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About This Episode
If there’s a job posting with 10 qualifications, a man will apply when he has about 6 of those.
A woman will tend to wait not just until she has all 10, but until she’s mastered them.
“My vision and mission is to help change lives by giving people the confidence and the skills to feel successful at work,” Lauren said.
Since founding #GirlsClub two years ago to help more women earn sales leadership positions, Lauren has helped over 70 women to earn promotions. Over 400 women in 18 countries are enrolled in her programs.
Listen in as she shares her approach to empowerment that has launched so many into leadership.
The ‘secret sauce’ of #GirlsClub
#GirlsClub is a community of sales leadership advocates, and its heart is the 6-month long virtual cohort training program.
A woman has to apply to get in — which is where Lauren said she loses 70% of interest.
“Part of the application is she’s got to talk with an advocate in her company, and say, ‘I’m interested in moving up in the next two years, and I need an internal advocate,’” Lauren explained.
“Women wait until we’re perfect before we raise our hand,” she said.
Often the hardest part is becoming proactive in expressing interest.
From there, the training program has 3 legs and a seat — like a stool.
Leg #1 – Skill building for management
It’s tactical sales management training, similar to that of Factor 8, that equips women to be prepared for leadership roles.
This eliminates some women’s inclination to believe herself unprepared for a job.
Leg #2 – Confidence building
“We spend a lot of time working on building self confidence, Lauren said. “No matter our gender or race, we all have a little fear, and we all have a little self-doubt.”
The confidence training takes the form of recognizing that everyone is nervous and uncertain and of being honest about specific fears.
Leg #3 – Community building
#GirlsClub is called that because, well, it’s not for males.
“Studies have shown that when there’s a majority of women in a room, in a meeting, in a virtual room, they’ll speak up more than if that space is dominated by men,” Lauren said. “So we’re creating a safe place and giving role models with the community that we’re building outside of company borders.”
Seat of the Stool – The spotlight
Lauren gives women the opportunity to turn up their spotlights.
Internally: working with a mentor, attending skip level meetings, interviewing their next boss
Externally: speaking engagements, webinars, social media promotion
“What this program has done is pushed that magic button of encouragement for all of these women. Then we provide the community and the training — and we get the heck out of their way because they’re amazing,” Lauren said.
How to be an advocate
These 5 tips apply equally to women and men when it comes to encouraging women to seek leadership roles.
1. Check your job descriptions.
If you’re listing 20 qualifications, you won’t get diverse applicants. Pare it down to the most critical.
2. Check your tone.
Many sales job postings are written in aggressive language.
“Sales is a competitive sport,” Lauren said. “Tone down the warlike language and build up some of the relationship-building language and customer-care language.”
3. Fix your website.
Before women apply, they go to the website and look at the leadership. If you don’t have diversity at the top, you should at least take down all those photos of white male leaders.
Then, of course, you should start remedying that.
“Women are waiting to be asked,” Lauren said.
“Look at your superstar women and say, ‘I think you’d be great in leadership. Have you ever thought about applying for the next level?’”
She calls it the button of encouragement. It takes 30 seconds and could change entire lives.
5. Equal pay.
“If you want to be really bold and have a line of women at your door, check your wage gap,” Lauren said.
Women make about 70 cents on the dollar.
Black women make even less than that.
Some women take the first offer, while some men negotiate two or three rounds.
It happened to Lauren herself: “I was the only female director out of about 25. I held two positions. I lead the training department and a sales division. And I was the lowest paid.”
These 5 tips are something anyone can do to make the sales leadership climate more welcoming for women.
Lauren’s 3 takeaways
- Go now and talk with your leader about what it takes to move up in your company.
- Say yes. Take the baby risks. It’ll turn into something bigger soon.
- Pay it forward. Find another woman — find another anybody — and tell them they’re awesome. Hit the magic button of encouragement.