We were Proud of Headline Vogue Codes 2019! Here are Some Key Messages We Spoke About

Support your girlfriends.

On average, men take home $25,000 more than women a year. The gender pay gap is real, and it’s one that Meggie Palmer is proactively trying to close.

Palmer, a former journalist and finance expert, is also the founder of PepTalkHer – a platform and newly-launched app designed to bolster women’s negotiating skills in the workplace, arming them with the confidence necessary to ask for what they deserve.

As a keynote speaker at the Vogue Codes Sydney Summit event, Palmer delivered inspiring words on how to firstly, understand why and how the gap exists, and also practical ways to help women affect change in their financial and professional lives.

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According to Palmer, there’s three ‘gaps’ pertaining to the gender pay gap we need to consider:

  • The reality gap: “There’s a disconnect in what we see versus what the reality is. For example, Hollywood has been telling us there’s no market for content produced by women, for women–Reese Witherspoon and her production company proved that incorrect,” explains Palmer. Similarly, society has conditioned women to believe they aren’t worth as much as their male counterparts, but this is not at all rooted in fact.

  • The ownership gap:“This relates to people not owning the situation they’re in and doing things differently,” says Palmer, adding that there were pivotal moments in her career that finally pushed her to own the fact that she was opposed to the gender pay gap, and taking action, thus launching her app.

  • The value gap: “Women don’t accept compliments, sending a message to themselves, and others, that they’re not worthy.”

At its very core, the PepTalkHer app is a place to log work successes, learn negotiating skills, and ultimately, close gender pay gaps between women and men in similar working roles. According to Palmer, the app focuses on three main pillars: 

Track your contribution – know you’re awesome

You can log your achievements and have a running list of all the reasons why you deserve a raise.

Know your value

Start having conversations about money. Talk to your friends, talk to males in your industry, and colleagues in your business. If you don’t know what your colleagues are earning, it’s likely you’re not earning enough.

Always negotiate, and if you’re uncomfortable negotiating, practice it in a low risk situation. It will become easier.

Build a support crew

Ask your friends questions for support and to help you in high stress situations. Bounce ideas of people in similar situations, and don’t be afraid of asking for advice.

For more Vogue Codes coverage, head to vogue.com.au/vogue-codes

5 Realistic Ways to Build Yourself a Nest Egg and Find Financial Security

Lost control of your finances? With sacrifice and smart planning, all of us can grow our nest eggs.

Rick Morton recently published a book about growing up on the poverty line. An extraordinary piece of social commentary, One Hundred Years Of Dirt opened my eyes, challenging me to think differently. He writes of wealth: “For all the patronising axioms about money never buying happiness, it does allow for other things that help. It buys time to spend with families, mobility, the uniquely preservative state of having a home to sleep in and knowing that you always will.”

For me, the freedom and choice that comes with financial security is something I crave deeply.

Rather than worrying my whole life about money, I set a goal: to be financially secure when I turn 40 in six years’ time. I’m not a highly paid investment banker and I don’t come from family money. On a journalist’s wage, I had to get creative when I decided on this goal. I tripled my money on a marijuana stock but then, cocky from my lucky gain, lost $30,000 in one day investing in a speculative health company. I’ve done some things right, though: automating my savings and low-cost investing. So now I’m on track to have almost a million dollars in cash and shares by my 40th birthday. Here are the lessons I’ve learnt so far.

Lesson 1: friends first
In my experience, conversations about money flow better over wine and cheese (or kombucha – choose your poison). And sorting your financial shit out once and for all is easier when your friends join you. Sophie McNaught, founder of Women and Money (which organises forums for women to learn about money), has a theory: “Women don’t talk about money because there is no social setting in which it’s acceptable to do so.” So, create your own safe space. Message your sister or your best friend or both and get set for a big night in with your money-accountability buddies.

Then dream big. What opportunities would wealth create? The ability to quit the job you hate? Less conflict in your relationship? A down payment on a house? Write down your dream and its price tag and put it somewhere you’ll see – an everyday reminder of the new direction you are heading towards.

Lesson 2: health check
Expenses, income, credit card debt, mortgage, savings … it’s time for a money audit. Cool apps like Pocketbook can help you easily gauge your financial pulse. Tonya Rapley runs My Fab Finance, which specialises in helping women build their financial future. “Women say to me all the time: ‘I’m a financial wreck!’ Often you get under the hood and realise they’re not as bad off as they think,” she says.

Understanding where your money is going will give you more confidence to take financial charge. If you are a latte-twice-a-day type, you might not realise that you are spending about $2,900 a year on coffee. Neither did my fiancé until he went through this consolidation process. Afterwards, he bought a coffee machine to make his morning espresso at home. Subscribe to Netflix and Stan? Be brutal: cull where you can. Save yourself thousands in fees by combining your superannuation. The myGov website helps make this easy by showing details of all your super accounts, including those you have lost track of.

Lesson 3: becoming rich is not all about what you earn
I hit the salary jackpot in my first full-time job earning $28,600 a year. I could cover my $110-a-week share-house rent and still afford to go to the local Thai restaurant once a fortnight for the $10 dinner special. Living the dream! In the back of my mind, though, was my mum’s money mantra: “Always funnel part of your wage straight into savings, no matter what your income.” So, dutiful daughter that I am, I set up a weekly direct debit of $90 into a high-interest online savings account.

Let’s crunch the numbers: imagine at my age of 34, you start putting aside $90 a week, every week. By the time you’re 60, assuming an average investment return of seven per cent, you’ll have $321,000. Let’s take this same scenario, but start younger. Aged 21, saving $90 a week means by the age of 60, you’ll have almost $869,000. Google ‘compound calculator’ and play around with the figures. It will feel like magic but it’s just maths – exponential maths.

Casey Halliley, founder of Wealthology 101, which provides financial advice and support to clients, explained it to me like this: “Becoming rich is not really about what you earn, it’s about what you do. Taking advantage of the power of compounding interest as early as possible is the smartest decision you can make.”

Lesson 4: show me the money
Ask for a raise: I can hear the excuses already: “I don’t earn much and never will.” “My company works in strict salary bands; there’s no negotiation.” But there is almost always room to negotiate for valued employees. If your supervisor rules out a monetary increase, think laterally. Can you ask for an extra week of annual leave? A car park? If you do get a pay rise – awesome! Now let’s pretend it never happened …

“When I got my first huge raise, I acted like I didn’t: I funnelled all the extra into a different bank account. Before I knew it, I had a deposit and bought my first house at 31. I was earning $67,000 at the time,” says entrepreneur Kelly Legends, who kept up that discipline, and now, aged 40, owns two houses.

Side hustles: Airlie Walsh is a news reporter at Parliament House in Canberra. A passionate photographer, she has built a photography print business on the side that is loved by celebrities and interior designers. “Squarespace made building my website and selling online really simple. Since I started a few years ago, we’ve shipped my limited-edition prints all over the world.” Passion plus profit equals win-win. What skills do you have that others would pay for?

Rent a room: do you have a spare room where you live? You could be sitting on a gold mine. When I moved overseas, I supported myself by putting a single bed into my tiny study and renting it out on Airbnb.

Closet cull: own a few designer handbags that are collecting dust in the back of the wardrobe? Take a leaf out of my housemate’s book and list them on eBay. She earnt almost $3,000 selling (somewhat reluctantly) her Louis Vuitton Lockit. As Marie Condo preaches, if something doesn’t give you joy, get rid of it. Or, even better, sell it online.

Lesson 5: automate 
I love Tim Tams, especially the dark chocolate ones, but need to hide them on the top shelf otherwise they are too tempting. In the same way, every month I automate a percentage of my income to go to an online-only investment account so I can’t touch or spend it. Once you’ve accounted for your expenses and some play money, work out how much you can save. Let your financial-accountability team know and commit to an automated transfer into a savings or investment account. I’m not a millionaire yet, but with my nest egg compounding, I may just get there. Six years to go.

We Spoke to Vogue About What to Do if You're Made Redundant or are Fired

According to recruitment website Seek, one in four Australians will be made redundant over the course of their career. While the term can feel a little taboo, the truth is that it’s common, and part of the professional circle of life. That’s not to say though that it isn’t traumatic. It is a sudden, and often unforeseeable change in circumstances, namely financial ones. Teams are separated, companies unhinged, and employees left to pick up the pieces and contemplate their next move.

A redundancy payout, also known as severance pay, is the lump sum of money paid out by an employer to an employee when they are made redundant, and is generally dictated by the length of time spent in the company. Depending on the time spent searching for a new job, the redundancy might cover your living costs during the period of unemployment. If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself earning again quickly though, the money might look pretty damn tempting – especially when the Net-A-Porter sale email pings your inbox.

According to finance expert and founder of PepTalkHer Meggie Palmer, there is a right and wrong way to handle the money, should you be on the receiving end of a redundancy. From budgeting to investments to handbags, see her best advice below.

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Don’t wallow forever

“Losing a job is stressful. Let yourself be upset, cry, or create a voodoo doll of your former boss if it'll make you feel better. And then move onwards. Every challenge is an opportunity. Reframing a job loss as an opportunity rather than a disaster is key to opening your eyes to new – and no doubt even better – pathways.”

Talk to your employer

“If you're offered a redundancy payout or get a sense it could be on the cards, consider asking if your employer will pay it as a ‘bona fide’ or ‘genuine’ redundancy if it isn’t already. A 'genuine' redundancy payment is taxed at a significantly lower rate, and that's a lot more money in your pocket.”

Work out a time frame, and be realistic

“Do the calculations on how long it'll realistically take you to find a new job. Once you've worked out how many months of living expenses you'll need, quarantine that cash during your job hunt. Make sure you put it in a high interest savings account so you're earning a return in the meantime.”

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Don’t whittle away your excess cash – invest instead

“Got a massive payout and still have money left after the budgeting? Lucky you! My advice is to put rest into investments. Sure, a new Chloe handbag would be great, but I take a short-term pain long-term gain approach.

If you have any credit card debt, clear it immediately. With the rest, you may choose to pay down your mortgage (if you have one) or invest it. If you don't know where to start, fear not! I was the same when I started dabbling in shares. I've made a heap of mistakes and if I had my time again, I'd invest all my cash into a broad range of shares. The easiest way to do that, in my opinion, is Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs. Essentially you're buying a basket of shares – a collection of lots of different stocks – so you're spreading your risk. You can buy them yourself super simply using Commsec or similar trading platforms, or you can use a robo advising investment platform, like Stockspot, who will do it for you as well as diversifying you even further into gold, cash and bonds.”

What’s one of your best pieces of advice when it comes to money management overall?

“Automate your finances. Put a certain amount of money away every week (no matter how small) so you set the habit. You'll be surprised how quickly it'll add up.”

Download Palmer's newly launched app, PepTalkHer, at peptalkher.com/app.

Asking for a Raise: A Complete Guide for Women

Are you thinking about asking for a raise? You’re in the right place.

Perhaps you’re coming up on that first review and hoping to nail your first raise. Or maybe you already negotiated your salary but this time you want more.  We’ve broken down asking for a raise into three easy steps:

  1. Track your successes and compensation. That’s right: break out your spreadsheets: it’s excel time.

  2. Do your research. And no: just looking at Glassdoor is not going to cut it.

  3. Prepare, prepare, and PREPARE. This is not the time to “wing” it.

Whatever your starting point, we support you. To help you keep calm, we’ve laid out a foolproof game plan for getting your coin.

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Step 1: Track your success (and compensation)

Did that big presentation lead to $5,000 in additional revenue? Maybe you took on additional responsibilities when a co-worker left. Or perhaps you saved the company money. The most compelling argument for a pay increase is proven success.

Record everything.

Remember, most bosses are result-oriented. Your ability to make an argument for more pay begins with your ability to document and quantify your success. In other words, write it down and add it up! Create a spreadsheet to track your projects and their impact on the company. The more numbers you can bring into your success the better; your boss can’t argue with facts.

Choose 3 major achievements you can talk about in depth.

Know these achievements and their supporting data like the back of your hand. Seriously, you should be talking about your key successes in your sleep. Be sure to choose achievements that contributed to big company goals. Show you’re thinking about the company’s bottom line and not just your own KPIs

For example, start with the result: I closed over $800K in sales the last two quarters. Then detail how you went above and beyond: Despite losing a member of our sales team, I was able to devise an internal system to drive those numbers without falling behind.

Track the money you’ve made.

Beyond your accomplishments, it’s essential to track the money you’ve personally made. Make a spreadsheet with your original salary, what you currently make, and any raises or bonuses you’ve received. Bringing this awareness to the table shows you’re detail-oriented, informed, and honest—i.e. a super valuable asset.

Let’s see your boss say no to those receipts.

Key takeaway

Focus on your value to the company (simply “being busy” is not a sufficient reason to ask for a raise).

Don’t…

Focus on your desire for more money (that’s a given, but your boss won’t think so).

Step 2: Do your research

So you know you’re ready to ask for a raise, but do you know how much to ask for? Knowledge is power, and nothing is more powerful than knowing your worth.

Find out how much other people in your role make.

Ask around. Search the web. Use a personalized salary calculator. Figure out the high and low ends (at your company and in your city). Where do you fall? Print out your findings to keep on hand when you talk to your boss.

Know what you’re asking for.

If you’re negotiating salary, always go for the high end. If you’re asking for a raise, consider your contributions to the company and decide whether to play it safe (a 3-5% ask) or go big (5-10%).

Key takeaway

Prepare your numbers in advance.

Don’t…

Get greedy or sell yourself short.

Step 3: Prepare, prepare, prepare

You’ve done your homework, now it’s time to solidify your pitch, set the scene, and psych yourself up. Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to speaking up and advocating for yourself.

Write your pitch on paper. Fine-tune it. Then practice your heart out.

When writing out your pitch, concentrate on your ask (how much $$$ you want!) and all of your amazing contributions. That’s where your core three achievements come into play. Then find a friend and pitch to them; ask for feedback and keep an eye out for key phrases that you can lean on during your real pitch.

Extra points if you practice your pitch in the shower, on the treadmill, in the mirror, basically anywhere you can. 

Be mindful about timing.

Be smart about when you ask! The best time of year to ask is during your annual performance review or at the end of your company’s fiscal year (if it’s been a good one). The best time of week? Friday morning, between 10-11 AM (after your boss has their coffee).

On the day of your negotiation…

The day has come. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, pack up your materials, and eat a good breakfast (hey, it helped with the SAT right?). Do a 5-minute power stance right before. (Hands on your hips, elbows out!) Even if you feel silly, the physical act of taking up space boosts confidence. Now, take a deep breath and go crush it!

Key takeaway

Focus on the things you can control: yourself, your timing, your preparation.

Don’t…

Bring up personal reasons for the raise or other people’s salaries.

Note: This one does come with a big “BUT”. If you think your company has structured unfair salaries then YES. Bring this up.

What if they say “No”?…

Start looking for a new job. No, really. If they’re not meeting your value, then it’s time to find a company that will. In the meantime, there’s still more you can ask for that doesn’t have to do with a bump in salary. Consider asking for more work from home days, additional vacation, or an education stipend.

Key Takeaway

You’re worth it! If they don’t see that, someone else will.

Don’t…

Go into a negotiation thinking “no” is the answer—and don’t shy away from a contingency plan if it is.

The Gender Gap Is Real: How To Avoid Its Pitfalls

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The Gender Gap is Real

I had a realization recently that I spend a great deal of time telling my readers how to do things—how to prepare for marriage or a baby, how to save more money, etc.—but I haven’t spent enough time on explaining the “why”. Why should you be financially responsible? Why should you start saving for retirement? I often assume that everyone knows the “why” but the more people I speak to, the more I realize that many do not know why planning for one’s financial future is so important. Allow me to take the next few paragraphs to adequately scare you and then we can focus on some ways to approach the problem.

You need to save for retirement because if you don’t you will not have the money you’ll need to live when you retire. It is a pretty basic concept. Our Social Security program is challenged and it is difficult to say if our government will be able to guarantee its existence for future generations. In addition, pensions are becoming a thing of the past. If you do not save for retirement, you may find yourself broke and without any safety net.  If you have no retirement savings, it may be difficult to retire. It’s fairly simple. But retirement becomes a bit more nuanced when it comes to a woman planning for retirement versus a man.

  • Women Need To Save More Than Men To Achieve The Same Level Of The Gender Pay Gap: Women make less money than men. Per the US Census Bureau, women make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes. Professional women fare much worse. They make 72 cents for every dollar a professional man makes.

  • Women Work Fewer Years Than Men: According to Pew Research Center, men spend an average of 38 years in the work force, whereas women spend 29 years. This nine-year gap means that women work 75% of the years that men work. The “why” is not a mystery. Women take several years off to care for children and elderly parents whereas the average man does not.

  • Women Are More Risk Averse: Women take fewer investment risks than men and tend to allocate their investments towards “safer”, lower yielding assets. Overtime, this can have a significant drag on one’s retirement portfolio. According to TIAA, women hold about 5% more cash in their portfolios than men.

There Is Another Reason

In my opinion, there is another alarming reason for the retirement gap. It lies in the fact that women generally put their own needs very low on the list of things they need to tend to. I work with all types of women—executives, business owners, attorneys, stay-at-home moms. The common thread among these amazing women is that they spend 95% of their time doing things for other people. That remaining 5% is spent on basic survival needs like eating, sleeping, personal maintenance and perhaps some socializing. What does that mean for her personal finances? It means that she has generally neglected the entire topic. It often means that she has almost nothing saved or invested. It means that her 401(k) from her job eight years ago is either being completely ignored or is invested in questionable investments, earning almost nothing. It means that she has no outlined targets or goals and has not created any kind of financial plan. It means that she will have to save 18% more than a man to achieve the same level of retirement savings. In addition, women have a longer life expectancy than men so they need more money for retirement because they will mostly likely be on earth longer.

How To Close The Gap

This is an interesting issue for many reasons. Topics like the gender pay gap are incredibly hard issues to solve. But what you can do is acknowledge the issue and start planning for it. Knowing that you face these hurdles is half the battle. The other half of the battle is doing something about it. Here is my advice:

  • Seek Professional Help: Ask friends or family for recommendations for a Financial Advisor who can help you get on track. An Advisor can help you identify areas of concern and create a strategy for you.

  • Start Saving For Retirement: If you have an employer sponsored retirement plan (401(k), Simple IRA) that is available to you, start making contributions. If you do not have one, open an IRA and start making contributions to that. Make sure it is invested and not just sitting in cash. If you have an old 401(k) out in the universe, go find it and make sure it is invested properly. If you want someone to actively manage it for you, find a Financial Advisor to help you.

  • Make A Date With Your Finances: Everyone is busy these days. That is not an excuse to neglect your financial future. Put a recurring event (monthly or quarterly) on your calendar to force yourself to do a financial checkup.

Perhaps I should be more explicit in my closing. You cannot rely on someone else to save for you, plan for you, or invest for you. Take the initiative and start focusing on this today. You know you have some head winds to face but armed with the information, you will be just fine. And while you are getting financially organized, maybe ask for a raise too! Crush both the gender retirement gap and the pay gap at the same time!

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Views expressed are the current opinion of Kristin Merrick. Keep in mind that investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. No investment strategy can guarantee success.

All Male Cricket Commentary Team is Just Bad Business

SUMMER’S almost here.

The lifesavers are on the beach, the frangipanis are in bloom and the bloke’s test cricket team is gearing up for an Ashes battle.

(In case you missed it, the women’s team fought for the Ashes too — and won — last week. But, I digress.

The men’s test team has been announced and, as always, there’s controversy.

Is Tim Paine the man to inject dependability into the middle order? Does Shaun Marsh really deserve another chance to prove himself?

So many of the same debates — year in, year out. And speaking of more of the same, long term cricket broadcaster Channel Nine announced its Ashes commentary team on Friday:

Channel 9's ashes commentary team. Source:Twitter

Channel 9's ashes commentary team.Source:Twitter

Seven former Australian test greats — and Mark Nicholas. Predictable and overtly lacking diversity.

I spoke to several highly respected former female players and commentators after the announcement — none were even approached. I don’t think that’s good enough.

Australia is all about a fair go. We’re a nation wanting to move forward. A nation willing to stand up for and define ourselves by our diversity. We saw this first-hand with the majority voting to support marriage equality.

“Nine’s sports coverage has plenty of racist, sexist and homophobic commentary. This commentary team does not assist a network which is already seen as living in the past,” Mary Konstantopoulos told me.

She’s the founder of the Ladies Who Legspin podcast and a passionate cricket fanatic.

“This is not just about gender in cricket — this is about diversity — in every sense of the word. I’m not questioning the appointed commentators’ talents or wanting anyone sacked. I want to know why don’t we add diverse talent to the line up instead of going backwards like this? Channel Nine has no idea.”

Top 10 Quotes from the Ladies Get Paid Conference

On December 8th, 2018, over 600 babes gathered in Brooklyn for the second annual Get Money Get Paid conference sponsored by the awesome women of Ladies Get Paid. It was nothing short of magical. Lessons were learned. Myths were busted. Mics were dropped.

So much wisdom and inspiration cannot and should not be contained, so we’re passing it along. Here are ten quotes to psych you up, make you think, and keep you going on your crusade to get paid. 

P.S. Ladies Get Paid has a Slack channel. Yes, you should join.

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  1. “If you’re afraid to walk away, if you don’t have other options, you are trapped.”

On Salary Negotiations, Morgan Fletcher, Certified Negotiation Instructor

2. “Get paid for the value you create.”

Kara Stevens, founder of The Frugal Feminista

3. “9-5 was so men could get out before the kids were up and get home when they were already asleep… the world is designed with the male dynamic in mind. How do we change that beyond maternity leave?”

Jennifer Justice, Pres. of Corporate Development at Superfly

  4. “What you do is not who you are… If you fuck up, you are not a fuck up.”

 On Imposter Syndrome, Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid

  5. “It’s easier to believe that by eradicating individual bad actors we can avoid confronting massive systemic inequalities.”

On #MeToo, the pay gap, and so much more, Kara Brown, writer for the CW, Jezebel, Freeform’s “grown-ish”; co-host for Crooked Media’s “Keep It” podcast

  6. “Find some way to express your anger. Questioning whether you have the right to be angry won’t serve you… Let it out.”

Rebecca Traister, writer for NY Mag and The Cut; Author of “Good and Mad”

  7. “Crush your approval addiction. And show up… even hungover.”

Lisa Copeland, Board of Directors for Women in Automotive; trailblazer; keynote speaker; all around badass

8. “Follow your bliss? Fuck that. Solve a problem. Find things you want to punch.”

Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO of BRAVAInvests; Author of “Leap Frog: 50 Hacks for Women Entrepreneurs”

  9. “Be proud that you’re doing what you need to do to make ends meet. Never feel embarrassed of what you have to do just to make it work.”

On survival while starting your own business, Polly Rodriguez, CEO & Co-Founder of Unbound

10. “You’re going to encounter gatekeepers. It’s a test of your resilience. “No” means “Not Yet”… Take rejection personally, then make it constructive.”

Beth Comstock, Changemaker & Author of “Imagine it Forward”; Former Vice Chair of GE

Trump & PM invite more Andrews than women to prestigious dinner.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull & President Donald Trump celebrated with their business besties at a gala dinner in Washington DC this weekend.

Among the sea of suits and ties was just a handful of women. Out of the business leaders, there were five Andrews, four Mikes, two Glenns, two Gregs, two Toms and two Steves on the invite list.

But only four women made the cut. More businessmen named Andrew got the call up than women.  

Between them, Australia and the United States invited fifty one business heads, meaning women were less than 8% of that guest list for the prestigious event.

Australia’s Ambassador Joe Hockey and his Embassy staff along with the Business Council of Australia handpicked the 26 Australian leaders. Apparently among them they could only come up with three worthy Australian women. (AMP’s Chairman Vanessa Wallace, Jennifer Wastacott from Business Council of Australia and Dr Stephanie Fahey the CEO of Austrade.)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade lauded the event as “the largest and most significant delegation of business leaders in the US”.  An intimate audience with key American decision makers – access not even money can buy.  Choosing to overwhelmingly give this opportunity to male leaders further perpetuates inequality.

In 2018, we should expect better. Given the #metoo & #timesup campaigns, surely we can demand better?

The Prime Minister’s Office, Australian Embassy and DFAT officials certainly ought to know better.

Australia’s diversity, our difference, our daring is what makes us great. It fosters technological genius like Tan Le’s company Emotiv, behemoth IPOs like Atlassian‘s and global online powerhouses like Jane Lu’s Showpo. To ignore the breadth of what we have to offer and to turn your back on showcasing it, does Australia a disservice.

But even if we put aside the Government’s duty to be inclusive – such an outdated attitude is simply bad business.

This McKinsey’s study found companies who commit to gender, racial and ethnic leadership diversity are more successful – they’re much more likely to have better financial returns.

Surely then diverse diplomatic conversations would be more productive? Should this not be the highest priority to ensure reaching optimum outcomes for everyone?

The Prime Minister gleefully posted a video of attendees comparing their brand of cowboy boots at the event. Another video on his instagram story had Donald Trump shaking hands with key Aussie leaders…but there was not a woman in sight.

The Australian Government and its agencies should be actively fighting against the boys’ club, not encouraging it. A tax payer funded event with such an astonishing lack of diversity is a disgrace.

The event was to mark 100 years of Aussie US mateship. So much has changed….and yet, so little is different.

Let Them Flinch First: Megan McWilliams

MEGAN MCWILLIAMS

Digital Media Diva

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How do you describe yourself in one sentence?

“Recovering magazine publisher/editor gone mad for digital media production.”


What's your job title & how did you get there?

“Executive Producer/Founder of The Green Divas media brand. Got here via the road less travelled.”


What's the best piece of advice you've received re negotiating your salary & benefits?

“Always try to let them start the negotiation, and LET THEM FLINCH FIRST.”

Do you ever talk about your salary with coworkers? Why or why not?

“Nope. Not Necessary”.


How do you prepare for pay rise, promotion or tough negotiation conversations? We'd love to hear all your hacks & top tips!

“KNOW YOUR WORTH. I mean do the research AND be honest with yourself, then when you are clear, embed it in your brain and be as fearless as possible”

What would you tell your younger self about negotiating your first salary?

You are so much better than that!

Did you ever agree to something in a negotiation you now regret doing?

YES! at this point, primarily with clients. It still happens, I WANT the gig, so I ratchet back my prices, anticipating their response to imaginary things (usually). When they come back immediately like, "Wow, great price, we're in!" No haggling or winging at all -- I know I've once again, screwed myself.

Instgram: @greendivameg & @thegreendivas

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Information is Power: Emily Clark

How do you describe yourself in one sentence?

“I'm a curious journalist who notices how weird and wonderful people are and makes a point to ask them about it.”

What's your job title & how did you get there?”

“Digital Journalist, Specialist Reporting Team, ABC News. I got here via a country education > a fortunate series of benders between university assessments > a tabloid TV gig > lots of travel > and a pivot to digital.”

What's the best piece of advice you've received re negotiating your salary & benefits?

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“The first negotiation with a new employer is the most important one. Set a precedent that you are here to work, but also here to get paid. Let them know you will always come to the table expecting a pay rise because you will always deserve it.”


Do you ever talk about your salary with coworkers? Why or why not?

“Yes. This is something I've proactively done over recent years. I work for a big organization. There is money to go around so we should all get ours. Information is power.”


How do you prepare for pay rise, promotion or tough negotiation conversations?

“I step outside the established norms inside the workplace and look at the marketplace. What am I worth out there? Find examples and bring them to the table. Own your space in the room, be present and look people in the eye. Use language like "I'll have to think about it" if you're not satisfied. Buy yourself time. Remember, a good boss will respect you more if you hustle a pay rise like you hustle a story. And back yourself. Always.”

What would you tell your younger self about negotiating your first salary?

“Ask for more. Ask again three months later. Agree to KPIs only when your reward is measured too.”

Did you ever agree to something in a negotiation you now regret doing?

“So far, no. I came close when I agreed to a billable time percentage at a PR agency. Not because it was unfair, but because I was too young for that level of stress. Responsibility and authority have to be balanced.”