I had the opportunity at HIMSS18 to meet several women entrepreneurs who have started their own companies and many women seeking career advice. They are impressive and inspiring. I loved hearing the entrepreneurs’ stories, what lead them to start their own business, and the challenges they have overcome. Women looking for career advice didn’t hesitate to approach me and introduce themselves. They ask very focused questions as they reflect on their current situation and consider future options.
The annual #HealthITChicks meetup, organized by Jenn Dennard, included a panel titled “Making Ladders Lateral.” It was great fun to be part of the panel and hear others’ stories. The recap can be found here.
At the Career Fair, I did a presentation on “Advice for the Aspiring Female Executive” that covered current trends and tips for next generation leaders.
Hot off the press, I shared information from the 2018 HIMSS Compensation Survey that showed both good and bad news regarding the gender pay gap. The survey results show that gender pay disparity is persistent. The pay gap is back at the level it was in 2006 after getting worse for a few years. On average, women are paid 18 percent less than men, or said another way, females are paid $0.82 for every $1.00 their male peer is paid. Getting back to the same level as 12 years ago can’t be considered real progress.
The good news is that for women under age 35 and non-management staff, there is very little difference in pay between the two genders. The bad news is that the gap for women over 55 and those at the executive level continues. I conclude that this is due to the cumulative effect that years of disparity has had, which has created a gap that is very hard to resolve.
I talked about “The Confidence Gap,” an excellent article by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman that was published in The Atlantic a few years ago. I highly recommend reading it to understand that “success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence” and “that with work, confidence can be acquired.”
And I focused on leadership and tips for next generation leaders, which I shared in a previous post. Here they are again in case you missed them the first time:
- Find a mentor. You can’t do it yourself. Find someone you consider a role model and is willing to invest some time and energy in helping you develop.
- Let go and be willing to delegate. If you try to do it all yourself, you won’t develop others and you won’t have time to do the work that allows you to grow.
- Give up on perfectionism. It is the enemy of good. It wastes time and keeps you from doing other work.
- Ask for feedback. Take off the blinders and ask for honest feedback from your staff, your boss, your peers, and your customers. What should you start doing, stop doing and continue doing.
- Consider everything a learning opportunity. Remember that you can learn from every experience. Whether it is a new skill, knowledge or lesson on how to improve for next time.
- Be open to the possibilities. Think of all the jobs that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago and ones that may exist in the future. Technology and healthcare continue to change. Organizations evolve. Be open to new opportunities.
- Work-life balance is a challenge for everyone. Figure out what it means for you. Share your goals with family, friends and colleagues. Don’t give up when it gets hard; instead, revisit your goals and renew your commitment.
- PDCA – plan-do-check-act. Apply that basic quality improvement concept to you. At the right intervals look at what’s working well and what’s not. Adjust and implement. Then repeat.
- Be a continuous learner. Continually learn from your peers and experts in the field. Share your learnings with others.
- Be vocal and visible. Talk and write about your successes and learnings so others benefit from your experience.
- Own your own career. Your success depends on you, the choices you make, and the people you enlist to be on “team you!”
International Women’s Day was held last week, and March is Women’s History Month. While there is much to celebrate, we have much more work to do. Recognize your own strengths and those of the women who inspire you, and find ways to support and lift up those around you. Or as Dr. Geeta Nayya, one of the HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors, tweeted yesterday morning: “Honoring my sisters and their contributions today. Keep loving, dreaming, learning, advancing and shaping the future.”