About Us

Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

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She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

BigLaw Women on Succeeding While "Doing It All"

Kick Your Network Up a Notch in Santa Monica on October 17

 

YOU'RE INVITED TO AN EVENING OF PURPOSEFUL NETWORKING, COCKTAILS & HEALTHY SKIN ON OCTOBER 17
On Thursday, October 17th, please join me and seven #RemarkableWomen co-hosts for an evening of creating new opportunities through new relationships (click to tweet)--in partnership with our fabulous sponsor, Dermalogica. Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet our amazing group of co-hosts and mentors trail blazing in fitness, wellness, entrepreneurship, fashion, social change, marketing, social media, tech and more (see below for list). Plus, form new relationships with fellow attendees who, like you, are passionate about helping women. Whether it's meeting new clients or partners, making introductions, gaining insight into an industry or advice that can propel you to the next level- that's what happens at our events. SPACE IS LIMITED. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (cocktails & gift bag included!)
Click on each name to learn more about each #RemarkableWoman you'll meet!
Madeline Di Nonno, Executive Director, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media & See Jane Do
Katie Rosen, Editor in Chieft & Co-founder, FabFitFun
Jennifer Sprague, VP of Marketing at BGBGMAXAZRIA
Heather Dorak, Owner, Pilates Platinum
Victoria Pynchon, Author & Consultant, She Negotiates Consulting and Training
Chelsea Krost, Radio/TV Talk Show Host & MillennialSspokesperson
Alexis Levine, Founder, Savvy Media

YOU'RE INVITED TO AN EVENING OF PURPOSEFUL NETWORKING HOSTED BY CLAUDIA CHAN (RIGHT) AND SEVEN OTHER #REMARKABLE WOMEN + COCKTAILS + HEALTHY SKIN ON OCTOBER 17

On Thursday, October 17th, please join Claudia Chan and seven #RemarkableWomen co-hosts for an evening of creating new opportunities through new relationships (click to tweet)--in partnership with our fabulous sponsor, Dermalogica.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet Claudia's amazing group of co-hosts and mentors trail blazing in fitness, wellness, entrepreneurship, fashion, social change, marketing, social media, tech and more (see below for list).

Plus, form new relationships with fellow attendees who, like you, are passionate about helping women. Whether it's meeting new clients or partners, making introductions, gaining insight into an industry or advice that can propel you to the next level- that's what happens at our events.

SPACE IS LIMITED. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (cocktails & gift bag included!)

Click here again and scroll down to learn more about each #RemarkableWoman you'll meet!

Madeline Di Nonno, Executive Director, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media & See Jane Do

Katie Rosen, Editor in Chief & Co-founder, FabFitFun

Jennifer Sprague, VP of Marketing at BGBGMAXAZRIA

Heather Dorak, Owner, Pilates Platinum

Victoria Pynchon, Author & Consultant, She Negotiates Consulting and Training

Chelsea Krost, Radio/TV Talk Show Host & MillennialSspokesperson

Alexis Levine, Founder, Savvy Media

About Claudia Chan!!

Referred to as “the aspirational Facebook for women” by Forbes.com, “SHE Who Must Be Obeyed” by the The Daily Beast, “Intrepid Woman” by The Glass Hammer, “a motivational media head women in charge” by Cosmopolitan Magazine--Claudia has been featured in countless media outlets including the Aol/PBS initiative “Makers: Women Who Make America.” She also speaks on women’s leadership at corporations, universities, conferences and is looking forward to her first TEDx talk in Fall 2013.

Why Professional Men Make More Money Than Their Female Peers

I'm not going to say that the inexcusable delta between women professionals' compensation and that of their male peers is entirely women's responsibility, but here's what the Harvard Program on Negotiation suggests at least part of cause for that delta among physicians is.

In the context of negotiation, professors John Rizzo of Stony Brook University and Richard Zeckhauser of Harvard University asked a group of young physicians about their reference groups and salary aspirations.

Male physicians compared themselves to reference groups that earned higher salaries than the ones female physicians selected.

In addition, men’s salary reference points were more indicative than women’s of how much they earned later.

Finally, women tend to compare themselves to particular individuals whom they know, while men tend to assess themselves according to information about typical behavior.

Here's a simple solution to this problem. Research your market value in your specialty in your geographic area on payscale.com or glassdoor.com. If those resources aren't sufficient, pick up the telephone and make a few inquiries about compensation in your area.

Here's what I ask when I do this for clients.

Hi, I'm Vickie Pynchon. I'm a ___________ (attorney, author, consultant - whatever seems the best identity to get an answer to my question). I'm doing some market research on compensation for software designers/commercial litigators/OB-GYNs. Can you give me an idea of what people in that area with X years of experience are making/charging clients/etc.

Problem solved.

See how easy that was?

She Negotiates Makes Forbes Top 100 Career Websites for 2013

Here's what Forbes.com has to say about She Negotiates 

With a mission to transform lives, She Negotiates gives women the tools and support to take responsibility for closing their own personal income and leadership gaps. “We start with the pocketbook because economic power is political power. And without political power, we have no voice. No presence. No platform. No credibility,” the site says. What sets She Negotiates apart? They know the personal, cultural and political landscapes that impact one’s ability to ask for what they want and move forward. The site publishes blogs posts and book recommendations, and offers virtual training, video tutorials, as well as consulting services for a fee.

In-House Women Attorneys Make 40% Less In Bonus Pay | What To Do About It

 

The women in the ALM/Corporate Counsel survey who held the top positions in their law departments—chief legal officers and general counsel—reported an average total cash compensation of $575,200, while their male counterparts pocketed an average of $723,700. Female deputy chief legal officers surveyed brought home an average of $316,400 in total cash compensation, while men in the same positions made an average $386,700. Total cash compensation was calculated in the survey as a combination of salary reported as of March 1, 2013, and annual cash bonus for 2012.
Smaller bonuses for women accounted for a large part of the disparity between the numbers for top-level men and women corporate counsel. The survey indicated that GC and CLO women and their deputies made around 40 percent less in bonus payouts than men in the same roles.
Read more: http://www.law.com/corporatecounsel/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202618551555&Survey_Finds_HighLevel_Women_InHouse_Lawyers_Paid_Less#ixzz2eS7Erhbk

What can I say that I haven't said before?

Negotiate your bonuses!

The women in the ALM/Corporate Counsel survey who held the top positions in their law departments—chief legal officers and general counsel—reported an average total cash compensation of $575,200, while their male counterparts pocketed an average of $723,700. Female deputy chief legal officers surveyed brought home an average of $316,400 in total cash compensation, while men in the same positions made an average $386,700. Total cash compensation was calculated in the survey as a combination of salary reported as of March 1, 2013, and annual cash bonus for 2012.

Smaller bonuses for women accounted for a large part of the disparity between the numbers for top-level men and women corporate counsel. The survey indicated that GC and CLO women and their deputies made around 40 percent less in bonus payouts than men in the same roles.

Read more here.

How Do You Close the 40% Bonus Gap? Here's How

First and foremost, understand that bonuses are negotiated. The Grindstone gave eight tips to help you negotiate your bonus some time ago and the advice is all the more important today. Career coach Rebecca Rapple advised women to remember that they are tough negotiators. "Realize," she said, 

that it is a negotiation! Many people (but especially women) accept their year end bonus, or lack thereof, as a fact, rather than a negotiation. Far too often we hear people saying “You should feel lucky to have a job” and other self-defeating phrases. While, in reality, companies are lucky to have you! And its important to ask – and negotiate – for the compensation you deserve.”

Read the entire Grindstone article and then start planning your "ask" for your year-end bonus. Use our free resources here.

Raw Economic Power In One Corner and Justice In the Other.

When it comes to paying (or not paying) employees, the cri de coeur of American business is not yes, we can but because we can.

We don't provide our employees with health care insurance because we're not required to. We pay them minimum wage because we can.

We don't pay our interns because they've been convinced by career placement counselors, their parents and American business, that there are so many over-qualified people to perform the largely clerical tasks they're "hired" to do that they have to work for free.

See PayGenY for all the many reasons this is actually, legally and morally wrong. And it pains me deeply to say that friends of mine who could afford to pay new college grads at least minimum if not a living wage, ask them to work for free because they can.

What has happened to our moral compass?

What has happened to our understanding that the wheel of fortune will always turn and that when it turns down for those at the top, it's a feast for sharks unless the fallen has treated his partners and subordinates as valuable members of a team, without whom he could not accomplish the job he's doing, let alone make the money and accrete to himself the power he has taken for himself.

I have seen this in action too many times for it to be a one-off.

The first shall be last.

 It was ever and will ever be so.

The President of PETA, interviewed by Alec Baldwin in his must-hear podcast, Here's the Thing, noted that American business justifies animal cruelty so long as it can connect mistreatement to a penny or two increase in the price of its stock. The same is true for corporate human capital. The shock of the recession and its aftermath (socialize the loss and privatize the gain) has caused everyone from highly compensated senior equity partners to the last-hired guy in the mail room to react the way rats do when the man in the white lab coat throws the switch on the electrified grid beneath their feet. 

They either attack one another or go catatonic. 

Big Law in particular is treating its people very badly because it can. The people from HR, sometimes with security officers beside them, are walking up to legal secretaries with twenty-five to thirty years of experience and terminating them on the spot, hovering over them as they pack their things and walking them out the door.

I call this the new American perp walk.

If HR knew what it was doing, it would know this - people's claim-making inclinations are highly colored by the manner in which they are terminated. As Joan Didion so eloquently reminded us,

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be 'interesting' to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes some difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman in priest's clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely... by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria — which is our actual experience.

If we terminate employees disrespectfully, subject them to humiliation and treat them unjustly, the story they will tell themselves about their recollected work experience will be one of disrespect, humiliation, and injustice. If we terminate them respectfully, with sufficient notice and with offers to help them make the transition, the story they will tell themselves about the past will reflect the present and claiming-activity will be reduced.


Continue Reading

One Way To Overcome Barriers to Women's Advancement in Big Law

I couldn't be more pleased than to share this recent report - Women Lawyers Still Hit Glass Ceiling - from Marketplace

 This story is not about what your law firm can do for you because it's not going to do anything to advance the careers of women either because it's the right thing to do or because it's the smart thing to do (i.e., good law firm management).

How many times do I have to say that people do not voluntarily giveup economic power and will never voluntarily change the status quo as long as it's delivering money and power to the people who already have it (who will eventually nevertheless learn that the wheel of fortune is always turning but that's another post for another day).

For anyone who believes law firms are supporting their women, please note that the women who would be willing to share effective means of advancing their Big Law careers were not permitted to talk to Marketplace because those means are not official firm policy.

We're therefore no longer talking about implied bias or benign neglect, we're talking active suppression. 

That said, here's the snippet from the Marketplace report.

Women make up about 16 percent of equity partners at big law firms -- a number that has barely budged in a decade. This despite the fact women graduate from law school in almost the same numbers as men. Women partners also earn on average just under $500,000 a year, while men earn $734,000, according to a recent survey of lawyers' compensation. Some female lawyers have had enough of these discrepancies, and they're pushing for change.

Women lawyers at top firms hate drawing attention to their gender. "We've been told for decades that if we talk about women's issues we're whining," says Victoria Pynchon, a litigator for 25 years and co-founder of a consultancy called She Negotiates. She says a new generation of women is realizing they can't get to the top just by working hard and following the rules.

"Women lawyers in these major law firms are saying good bye to all of that, and they are exercising power without being given the authority to do so," she says. "And this is something that men do without even thinking about it."

For example, she says at one large firm, when they vote for a new equity partner, women partners now come together to support the best female candidate.

That may sound like a small thing, but by bloc voting, they improve that candidate's chance of getting elected. Women at that firm didn't want to talk on the record because what they're doing is not official firm policy.

Continue reading or listen to the broadcast here.

 

Value Pricing the Answer to Gender Bias in Big Law?

What is the one thing male AmLaw200 lawyers possess in relative abundance that women lack?

Time.

And yet, pricing legal services based on the time it takes a lawyer to do her work is the only truly important metric for retention and promotion in the AmLaw. Well, that and cronyism, of course.

But I'm not talking cronyism in this season's issue of the Journal published bi-yearly by the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. As I say at the link, "if measuring value by time had prevented men from marrying and having children, they would long ago have found a different way to measure the worth of their work."

I'm talking value pricing. 

Check it out at the link above.

The Generous Trickle Down of Women at the Top

Millennial women!

I'm still talking to you! Still don't want to be a leader? Don't want a revolution? Don't want to change the world?

Here's what the NYTimes says we add to the general welfare when we're present at the leadership table.

At work, we sorely need more women in leadership positions. We already know from considerable research that companies are better off when they have more women in top management roles, especially when it comes to innovation. Professors Dezso and Ross have recently shown that between 1992 and 2006, when companies introduced women onto their top management teams, they generated an average of 1 percent more economic value, which typically meant more than $40 million.

Then there's this:

Along with guiding much of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s philanthropy, Melinda played a pivotal role in shaping the Giving Pledge. . . When Bill Gates and Warren Buffett convened dinners for billionaires to discuss philanthropy, Ms. Gates made sure that wives were invited, too. 

But if you believe marrying a top dog is all a woman needs to do to change the course of history, be advised that when men have traditional wives at home, they discount the value of the work done by their women colleagues and associates.

As my great good friend, Gloria Feldt says, there are really No Excuses to bury our heads in the sand to our sisters' suffering nor to stop playing the game our education, experience, skills and, yes, privilege have prepared us for.

Need a few places to get started?

Support The New Agenda and Take the Lead. Learn how to and then negotiate your true market value thereby raising the wage, income and leadership anchor for all women. There's  no better place to learn that than at She Negotiates.

Don't let the boys beat you in the Reindeer Games. If the customs and practices of your workplace tend to reward male metrics (like time on their hands) subvert the system and play by your own rules. If you're in the professions or business, don't ask for part-time status when you have children. Just take the time you need.

You're already working 22% longer and 10% faster before you expect the same reward as your male colleagues do.

Remember that every woman in leadership inspires dozens, sometimes hundreds, thousands or millions of other women to say "I can do that too."

Be a leader. Inspire. Value yourself wherever you are on the bell curve. Demand that value.

Go, do, prosper. There's a world of women to be saved.

 

The Negotiation Doctors Are In At The Daily Muse

Starting this week with Questions to Ask Before Negotiating, the co-founders of She Negotiates Consulting and Training will be answering your negotiation questions (men's and women's) twice a month at The Daily Muse.

Our column, Ask the Negotiators, depends on you for its success.Research shows that negotiators learn best when working out their own bargaining challenges instead of attending classes where they're asked to negotiate hypotheticals whose facts are limited and often don't pertain to the negotiation environment in which men and women are required to have an often difficult conversation leading to agreement.

So please, send your toughest negotiation problems to us. We rarely achieve salary increases of less than 20% for our clients whether they're seeking a raise or making a lateral move. We've helped business people sell their small companies to larger ones, assisted others in having difficult conversations with their current employers as a last step before job hunting, and have helped organizations get their people working together as a team again.

There's no negotiation problem too tough for us and if we don't know the answer off the top of our heads, we do the research necessary or seek out the industry experts who can guide us - and you - in the right direction.

Here are my prior columns answering reader questions. Take a look at my co-founder Lisa Gates' profile here and decide who you'd like to ask or simply throw the question up for grabs by sending it to negotiation@thedailymuse.com. 

Ladies and gentlemen! Start your engines! Life is about to get easier and work far better and more remunerative.

We advise HR people as well so its not all employee related. We deal with companies, entrepreneurs, non-profits and individuals who are all seeking to get what they deserve - a happy, fair, productive and just workplace for everyone.

Power of Anger Ineffective against Powerful Negotiators

 

Researcher Gerben Van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam found that only low-power negotiators were strongly influenced by their opponent’s expressions of anger; they made larger concessions than when no anger was expressed. High-power negotiators barely seemed to notice the other side’s emotions; they identified their own true bargaining interests and offered only the concessions necessary to reach a good deal.
How can you gain this advantage?
Immediately before negotiating with someone you know to be emotional and demanding, reflect on a time you negotiated with a strong BATNA. Recall your sense of confidence and control. Generating psychological power can immunize you from your opponent’s angry tactics.

Listen.

We're all somewhat afraid of conflict, at least those of us who are not sociopaths.

Men and women both want their days to pass without having accusations hurled at them, without hearing what a frenemy is saying behind their backs, and without stirring their colleagues or clients to anger.

Women, however, do tend to react to a negotiation challenge somewhat more fearful of an angry response than do men.

I've said before that men can claim to be unemotional only because they don't believe anger to be an emotion and I think there's more truth to that than humor. 

I had a client once who was negotiating her bargaining partners toward a million per year. That's what everyone in her niche was making. The men with whom she was negotiating gave her many reasons why she was an outlier and worth less than her peers (all of whom were men and most of whom were twenty years her senior). But it was she who they listened to at industry conferences. She was the expert. They'd just found a cozy retirement niche.  

Eventually, of course, her bargaining partners grew testy and finally one pitched all all-out temper tantrum worthy of a two-year old, telling her she'd never succeed, never reach the heights of the profession she'd already scaled. Told her she was fooling herself. Told her she didn't deserve it. Told her to get a grip on herself and remember who she was.

We responded with the best negotiation tactic for a bargaining partner who betrays us. We played "tit for tat," punishing the miscreant proportionally by simply going 36 hours without returning his phone call. When he finally did reach her, he apologized and, on top of that, increased his last offer without responding to a counter. In other words, he apologized by bargaining against himself, just about the only rule young attorneys are taught by their elders. Not to bargain against yourself.

So if you're worried that your negotiation partner is going to get angry at you, don't worry. Not only is "tit for tat" a powerful game changer, but recent research cited by the Harvard Program on Negotiation shows that only low-power negotiators [are] strongly influenced by their opponent’s expressions of anger.

Those negotiators who didn't trust their own power made larger concessions than when no anger was expressed. High power negotiators, however, barely seemed to notice the other side’s emotions; they identified their own true bargaining interests and offered only the concessions necessary to reach a good deal.

Here's the best news, anyone who wishes can gain the "high power" advantage. According to Harvard, our best strategy, particularly if we're anticipating an emotion response is to reflect on a time you negotiated with a strong [alternative to a negotiated resolution]. Recall your sense of confidence and control. Generating psychological power can immunize you from your opponent’s angry tactics.

Got that? Add a power pose (arms above your head, hands behind it, standing tall to trigger a flood of testosterone) and you'll be the leader of the pack.

Vroooom, vroooom, vrooooom.

If Your Women's Initiative Isn't Working, We've Got Solutions

The National Association of Women Lawyers says your law, accounting or financial firm's women's initiative is not working.

You already know that, of course, and many of you have given up on it altogether. It's so well understood that even the ABA knows about it! Check out Do Women's Initiatives Work in this month's issue of the ABA Journal right here.

It's Just Beginning

But I have breaking news for you. It's not over. It's just beginning.

As one AmLaw 50 senior woman recently told me, until '09, her firm's women's initiative was flowery. In '09, the law firm's women decided to grow it some balls. That's what she said. Verbatim. Those are the women lawyers I remember from my youth. Ballsy. No nonsense. Get it done.

If you'd like to put your poorly funded, management ignored women's initiative on steroids, I've got a panel that is going to tell you how to make it fly. For you. Strategically. 

Not A "Feel Good" Session Nor A Pity Party

This is not a "feel good" session, nor a pity party. But you know what? I've never heard women lawyers throw a pity party from the day I entered law school in 1977 until today.

This panel will also not ask you to expend more energy than you're already expending to be the greatest lawyer you can be. This is a session that will tell you what your law firm should be doing to make your women's careers better.

In addition to the law firm piece, we're going to put the strength of other women lawyers behind you. Because this is not "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" or even "lean in." This is activism.

The panel is not only FREE, but the Women Lawyers' Association of Los Angeles will even validate your parking.

So there are No Excuses not to be there. 

Who?

I'll be there but I'm not the main attraction. Sarretta C. McDonough of Gibson Dunn will be speaking. She is a member of the Board and Program Director for the National Association of Women Lawyers. NAWL underwrote the 2012 National Survey of Women's Initiatives.The survey's findings were gloomy as reported in my post There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Women in the Law.

Sarretta is appearing to help you help your firm course correct its women's initiative for your individual advantage which quite directly advantages all women lawyers everywhere.

Along with me and Sarretta, Merle Vaughn of Major, Lindsey & Africa will be appearing. MLA is the organization that authored the equally gloomy 2012 Partner Compensation Survey, as also reported in There's Nothing Wrong With Women

Merle has enough good ideas fill an entire weekend retreat but we're going to help her squeeze her good advice into this single session. Tackle her after the panel is over and pepper her with your most pressing issues.

Continue Reading

There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Women In The Law

I want every woman lawyer to know that they do not have to work harder, faster or better to achieve parity in the workplace with their male colleagues.

All we have to do is support one another, which this month includes digging into that ABA Journal Magazine that you usually just toss into the trash.

I'm linking to three reports on law firm women's initiatives and they're all a little depressing.

Still, if you read past the pessimism, you'll realize we're at a tipping point - that the disappointing percentage of women in leadership roles in the law, business and finance (less than 20% in all sectors) is also reason to  be optimistic about the future.

As Gloria Feldt of Take the Lead counsels, if each woman in a leadership role would sponsor one other woman who is poised to take on such a role, we could double those disappointing percentages in five years or less.

The Grim Statistics

A recent study on gender and compensation in the country's largest law firms reports that 

The development of two-tier partnerships, the lengthening of the time periods to make partner and equity partner, the reduction in the number of equity partners, the creation of new categories of permanent associates and permanent non- equity partners, the expanded number of permanent of counsel, and the demand for increased billable hours, have combined to increase income for a shrinking group of equity partners and to disadvantage women in large law firms.

A Major, Lindsey & Africa 2012 Law Firm Partner Compensation Survey reports that cronyism at the top which permits in-group gender bias to influence compensation and promotion decisions presents a significant hindrance to women's advancement and has kept the law firm gender pay gap firmly in place for the past decade.

Finally,the National Association of Women Lawyers' 2012 study of law firm women's initiatives tells a story of underfunding, the lack of meaningful goals and the absence of any metrics to measure the success of those initiatives, all of which would lead a cynical person to conclude that most of those initiatives are more window dressing than they are genuine attempts to address the problems not only of women but of high attrition rates that firms in our new austere economy can no longer afford.

As that study reports:

fewer than half of all women’s initiatives are evaluated annually by management. Similarly, fewer than half of all women’ initiatives submit written evaluations. Moreover, it is not clear that the reporting and evaluation functions focus on specific goals. Some 40% of firms report no specific criteria at all for their evaluation. Of those who report goal-related evaluation criteria, there is often no connection to concrete advancement criteria. Thus, descriptions of evaluation criteria were often along the lines of “accomplishment of goals and activities identified at the start of each year” or “number of events, quality of events, participation level.”

All of that said, I remain optimistic because I've been here before, when I first started practice and some of the firm's clients said "I don't want a woman on the litigation team." My boss, male, said what we women should be saying today, Then you don't want this firm because Vickie Pynchon is the best associate I've got.

 

Thank you, Geoff.

We can do it. We can do it without tying ourselves in knots to conform to outmoded gender roles. We can do it without offending anyone - clients or colleagues. We can do it authentically within our own unique personalities.

We can do it because women's diverse views destroy "group think" and add women's unique collaborative abilities to an entrenched zero-sum system. Most importantly, we can raise the bar of excellence for every firm where management understands that more women in leadership = a more profitable business.

 

You Deserve A Raise - Let Us Help You Negotiate It

Corporate profits have been soaring for some time now. What/who is the engine of those profits?

You, the American worker, are!

That means you deserve a raise. Have you gotten one lately? Not according to most sources.

We routinely help women negotiate raises between 15 and 30%.

Our success reflects the undeniable fact that our clients deserve these raises but haven't been getting them. We're not rocket scientists but we do know how to assess and then help you negotiate your true market value.

If you don't believe you can negotiate a raise, here's what one of our clients had to say about our services following by what USA Today had to say about your entitlement to a raise now back at the beginning of the month.

Client:

I scored BIG when I hired Victoria Pynchon. She helped me successfully negotiate a job promotion, 40+% raise, and  new title -- all at my current employer. And this was during a recession! Vickie benchmarked salaries for me, realistically evaluated my options, helped me understand the motives and pressure of my employer, and advised me at every step of the way throughout the negotiations. And she guided me in developing a long-term strategic plan for my career.

USA Today:

Stock markets and corporate profits are breaking records. The economy suddenly looks brighter after the government's surprising report Friday that employers added 635,000 jobs the past three months.  

"Hourly wages ticked up 4 cents in April to an average $23.87, rising at about the same tepid 2% annual pace since the recovery began in mid-2009.

But taking inflation into account, they're virtually flat. Workers who rely on paychecks for their income have been running in place, financially speaking. Adjusting for inflation, an average worker who was paid $49,650 at the end of 2009 is making about $545 less now and that's before taxes and deductions.

According to this month's Harpers, "even among the well-educated, the fear of unemployment deters workers from demanding wage hikes, particularly when joblessness is pervasive."

Let's not let the spectre of unemployment, or permit the unsupported corporate excuse of "the recession" deter us from reaping some small portion of the benefit that has flowed to the top of the American economic ladder in the past few years.

As one of those mega-negotiation training firms that advertises in airplane magazines says, "you don't get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate."

Find us and call us at She Negotiates and let us help you negotiate what you deserve.

Despite our focus on closing the gender wage gap, we serve men as well as women because a rising tide raises all ships.

Gotham Gal Goes All In For National Girlfriends' Networking Day

First off I just love the name.  

National Girlfriends Networking Day is a nationwide celebration of making connections.  Events take place around the country on June 4th [live streaming] three amazing women; Lesley Jane Seyour the editor of MORE magazine, Taj Williams-Franklin a WNBA coach, player and community activist and Soledad O'Brien Emmy award winning journalist.  [They] will be taking questions through social media from nationwide participants. 

Read on here and sign up today!

The live-streaming events are free!

Breaking News! There's Nothing Wrong With Women

drowning

Join me, Lisa Gates and Katie Donovan, along with co-host Jana Hlistova and Gloria Feldt for Take The Lead's monthly Smart Women Take The Lead webcast. Register here now. The live webcast will be Tuesday May 14th at 7pm BST, 2pm EDT. You can send questions via twitter using the hashtag #swttl – we’d love to hear from you! And if you miss the live program, you can always click the same link and see it on YouTube.  

Women in the age of of AnneMarieSlaughterSherylSandbergMarissaMayer are drowning in a sea of unsolicited adviceIn recent days, it’s been suggested to me (the generic woman) that I find a way to strengthen my voice (Executive Presence); jettison my womanly emotions in the workplace (don’t cry!); eliminate question marks and exclamation points from my email communications (??!!???); act more like a guy; act less like a guy (in the same article); get the best seat at the conference tableimprove my handshake; ask for more money but to do so with a smile on my face andthe pretense that it’s for someone other than myself;  pay more attention to my family than to social networking; devote more time to online social networking;  learn to golfseek sponsorsseek mentorsbrag about my accomplishments, but modestlyconform my behavior to feminine stereotypes while covertly using man-rules; and, for heaven’s sake never, ever to curse in publicOver at Princeton, it’s even been suggested that young women do what their grandmothers did –find a man who is likely to be a “good provider” while the getting is good (before graduation). My generic woman’s head is about to explode. The solution? Start by understanding there's nothing wrong with you over at the Take the Lead blog here.

Are Women's Initiatives Meant To Fail?

Nearly every law student in the country from the oldest grad to the youngest aspirant, learns the meaning of "intent" in civil law from the case of Garratt v. Dailey.

You may not want to hurt Bill, but if you put an apple on his head, raise your shotgun and pull the trigger, the law will say you intended to kill him in the highly likely event that your William Tell act causes Bill's death.

The rule that Garratt applies to a five-year old's decision to pull out the chair out an adult woman is about to sit in is this - if the defendant knows with a substantial certainty that his act will result in harm, he must be presumed to have intended it.

Which takes us directly to law firm women's initatives. As the National Association of Women Lawyers' 2012 survey of BigLaw women's initiatives concluded, the programing offered by BigLaw to retain and promote women does not achieve its goals. Not only that, but these women's initiatives rarely have measurable promotional goals.

As the Survey reports, even though women’s initiatives have been in effect for at least a decade, "what such initiatives actually do, and the impact they have on women in firms, is all too often not clear and at worst, open to criticism bordering on cynicism." More particularly,

fewer than half of all women’s initiatives are evaluated annually by management. Similarly, fewer than half of all women’ initiatives submit written evaluations. Moreover, it is not clear that the reporting and evaluation functions focus on specific goals. Some 40% of firms report no specific criteria at all for their evaluation. Of those who report goal-related evaluation criteria, there is often no connection to concrete advancement criteria. Thus, descriptions of evaluation criteria were often along the lines of “accomplishment of goals and activities identified at the start of each year” or “number of events, quality of events, participation level.”

 

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Are Men Bad Negotiators?

We've been talking about women's negotiation deficits for so long that we've completely neglected the men. This post is an attempt to cure that omission. Listen guys! We care about you. And we'd like to help you with your negotiation problem. 

But let's start where we've been for the past ten years ever since Linda Babcock of the Heinz Negotiation Academy for Women published Women Don't Ask

In Speaking Out About Women And Power, U.C. Berkeley Psychology Professor Tania Lombrozo describes a study in which women experienced gender blow back when they voiced their opinions “too ardently.” The social scientists conducting that study asked a group of men and women to evaluate a hypothetical CEO who was described as offering opinions as much as possible or as withholding opinions.

Unsurprisingly, female CEOs who offered opinions frequently were judged less competent and less suited to leadership than their sister CEOs who withheld their opinions. Equally unsurprising was the way in which the study judged the men – as more competent and better suited to leadership if they spoke up often and less so if they didn’t.

Too many people have concluded from studies like these that women are stuck between a gender rock and leadership hard place but men are not.

As Lombrozo is quick to note, however, men faced a complementary danger: of being perceived as poor leaders if they didn’t voice their opinions. Members of both sexes were penalized for failing to conform to traditional gender stereotypes.

Listen. We are all judged according to the culture’s expectation for our behavior. Women are expected to be kind, patient, tolerant, loving, giving and self-effacing. Men are expected to be judgmental, tough, self-seeking and self-promoting. We all suffer social sanctions – from harsh judgments to electoral defeats – when we step outside of society’s expectations.

Those who would caution us to “act our role” or suffer the consequences, however, are missing the bigger picture, as are those who urge us to ape the style of the opposite gender. Let’s take negotiation as our example.

In a recent article at Huffington Post, Joan Williams writes that women don’t negotiate because they’re not idiots, citing yet another study confirming the imposition of social sanctions on women who negotiate outside their gender role. Sara Laschever, co-author, with Linda Babcock, of Women Don’t Ask and Ask for It, immediately dropped by to assert that Williams’ article mischaracterized Babcock’s findings, explaining that the "study used only used one negotiation script, in which both the male and female negotiators asked for higher pay in a fairly aggressive way.

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More Revealing Data on Women Who 'Opt Out' Rather Than 'Lean in'

Joni Hersch, a professor of law and economics at Vanderbilt, has put numbers to these anecdotes with a research paper entitled “Opting Out among Women with Elite Education.” It is a fascinating new window onto the development of the new upper class that I described in Coming Apart. 
Hersch uses a large database, the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, that lets her identify 1,830 women who graduated from “tier 1” educational institutions — in effect, the Ivies and other high-prestige universities like Duke and Stanford — and compare them with women who graduated from less elite schools. When women with and without children of all ages are lumped together, the graduates of tier 1 schools are employed only slightly less often than their less privileged sisters. But as soon as Hersh separates out women with children from those without, it becomes obvious that women from tier 1 schools are significantly more likely to be home with the kids than the others — 68% of mothers from the tier 1 schools were employed, compared to 76% of those from the other schools.
Subtracting from 100%, that's 32% of tier 1 moms versus 24% of moms who are graudates of less prestigious, or 1/3rd more.
A lot depends on the kind of degree that a married woman with children has obtained. If she is a physician, has a PhD, or has an MA in education (i.e., is probably a K-12 teacher), she is as likely to be employed as graduates from lower-tier schools. But those degrees involve only 24% of mothers who graduated from tier 1 schools. Those with law degrees are 9 percentage points less likely to be employed than graduates from lower-tier schools; those with MBAs are 16 percentage points less likely to be employed, and the largest single group, those with just a BA, are 13 percentage points less likely to be employed.

Joni Hersch, a professor of law and economics at Vanderbilt in a research paper entitled Opting Out among Women with Elite Education, concludes that women from the Ivies and other high-prestige univerisites like Duke and Stanford, do not opt out more often than women with less prestigious pedigrees if they are childless.

Once women of the upper classes have children, however, those from first tier universities are significantly more likely to be home with the kids than the others — 68% of mothers from the tier one schools were employed, compared to 76% of those from the other schools.

Unsurprisingly, professional women who have more control over their working schedules like physicians or Ph.Ds, as well as those in traditionally female professions such as teaching, are as likely to stay in the workforce regardless of their educational provenance. 

Those with law degrees, however, are nine percent less likely to be employed than graduates from lower-tier schools; those with MBAs are 16 percent less likely to juggle both home and worklife, and those with just a BA, are 13 percent less likely to stay in the workforce.

Let's Make Educated Guesses About the Reasons for These Statistics

Instead of focusing on class differences, let's focus on the jobs that do not erect substantially higher barriers to continued employment for women than they do for men.

Women from prestitious universities with J.D.s and MBA's tend to work in the nation's top corporations and most profitable law and consulting firms. In these industries, the leadership gaps have been stuck below 20% for the past ten years.

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Solving BigLaw Women's Rainmaking Credit Deficit

I've been grappling with women lawyers' origination credit problem for quite some time, writing about here (Origination Credit: Cage Match in Business Suits) and at Forbes (Bullied Out of Origination Credit? Negotiate! and Big Law Women's Initiatives | Subvert the System).

The more I read and talk to AmLaw attorneys about the way in which rainmaking credit is distributed among attorneys, the more I believe the answer for women is to take credit for their share of the work whether their firm does or not.

Before addressing how to do that, let's recall that credit is often awarded in the same way the New York Times recently said political favors continue to be doled out in Chicago - by way of a powerful but informal system of crony politics.

How do law firm partners "earn" origination credit? 

Let me count the ways.

  1. They're the first attorney in the firm to land a client the firm has never before served;
  2. They're the practice head in a specialty to whom a firm lawyer in another specialty refers the business;
  3. They're not the practice head in that specialty, but have a you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours relationship with the attorney making the internal referral;
  4. They're members of one BigLaw firm's women's initiative which cross-refers within the initiative and negotiates the credit according to its own metrics of fairness;
  5. Someone with a really big book of business uses origination credit to buy favors or loyalty or to reward someone for favors and loyalty already extended;
  6. They have the reputation for excellence in the specialty which made the client call the firm rainmaker in the first place;
  7. They actually do the work so well that the client asks the firm to give the working partner some of the origination credit; 
  8. They form a relationship with the client while working on the matter and do the work so well or form such a strong bond with the client that the working partner starts looking for another "home" and brings the client's business with him; or, 
  9. They threaten to leave the firm and take clients with them unless they're given credit as an originating partner.

I can't speak for any time period after '05 when I quit practice, but some people with the ability to refer work to attorneys do so in response to "favors" ranging from a great night on the town at the best restaurants to the procurement of hookers (cf. MadMen).

Is this fair? Does it "objectively" reflect an attorney's value to his firm? Sometimes yes and sometimes no but rarely do these spoils of cronyism fall from the great banquet table of BigLaw into the laps of women, particularly women of color.

What To Do?

I'm working on this and these are just my initial thoughts which may change, particularly if challenged here. Or, I may come to hold them more strongly but able to articulate them better if challenged here. So, please. Feel free to comment.

At Your Current Firm

There's not much that can be done inside one's current firm other than to continue to put forward your case for an award of origination credit. You deserve some of the credit if you,

  1. attended the meeting/s leading to the generation of business;
  2. have a reputation for excellence in the field which was part of the "pitch" leading to the generation of business;
  3. prepared the "rainmaker" to "pitch" the client for the business; or,
  4. lead the team of lawyers that do a great job for a new client that generates the next piece of business that comes to the firm.

At a New Firm

When you're making a lateral move and are asked how big your "book" was the previous year or two, I'd tell the new firm the dollar value of the work you were responsible for generating rather than the dollar value your firm credited to your account.

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Change Women Lawyers' Working World Today!

I'd like to take a little bit of your time to talk to you about sponsoring the Annual South Carolina Women Lawyers Conference scheduled for October 21, 2011

Why South Carolina? 

Because for the past 19 years the same group of women has been hosting an "I Believe Anita Hill Party." 

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings which legitimized women's complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. This is a particularly timely year in women's professional history to revisit the Hill-Thomas hearings in light of the DSK, Schwarzgenegger and Weiner scandals. 

Professor Hill will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Women Lawyers' Leadership Summit the day after the Anita Hill "party." Professor Hill will kick off the morning of the Summit on October 21 with the keynote speech.

That same afternoon, I will be leading a panel discussing the intersection of sexual harassment and implicit gender bias with Gloria Steinem (founder of Ms. Magazine and the Martin Luther King, Jr. of the second wave women's movement); Gloria Feldt, feminist activist and author of No Excuses, Nine Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think About Power; Shelby Knox, "star" of the Sundance documentary "The Education of Shelby Knox," now working for change.org, and, Jamia Wilson, Vice-President of Programs at the Women's Media Center in New York City, which trains and promotes women in media, an organization co-founded by Steinem and Jane Fonda.

This panel of two of the most noted leaders of the Second Wave Women's Movement and two Gen-Y feminist activists will talk about solutions to a problem to which no one yet has an answer.

My small start-up company, She Negotiates Consulting and Training, is working to promote women to positions of leadership through their own efforts within a supportive community of women in business and the professions.

She Negotiates is a Diamond Patron Sponsor of the South Carolina Women Lawyers' Conference and we invite you to sponsor this historic event too.

As a former attorney (and current mediator and AAA arbitrator) I am all too familiar with BigLaw's failure to retain and promote their women. We at She Negotiates believe that only by encouraging women to support other women will we finally close the wage, income and leadership gap that seems so intractable. 

The next firm to become a Diamond Sponsor can introduce the Feldt-Steinem, et al. panel and receive four tickets to the event. Here's the Sponsor Form. Please donate today. No donation is too small!

It's Not Only Women Who Must Fight Negotiation Gender Bias

I have a confession to make. Men who are highly empathic, soft-spoken, and extremely agreeable make me nervous. I was given reason for this self-reflection today on reading the most recent bargaining post at Harvard’s Program on Negotiation blog.

According to the brainiacs who study these things, women who are able to read the emotional state of others and satisfy their behavioral expectations are more effective team leaders and better negotiators than either their empathy-deficient female or empathy-enabled male colleagues.

As the Harvard post notes, studies by B-School professors Francis Flynn and Daniel Ames, have demonstrated that women who were best able to read their work team’s emotions and alter their own behavior to please them, were rated as being more persuasive, better leaders and more efficient conflict resolvers than their stiff-necked peers.

In a second study, Flynn and Ames found that female people-pleasers not only “outperformed women who didn’t see themselves as especially adaptive” to other’s expectations, but also outperformed people-pleasing men.

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She Negotiates on NPR with Jennifer Ludden

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Go to npr here.

The Week at ForbesWoman

We've had a busy week over at ForbesWoman in articles and blog posts covering:

The Davos World Economic Forum

The paucity of women at the Davos Economic Forum despite how rich the ones who attended are as described in this post by Forbes staff writer Louisa Kroll, The Richest Women at Davos.

Women's Davos Wardrobe Dilemmas covered by Moira Forbes as an unfortunate but still critical factor for the display of power necessary to be a player at the World Economic Forum.

A photo gallery of the executive conferences women CEOs love best.

The Continued Assault on the Glass Ceiling

Aman Singh's post on Why So Many Top Women Don't Make it to Executive Leadership.

Jenna Goudreau's Jobs Outlook:Careers Headed for the Trash Pile


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Yes, You Should Ask for a Raise or Increase Your Rates This Year

See the series of articles on the topic over at ForbesWomanWhy Every Woman Should Ask for a Raise this Year; and, Why We Women Fail to Ask for Raises and What Happens When We Do, most of which is also applicable to men.  Excerpt from the first article below:

You deserve a raise this year because you are working harder, longer and faster than you were before the recession. And as msnbc reported in 2009, you are doing so for less, not more, money.

 That means you are not only doing your own job, you’re also doing the jobs your laid off colleagues were doing. You’ll be difficult to replace because of that. Not only because John and Mary’s jobs are not in your historic employment description, but because fewer people will want to take on the work you’re doing now for the salary you’re now being paid.

 Your employer may need to hire two people to replace you. He or she will also have to incur the expense of hiring one or more new employees.

 You are more valuable than you believe yourself to be. You therefore have more bargaining strength than you believe yourself to have.

How to ask for a raise over at She Negotiates tomorrow.

the nice things some people say about she negotiates

"Victoria Pynchon's negotiation skills crush cultural bias, gender barriers and even fears about the tumultuous economy. She taught me to conquer my fears with courage and navigate contentious negotiation, while demanding my market value.  Her one-on-one supportive coaching techniques trump transformation. Working with her has triggered a personal evolutionary spiral into a new way of doing business with confidence, the fruits of which have knocked down walls in every part of my life. I felt supported through the entire process and experienced immediate results."

Judy Martin, Business Journalist & Founder WorkLifeNation.com

"Lisa Gates reached into the very core of my being in order to bring me back into the reality of my dreams. Her talk is real and her methods concise. I no longer doubt what I'm doing...instead I speak, write, and live, knowing exactly why I do what I do and I realize that the goals I have set for myself are entirely up to me and attainable." 

Cicily R. Janus, Writing Away Retreats

She Negotiates the End of the Glass Ceiling



How do we "sell" the nation on the idea that women's work is as valuable as men's? Despite the fact that 90 years have passed since women were given the vote and 40 since an entire generation of women raised their voices against unequal treatment under the law, we continue to make a third of what our men do.

What's up with that? and why the Coke ad?

What's up with that is this: we're not negotiating our true market value because we believe it is worth one-third less than men believe their true market value to be. That's what the research shows. Instead of getting angry, let's finally "get even" by learning our true market value; gathering the tools to ask for it; and, then just go get it.

That's what Lisa Gates and I are up to over at She Negotiates ~ our four-week online coached negotiation class for women. First, we give you the tools to re-calibrate your market value. Then we teach you how to get it. It's a simple as that.

Why the Coke ad?

Coca-Cola, one of the most successful products ever to grace our planet, wasn't always a world-wide beauty pageant winner. It once had to sell itself. It's SODA POP for goodness sakes. But it didn't sell itself as soda pop. It sold itself as the staff of life ~ bread. It wasn't a luxury ~ something our then-post-depression post-war parents were not keen on buying. It was a necessity.

So how do we sell ourselves as necessary to the economy and as valuable as bread and butter? Come on over to She Negotiates and we'll teach you how.

Our next course begins on September 13 and you can take it in your jammies! A warning: this is no ordinary e-class. It's a lot of hard work.

If you're ready to upset the apple cart and apply a little elbow grease to the gears and levers of a society that still fails to recognize our value, come on by!

Our best for yet another new beginning,

Vickie Pynchon and Lisa Gates
She Negotiates Consulting and Training

yes we can! negotiate our jobs back! at ForbesWoman

Negotiating Women's Leadership with the PLUS Foundations

Fincher on Diversity on Mid-Summer Night's Eve

Why Should Women Learn How to Negotiate? A Call to Action

Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, in the must-read Ask for It!, define negotiation as "a tool to help change [or preserve] the status quo when change [or preservation] requires the agreement of another person.

Why should women learn to negotiate?  Here's the succinct and powerful message Babcock and Laschever have for us:

The consequences of not negotiating in the workplace are pretty extreme.  First and foremost, women earn much less money than men over the course of their careers. We calculated that just by not negotiating her first job offer—simply accepting what she's offered rather than negotiating for more—a woman sacrifices anywhere from half a million dollars to one and a half million dollars in lost income over the course of her career. This is a massive loss for a one-time negotiation—for avoiding what is usually no more than five minutes of discomfort—and it's an unnecessary loss, because most employers expect people to negotiate and therefore offer less than they're prepared to pay. And far more men than women negotiate their first offers. Since men also negotiate more than women throughout their careers—or negotiate more aggressively—the financial losses to women can be truly staggering.

Once upon a time, several generations of women all decided at pretty much the same moment that they did not wish to be economically marginalized anymore.  They didn't want to see themselves portrayed primarily as air-heads who couldn't successfully drive a car to the market, let alone manage a hedge fund.

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