The Gender Divide

By Nancy Gendimenico

Why is there such inequity in the ranks? NYWICI hosted a panel on the differences in how men and women are viewed in the workplace and how women can earn an equal place at the table. The panelists agreed that more open conversations about the gender gap can help — and that women should be helping each other in the workplace.

Women are typically not good braggers. Studies show that in negotiations, young men are eight times more likely to negotiate salaries and later on in their career, four times more than women. In addition, 96% of angel investors and venture capital raisers are men — and thus a higher percentage of funding goes to male entrepreneurs. People controlling the purse strings are not the same gender as those asking for the money. And women may not be speaking the same language as men when asking for funding.

To help counter these gender gaps, the panelists zoomed in on a few key points:

Own your executive presence

  • Gravitas — how you act, how you speak, how you look — can make all the difference.
  • Show that you know your business.
  • Learn how to speak up and to speak truth to power.
  • Watch your tone and talk about what’s best for the team.

Manage your reputation

  • Be cool under fire.
  • Dress for the job you want and dress for the culture.
  • Know when to be collaborative and when to toot your own horn. Being collaborative is a skill, not a talent and not as easy to do. You will get hired for your talents.
  • Show your human side and individuality.
  • Learn how to own your brand and be yourself.

Counter gender stereotypes

  • At meetings, women should not automatically take on the “girl” jobs, like taking notes or getting coffee.
  • Get there early, get a seat at the table and make sure you are present and participate actively.
  • Women tend to qualify statements, apologize and speak in questions.  Express your thoughts in clear statements, instead of ending each sentence with a question mark.


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