Every year for the past 4 years, Diversity Woman magazine CEO and conference producer Sheila Robinson has gathered together some of the country’s most powerful diversity & inclusion leaders. At this year’s DIVERSITY WOMEN’S NATIONAL BUSINESS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (#DWBiz10) – October 28 and 29th – the chief diversity officers of AOL, AT & T, Allstate Insurance Company, Cargill, Cisco, Diversified Search, Freddie Mac, the Human Rights Campaign, Motorola, Office Max, Progress Energy, Sodexo, State Farm, the University Pittsburgh Medical Center, Wells Fargo and others will tackle the challenging questions around the “Diverse & Multicultural Women’s Leadership Gap.”

These professionals are experts in developing the best ways to make diversity work for the good of their corporations and internal and external customers. They are successful in creating inclusive environments in which every individual’s contributions are valued. Their contributions are competitive business advantages stimulating success for their companies.  They have made it to the upper echelons of corporate America, what do they know that you need to know? In addition, what might be possible if they collectively decided on strategies that begin to create salary equity for women? There are other challenges in the leadership gap – enough for these two days of critical communication and beyond. Attend, contribute and learn.

Women, do you have a fear of negotiation? You could lose $1,000,000 over your career.The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School publishes a monthly journal, Negotiation.  The June issue had a disturbing article about new research on women and negotiation.  According to a new book by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for It:  How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want. The article goes on to say “that men initiate negotiations to advance their interests about four times more often than women do; that (women) students who did not negotiate their starting salaries would forfeit at least $1 million in income over their lifetimes (wow!); that men are more likely than women to negotiate for resources, training, and other factors that boost job satisfaction and success. As a result, research says, “men who seek out career opportunities will advance more quickly in their organizations than equally qualified women who do not.” Women faced with this are likely to quit and when they do ask for more money to be disliked and penalized. Obviously knowing how to negotiate is key to your success.

Here are some other facts about women. Click the links to drill down...

  1. Women comprise 46% of the total U.S. labor force.
  2. Women make only 77.5 cents for every dollar that men earn. (2003 Census.)
  3. The more education a woman has, the greater the disparity in her wages. (This was a stopper for me. The source said, women should be aware that they may have to battle harder for equal pay. Women in professional specialty occupations were found to earn just 72.7% of what men in the same position earned, and women in upper level executive, administrative and managerial occupations earned even less at 72.3%. If you compare this against the average of 77.5%, the numbers speak for themselves.” This does not imply that women should not go for the high level positions!
  4. Women may work longer to receive the promotions that provide access to higher pay.
  5. Women business owners employ 35% more people than all the Fortune 500 companies combined. There are about 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., a number that comprises nearly 40% of all businesses.
  6. Savvy organizations and institutions realize that women are a growing and savvy group of customers. Women impact 89% of savings accounts. American women spend about $5 trillion annually…over half of the U.S. GDP. 85% of all purchases are influenced by women.
  7. Women account for 46% of the labor force, but 59% of workers making less than $8 an hour.
  8. Only 53% of employers provide at least some replacement pay during periods of maternity leave.
  9. Four in ten businesses worldwide have no women in senior management.
  10. Women earned less than men in 99% of all occupations.
  11. Minority women fare the worst when it comes to equal pay.

There is work to be done. “I want to empower women to go back to their homes to influence others and their communities. This conference (#DWBiz10) is designed to support the leadership and executive development of women of all races, cultures and backgrounds; it will spark your imagination and energize your career.” Sheila Robinson.

This is an annual event so the pressing question is whom will Sheila bring together when the 2011 conference convenes in Chicago, IL? For now, be prepared to be in the Era of the Woman by attending this one. Register today for this important national personal and profession development event. Oh, you might also want to be there when Dr. Maya Angelou receives the Mosaic Woman Award and Donna Brazile speaks.  I could go on …but this just could be a once in a lifetime event. I’m looking forward to it.

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