March was Women’s History Month, and it’s the perfect time to reflect on the generations upon generations of women whose commitment to education, equality, the planet, technology, and public service (among many other things!) has helped to shape society. As a woman working to support other women to succeed as entrepreneurs and in other business ventures, here are the thoughts that are top of mind for me Women’s History Month:
On Equal Pay
I wish equal pay was an area that we didn’t have to talk about anymore in 2014, but if you want to help close the salary gap, the best thing you can do is ask for what you’re worth. Don’t get me wrong; we have come a long way in closing the pay gap. In 1963, women earned just 59 cents per dollar earned by men. Today, we’ve shortened that difference and now earn 81 cents on the dollar compared with men. This is something I’m quite passionate about, and it’s up to women to go ahead and ask for what we’re worth, so that pay inequality eases even more in years to come. For women in the workforce, taking charge of your own career empowers you not only to grow financially, but professionally as well. April 9th is National Equal Pay Day, so what better way to celebrate? The timing is perfect. Get out there and go for it!
On Being a Leader
Being a leader is being passionate about an idea that allows you to change hearts and minds. It’s being a person that others choose to follow because they want to, not because they have to. You don’t need to be a CEO or president of your university to be a leader. You have the ability to lead in your own life each and every day. Even a small change will define you as a person and everyone around you will benefit.
On Taking Risks
It’s great that more women are out there taking risks and being heard, and we can continue this by being bolder and more confident. I want to see women embrace their inner confidence. I know it can be challenging, or even scary, but I also know that it is in each and every one of us and it is possible. Every time you step outside of yourself and your comfort zone, you are opening up for new experiences that help you to grow as an individual and help outwardly change the conversation.
On Becoming an Expert
You may not even know it, but you are an expert! Not on everything, but on the things about which you are passionate, and more often than not, in the same areas in which you are a leader. There are times when I don’t feel like I’m an expert, but when I talk to others, I realize that sometimes a piece of advice comes out in a way that may be valuable to someone else. Being an expert isn’t about being arrogant, but about being open to network and share ideas. By becoming an expert, you are valuing yourself, and sharing that value with others. Tapping into and sharing your expertise with others can reap tremendous rewards, help you stretch your limits and develop as a leader.
Gabrielle Boko is Executive Vice President of marketing for Sage North America. Born and raised in Alaska, Gabrielle (“Gabie”) Boko has innovation in her blood, and has built her career in marketing, sales, and channel development with leading technology innovators. Gabie brings that passion for growth companies to her role as executive vice president of marketing for Sage North America, a company focused on helping small and medium sized companies realize their ambitions and achieve success.