Know Your Rights, Ladies!

know-your-rights-ladies

Women enjoy most freedoms today that men enjoy, and have joined the American work force in great numbers. But, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace in various forms. Women should know their rights as U.S. workers and take responsibility for helping to stop violations in the workplace.

Types of women’s rights:

  • Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 – It is illegal for employers to exclude qualified women from any available position. Women can sue a potential employer, if they feel he has excluded them from a position based on gender.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 – It states that employers must pay women the same amount they would pay a man in the same position.Women can sue their employers if they can prove that a male in the same position earns higher wages.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 – According to this Act, it’s illegal to discriminate against pregnant woman in the workplace. An employer cannot fire a woman or exclude her from a position due to pregnancy as long as she can perform satisfactorily.
  • Right against harassment – An employee of any company where a woman works may not sexually harass the woman in any way.Women should report offensive conduct such as jokes, name calling, physical assaults or threats, insults etc. to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or a supervisor.

Even though there are laws to protect the rights of working women, workplaces are far from equal.

  • Women make 75 to 90 cents to every man’s dollar.
  • Under FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), women are eligible for 12 weeks of maternity leave. But, women working for a small company or those who have been employed for less than a year get only 8 weeks of maternity leave.
  • Harassment complaints are ignored many times, because taking action is not a priority.
  • There are approximately 50% women in the workforce, but women aren’t getting 50% of leadership roles.

Nevertheless, America has come a long way to having the rights we enjoy today in the workplace. But, there is still significant room for improvement.

Dealing with Workplace Harassment

dealing-with-workplace-harassment

Workplace harassment and office bullying are unfortunately common incidents these days. It refers to any repeated, intentional behaviour directed at an employee that is intended to degrade, humiliate, embarrass, or otherwise undermine their performance. It can come from colleagues, supervisors, or management, and is a real problem for workers at all levels. It’s no joke. By learning to recognize and address workplace bullying behaviour, you can help to create a healthier, more productive environment for yourself and your colleagues.

What women can do

  • Communicate your disapproval – If you can avoid the colleague who makes you uncomfortable, do so. If you have to work in close proximity to him, avoid being alone with him and tell him to stop his specific behaviour. If the person has sent you a joke through an email or SMS, reply through email or SMS when asking him to stop.
  • Keep a record – If your colleague isn’t getting the message, prepare to report him. Gather evidence to substantiate your claims. ‘Note down the date, time and details of each incident. Save any emails or text messages that contain inappropriate language. Try to use your mobile phone recorder to discreetly record his remarks.
  • Find a friend to share this information – Share the situation with a colleague you trust in the office. She may be able to keep a watchful eye on the situation. But be picky about who you share this information with, and ensure that this person is trustworthy. A senior colleague or mentor who carries more weight in the organisation would be ideal.
  • Formal complaint – If the above doesn’t work, make a formal complaint to senior members of the organisation, with whatever evidence or notes you have. Make the complaint in writing and keep a copy. Remember an oral complaint can be hushed up. Often women don’t report sexual harassment for fear they might lose their jobs, but unless you are willing to take action, your problem will persist.
  • Contact EEOC – If your complaint does not result in your supervisor or senior manager taking action, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which investigates sexual harassment incidents in the workplace. Inform the EEOC of your employer’s name, the name of the offender and the details surrounding the incidents.
  • File a lawsuit – After you file a complaint with the EEOC, you can possibly file a lawsuit. You can seek monetary damages, or try to get your job back if your employer fired you due to the incidents. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you should seek legal representation from an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases.

Why Women Don’t Start Business?

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, only seven women start businesses for every ten men. There is a big “confidence gap” between male and female entrepreneurs.

Here are the main reasons why women hesitate to start their own businesses:

  • Women are less confident

    About three-quarters of both male and female entrepreneurs start businesses to pursue an opportunity, but men show more positive perceptions about opportunities and their own capabilities, as well as lower fear of failure. Women are inclined to take fewer risks.

  • Women use their savings, men get loans

    On an average, women start their businesses with a median amount of $8,000; men had $30,000. Women were also more likely to use their own cash or borrow from family members, while men got bank loans. With fewer funds to start a business, women have little or no scope for taking necessary steps.

  • Men are more likely to know other entrepreneurs

    It seems contrary to the general norm of women as social connectors and men as isolated individualists, but men are more likely to have robust professional networks when starting their businesses. They were also more likely to already know someone who had branched out on his own, providing them with a valuable source of information.

  • Content with life

    Women are content to live their lives peacefully, calmly without any stress brought about by starting a business.  For most of the women, money is not a motivator. And if it is, they feel that they can get it from their jobs working within an organization, instead of starting a new venture.

  • Responsibility of managing family

    Women always have to struggle to balance career and families. Starting a business involves a lot of dedication. Women feel they cannot devote that much time while handling household responsibilities.

Start-up Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

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More and more women are starting their own businesses and getting aware of the opportunities available outside their 9-to-6 jobs. But, for women it is challenging to focus on their new mission, as they have to struggle to strike work-life balance.

Here are the few tips that may help them to start a new business:

  • Find your passion – You are going to spend long hours working for your business, so pick an industry that you don’t just like, but are passionate about. When you are passionate, it shows, and your enthusiasm and belief in what you are doing translates to your customers, sparking their enthusiasm about what you are offering.
  • Keep your home and work life separate – It is important to set aside time for both personal and work lives, in order to give each the attention it deserves. Set specific office hours and unless there is an emergency, stick to them. Train yourself to work during office hours and do not accept calls or check emails after hours. Your customers and clients will also conform to your schedule as long as you stick to it.
  • Don’t pay attention to any disadvantages – Don’t put any energy into wondering if you have different challenges than any other leader or business owner because you are a female. If you are good at what you do, that’s all that matters.
  • Be positive, flexible and patient – It takes a good amount of time to build a business. Continue to have a positive outlook and don’t stop believing in yourself. There has never been a successful business owner that hasn’t run into some challenges!
  • Don’t let the lack of confidence or fear hold you back – Women are generally more afraid of failure than their male counterparts. Moreover, cultural traditions also discourage women from taking leadership positions. Women are less confident than men in starting businesses. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from being an entrepreneur.
  • Believe in yourself – Actually, women have better communication and consulting skills, are more caring and loyal towards their organisation and peers and, compared to men, are less competitive, confrontational and aggressive, and less driven by money. They are far more dynamic and capable than previously believed. So, believe in yourself and be a leader!
  • Get the right support – Seek out networking groups, coaches and mentors that will not only cheer you on, but challenge you to take your business to the next level. Network with other businesswomen in your field that can give you an eagle’s view of what’s working and what’s not.

If you are dreaming of setting up your own business, log on to TheGongzuo.com. We will help you in launching your start-up.

Top 6 Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face

Entrepreneurship was once considered a man’s domain, but numbers are now changing. According to 2015 data from the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 9 million U.S. firms are now owned by women and they generate total $1.5 trillion in sales.

Although more women are becoming entrepreneurs, they often face a set of challenges not typically shared by their male counterparts. Female CEOs have stated some of the key challenges that they face –

  • Confronting social expectations – When women entrepreneurs have to talk business with primarily male executives, it can be unnerving. They may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically “male” attitude toward business: competitive, aggressive and sometimes overly harsh. But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations. Women need not adapt themselves to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.
  • Limited funding – The hardest part of starting a business is raising capital. It gets all the more difficult for women-owned firms. Venture capitalists tend to invest in start-ups run by people of their own “tribe” meaning, venture capital firms with female partners are more likely to invest in women-run start-ups. But, that accounts for only 6% U.S. firms. Women looking for business investors should build confidence through a great team and business plan.
  • Own your accomplishments – Women tend to downplay their own worth. When they talk about their company or achievements, they tend to use the word “we” instead of “I”.  Using the first person to discuss successes feels, as if they are bragging. They need to have confidence in running a business. It’s important especially when their ideas receive more scrutiny than their male colleagues.
  • Building support network – With the majority of the high-level business world still being dominated by men, it can be hard for women to create their own path. Lack of advisor and mentors is one of the major blocks that limits professional growth. They could start networking with other women through groups and forums created specifically for women in business.
  • Balancing business and family – Work-life balance is a goal of many entrepreneurs regardless of their gender, but mothers who start businesses have to simultaneously run their families and their companies. And in this area, traditional gender expectations often still prevail. “Mompreneurs” have dual responsibilities to their businesses and to their families, and finding ways to devote time to both is key to truly achieving that elusive work-life balance.
  • Coping with a fear of failure – Women need to stop worrying if people will treat them differently in business because of their gender and they also need to stop comparing themselves to others, including men. The bottom line is, if you’re successful, no one cares whether you are man or a woman.

12 Tech Startups With Women Founders

Women population in tech world is low, but a positive sign is that they are taking action! Many aren’t waiting for companies to give them leadership roles; instead they are launching their own businesses.

Here is the list of tech start-ups owned by females:

  • AdmitSee – This start-up seeks to bring transparency to the college and grad school application process. It makes easier for students to get admitted to college. Students can find the profiles of other students, see where others have applied and got accepted, strategize their own applications and can even get access to successful college essays. AdmitSee transforms an overwhelming, time-consuming grad-school admission process.
  • Dot Laboratories – Dot offers diagnostic tests for endometriosis. Dot is creaking a path for early awareness; their technology will arm women everywhere with the knowledge they need to make critical health decisions.
  • FINDMINE – FINDMINE runs product catalogues and retailer looks against user data. They then match your goods to shoppers’ tastes. This means shoppers see their perfect outfit on the website, in ads, in emails, etc. It leverages the power of data! Retailers use data to cater to customers and personalize marketing.
  • Give InKind – A platform dedicated to providing comfort for those who need it, from organizing meal delivery to products to advice articles. Taking the hassle out of providing care for loved ones is a great concept.
  • Indian Moms Connect – This is an online community for Indian moms. They share stories, tips, recipes, you name it. It’s all user-generated content, which creates an immediate sense of community. Plus, they have great product suggestions embedded within their content.
  • Pace Match – Pace Match helps you find a running partner who lives near you, and whose speed matches yours. This was the result of a developer using her spare time to play with a runner’s API—and she realized that speed was the ultimate data point.
  • ResultCare – An app dedicated to evidence-based medicine. It factors in cost so that clinicians can make smarter decisions. Healthcare is begging for innovation and the fact that this app takes costs into account is the key.
  • Stilla – The smallest security system that fits into your hand. It can link to anything—a door, a bag, a laptop—and it will alert you if the object moves. The ease-of-use aspect here is fascinating. You can use the system for the objects you need, when you need it.
  • Vidcode – A JavaScript coding platform targeted to teens. Platforms like this, that teach code in a fun, respectful manner, are in high demand.
  • Hitlist – Hitlist lets you build wish lists of places you want to travel to. When there are fare deals for those places, Hitlist will send you an alert so you can buy tickets cheap.
  • Control – Control helps businesses manage the payments they receive online from customers. Businesses can manage multiple accounts with Control on different devices (mobile on iOS or Android, or with the desktop web app).
  • Shippo – Shippo wants to shake up the shipping industry by making it cheaper and easier for online marketplaces and merchants to send you your stuff. Shippo’s software lets e-commerce companies connect with different shipping providers to get better rates and labels at a low cost.

If you are one of those women, who dream of starting your own business, but hold back due to certain reasons, get inspired by these women. We at TheGongzuo.com will help you launch your dream. Register at our website for free and let’s get started!

Women Who Rock The Tech World

The tech world is fast-moving, highly competitive and male-dominated. But some of the most prestigious and best-remunerated roles are held by females.  These women are steering in a new era of female tech leadership.Below are the most powerful women in tech from around the world in 2016.

  • Sheryl Sandberg – COO, Facebook – In June 2012, Sheryl Sandberg became the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board of directors. That same year, she made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. She supporting continued growth at Facebook and has also promoted initiatives to address the gender gap within the tech industry and is on the board of Women for Women International.
  • Susan Wojcicki – CEO, Youtube – In 1999, she joined Google as their first marketing manager and worked her way up to senior vice president of Advertising and Commerce. After overseeing Google Video for some time, Susan proposed that the company acquire Youtube (which at the time was a small start-up). She later handled two of Google’s largest acquisitions: the $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube in 2006 and the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007. In February 2014, Susan was appointed CEO of YouTube.
  • Ginni Rometty – CEO, IBM – Ginni heads IBM, serving in the capacities of Chairman, President, and CEO. She is the first woman to do so. Since 1991, she has held various important roles at the company and was appointed CEO and President in October of 2011.
  • Meg Whitman – CEO, Hewlett-Packard – Meg Whitman has a long and varied career, serving as an executive for numerous high-profile companies. During the 1980s, she was vice president of strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company. In the 1990s, she worked for DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. Then, from 1998 to 2008, she served as president and chief executive officer of eBay.
  • Marissa Mayer – CEO, Yahoo – Marissa has been the current president and CEO of Yahoo! since 2012. Prior to her employment with Yahoo!, she worked at Google as an executive and spokesperson for over a decade.
  • Safra Catz – Co-CEO, Oracle – Safra has been with Oracle Corporation since April 1999. In October 2001, she joined the company’s Board of Directors and was named President of Oracle Corporation in early 2004. From November 2005 to September 2008, and from April 2011 to the present, she also served as the company’s CFO. In September of 2014, she became co-CEO, along with colleague Mark Hurd.
  • Angela Ahrendts – SVP, Retail, Apple – Angela is new to the tech industry, but not new to leadership positions. She served as the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014, before leaving to join Apple as the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. In 2014, she was Apple’s highest-paid executive, earning over $70 million.
  • Ursula Burns – Chair-CEO, Xerox – In July 2009, Burns became the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. She had worked for Xerox since 1980, beginning as an intern and climbing through the ranks for the next three decades. President Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Export Council in 2010
  • Ruth Porat – CFO, Google – After working with Morgan Stanley for decades, serving as their Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President from January 2010 to May 2015, Ruth Porat became CFO of Google on May 26, 2015.
  • Renee James – President, Intel – Renee James has worked at Intel for over 25 years, serving in a variety of roles. She became President of Intel Corporation in May 2013. Renee is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent female executives and Intel’s highest-ranking woman ever.

Technology still has a reputation for being a male-dominated field, but these women and many others are proving that gender is no barrier to success.