If you’ve been dreaming about a pandemic pivot, you are not alone. For many, the months working at home — or worse, left without a job — have led to some serious career contemplation.
Whether it’s seeking new employment or asking for a pay rise or promotion, one thing tends to hold us back: lack of confidence especially for women, says Aussie entrepreneur Meggie Palmer.
There’s a theory, based on a Hewlett Packard report, that women won’t apply for a job until they meet 100 per cent of the criteria listed, whereas men will apply with only 60 per cent of the list ticked off.
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Ms Palmer has made it her mission to bust this female onfidence gap and its ugly friend, impostor syndrome.
That’s the persistent feeling that one’s accomplishments are not good enough and a fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
According to Ms Palmer it’s common even at the highest levels — former first ladies and world-famous actresses included.
“Michelle Obama talks openly about her experiences of feeling like an impostor and so does Emma Watson,” she said.
“Impostor syndrome doesn’t discriminate, even fame doesn’t make it go away. When it sneaks in, it holds you back and robs you of success.
“A very successful Australian businesswoman told me when she was promoted into the CEO role of a $50 million dollar company — she didn’t feel she could ask for a pay rise. Even though she was taking on huge responsibility and had saved the company $3 million in costs, she still didn’t feel worthy to ask for her worth.”
Her business, PepTalkHer, runs workshops to help women build confidence, improve their negotiation skills and know their worth in the workplace.
And she’s launched the PepTalkHer app for tracking your achievements at work — very handy when it comes time for a performance review or a conversation about your role and responsibilities.
“With the tightening job market it’s more important than ever to track your successes, quantify your value and have data to advocate for why your position is essential to the business,” Ms Palmer said.
In STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) qualified industries in Australia, women are under-represented at every stage from high school study through to university and jobs.
Increasing this participation level is the aim of Vogue Codes, spearheaded by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann.
According to Edwina, future-proofing your career means embracing technology, whichever path you take. “We’re all great at adapting to new tech in every part of our personal lives, especially in lockdown,” she said.
“Online shopping, exercise, dating? Tick, tick, and tick. But a career in technology sometimes seems intimidating or out of reach for women. That’s what we want to change with Vogue Codes. It’s our campaign to encourage women to be part of the digital future.”
With a national series of events planned for later in 2020, Vogue Codes kicks off this week with a brand new series of free webinars featuring an inspiring roster of local and international entrepreneurs and business leaders to learn from.
On 18 June, you’ll hear from Priti Joshi, VP of Strategy at Bumble, the dating, friendship and business app based in Austin, Texas.
In July, Kate Morris, the founder of Australian success story Adore Beauty, will give a local perspective on how the lockdown has affected her industry, and what’s next.
Ms Palmer of PepTalkHer will share her insights in August, and September will see Kim Culmone, Head of Design at Mattel, talking about how the much-loved Barbie doll is now driving diversity and inclusion.
If you’ve been dreaming of a different future, now might just be the time to explore what’s possible.
To register for the free events visit vogue.com.au/codes
Details for the annual Vogue Codes Summit, Vogue Codes Live, Vogue Codes Kids and the series of In Conversation Breakfasts will be announced in July.
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