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's riveting TEDwomen presentation on why we have too few women leaders. I highly recommend watching this 15-minute talk. Sheryl's comments are game-changing in the same way Gloria Steinem's iconic "If Men Could Menstruate" OpEd was. Specifically Sheryl encourages working women to:
- Sit at the table
- Make your partner a real partner
- Don't leave before you leave (re: balancing having a career & children)
Note: Rebekah Brooks photo credit - PA/AP
Her hair hung thick and loose below her shoulders like a dense tangle of vines. It was free and unruly; it was hair that had been released from any need to be controlled and tidy.
Brooks’ hair was a distraction because it was a ballsy rebuke of our expectations governing how people on the defensive are supposed to tread. There was no suggestion of humility, timidity, or caution. There was no attempt to disappear into doleful anonymity.
That was look-at-me hair—stare at me, remember me. Me, me, me.By the time I finished reading, I literally had to start deep breathing exercises to calm down. My joy at Sheryl Sandberg's success had turned into despair. For goodness sakes, here was a scathing attack. Not upon Lady Gaga's latest outfit at a concert but upon a professional woman's NATURAL HAIR. (Would "don't-look-at-me-when-I-speak-in-Parliament-hair" have been better? And what would that hair even look like?) Reading this article made me feel like someone was putting a bag over my head, trying to smother my ambition and sense of feminine self. For I too am a working woman with spirited hair. In frustration, I reached out to an older, wiser friend who reminded me Rebekah is merely one of many executive level women derided for the body she was born with. She pointed out it was not long ago that Hillary Clinton wastaken to task simply for having breasts. In the past I have written about how one key component in the wage gap between men and women is that we women don't "Ask For It" - and by that I mean raises. In a world where a C-suite level woman speaking in Parliament, dressed authentically as herself, is derided for having "look-at-me-hair" ... is it any wonder that so many of us women feel conflicted about standing tall in our authentic selves at work and asking for stretch assignments and raises? After watching Sheryl Sandberg's TEDwomen video & reading the Daily Beast piece on Rebekah Brook's "Distracting 'Do"... how do you feel about this whole to do? [This post originally appeared at ManishaThakor.com.]Want more financial love? You can follow personal finance expert & author, Manisha Thakor, on Twitter at@ManishaThakor, sign up to get her email updates deliveredright to your inbox here, and enroll in her innovative online basic personal finance course called “Money Rules.”