Girls should be encouraged to gain experience in sales. Whether it’s starting a lemonade stand, organizing a fundraiser for school, or helping a family member in their business, there are valuable skills that a young person learns which will make a HUGE difference in her career path.
Curious about the first ideas I shared? Check out my first article and then return to this page.
She’ll learn how to negotiate a higher salary
Ever read a report on the pay inequality between men and women in the workplace?
There are a ton of theories and reasons. It doesn’t matter if you go to the best schools or work in female-dominated industries. It is easy for women to wind up with a lower salary than their male counterpart.
One of the common reasons cited is that women don’t ask. They believe if they work hard, their work will be recognized when it comes time for the promotion, opportunities, and raises.
But it doesn’t work that way. You have put in the work AND have the ability to the value you’ve brought to the company. If you are not willing to risk having this conversation, you might get passed over. Again. And again.
Let me share an example:
I have taught many workshops on youth entrepreneurship. It never fails. If I ask a question in a mixed room (where there are boys and girls), the boys will be the first to raise their hands. Regardless of age.
Because they are not afraid to brainstorm out loud and even fall flat on their face in front of their peers.
They might hear some laughter or “you’re wrong” in front of their peers. But, boys are often more willing to take the risk and answer. It’s rooted in how our society conditions young people. Boys are encouraged to take risks. Girls are often silenced or other times subtly encouraged to wait until it’s socially acceptable to answer.
Things are changing. For example, more girls are playing team sports and being encouraged to adopt male and female worldviews. But it is still not the norm. If you put both groups in an unfamiliar environment, they will revert to the societal norm. I see it all of the time when I deliver programs with groups of young people who are unfamiliar with each other. The girls in the room will often hold back and wait to see what is said. They respond only after several wrong responses have been given. When they have had time to think about it.
Be clear. The first answer is not always right and everyone should not speak up all at once.
Nor I believe that girls should be encouraged to embody only male worldview characteristics.
But what would you do when you see a guest speaker ask a question…and only boys raise their hand? There is a prize at stake for the correct answer and girls often keep themselves out of the running.
Who do you think the guest speaker will remember if only boys raise their hands?
It’s an opportunity for girls to get more comfortable with this idea. They need to be able to demonstrate that they are willing to think quick on their feet and even deal with the fire if the answer is wrong. You will still be remembered!
Imagine what would happen if more girls took this risk? And then entered professional environments? It would be an amazing shift.
Instead of many work environments dominated by men at meetings, there would be an equilibrium in the room.
So while you are practicing sales you’ll be working on the following skills:
- handling objections
- stepping out first
- taking risks
- speaking up
This is the first step to higher lifetime salaries and women who are making boss moves after graduation!!