Category Archives: Women’s Careers


Why more women need MONEY as a VALUE & its BENEFITS!

03b62859Having being a career coach for well over a decade and worked with a diverse range of clients from various industries and professions  (men and women), more often than not it is the men who include money in their list of core values. Occasionally women will, however, only very occasionally.  Why is this?  Below I have offered some thoughts.

Values Defined

Values can be seen as blurry things. If you need a refresher then below is a great descriptor of what values are from MindTools.

“Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.”

 If you are not sure what your core values are read ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’ and complete the values exercise.

Values & Greed!

For women it seems that having money as one of your core values could possibly translate into the view that your greedy. Is this perception or reality?  I suspect a combination of the two.

When I coach  men in their 20s – 50’s about their values in detail and what this means to them, and how it is played out in their work and lives, more often than not money translates into them being able to provide for their current or future families. And no, it is not a luxury yacht, expensive cars or endless overseas travel. It mostly is around having food on the table, paying the bills, a comfortable lifestyle and being able to educate their children.  No doubt part of this also relates to status and a sense of self-worth.

So while certainly greed exists, I would suggest for the average person, they are looking to have a personally rewarding career and lifestyle. Is this greedy?  I don’t think so. However men are much more comfortable with acknowledging this personal value, and articulating it publicly. For many women this is not the case. In addition, men generally are better at putting a fair or inflated monetary value on their contribution in the workplace.

Is it that it is not socially acceptable for women to acknowledge (which I believe is a part of it), the other is that women are just as likely to want the same output in terms of what money as a value offers.  However, are less likely to acknowledge it – be it on a conscious or sub-conscious level. As a result this could potentially be contributing to pay inequality, with men four times as likely to initiate the negotiations as women.

My suspicion is that if you don’t talk about or acknowledge the importance of money in your life from a growth and opportunity perspective, you are less likely to find yourself in a positive money situation.


Money is one of my core values and the reasoning is not one of greed.  For me it is twofold, when I work I expect to be paid fairly for the work I do, as this is a part of me defining my self-worth. Secondly, I know that as a child of a migrant, that money provides you with choices.  My husband and I lead a far from lavish lifestyle.  There is no designer car or high end fashion. We travel rarely and when we do it is in our own state. However for me the value of money is there because like most parents we hope to be able to offer our children the best education we can. I would also like to know that when retirement comes we will lead a comfortable lifestyle where I can continue to do voluntary work within the community. Is this greedy? No, it is a case of money offering choices.

Women’s roles & money

In an age where we have more women working and more separations in families, women’s roles have extended greatly, be it the sole, equal or shared income contributor. Yet this is not translating into equal salaries.

There is an element of denial in how important money is to our lives particularly by many women. Not so much when it comes to shopping, saving or the household budget, more around how the money is earned! The spending part is easy for us all to speak about. The how and valuing how hard it is to earn is the challenge. Also, valuing our contributions and asking to be paid more when warranted!

Last week I met with a friend who is a contender for a senior role and has pitched herself in the middle range of what they are offering – even though she is brilliant and should be pitching herself at the top of the pay scale! Sadly it is a common scenario – a women undervaluing her expertise and the value she brings.

Like me, you have no doubt heard the saying ‘If you do what you enjoy and do it well the money will follow’. I am not so sure about that. Perhaps for some, however, for many others this does not translate into their reality.  I can tell you this from countless stories of women who spent their careers being loyal and working hard to deliver value to their employer/s and not being paid fairly for doing so.  So we can carry on with this mantra or we can acknowledge that the world of work and pay is not about what is fair and rewarding those who do a good job.  The onus is on us to value ourselves and to speak up.

I would love to see a mindset shift around how women define money as a value for their work and lives.  Once this occurs we may start to see some even greater traction around pay equality.

Steps for Change

Chances are if you are reading this you may sit into one of the groups below or know someone who does that you would like to help.

A) For those unsure of their core values:

If you are keen to explore your values in more detail, complete my values exercise ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’ and complete the values exercise. 

B) For those with money blockers:

If you know what your core values are, however have been reluctant to delve more into your value and attitudes towards money watch 4 Money Beliefs That Limit Your Wealth Inside and Out w/ Kate Northrup 

C) For those wanting to negotiate their salary:

If you feel you are not being paid fairly and want to learn how to successfully negotiate your salary package, get a copy of my book ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’ from Amazon   It’s less than $10 and pretty much everyone who has purchased and followed the steps has seen their bank balance and their confidence grow.

Your thoughts

What are your views and/or experiences around women and money as a value? How have you changed this? What do you believe women need to be doing more of to overcome some of the money blockers we have?


Women & Confidence! How to Get More of the Good Stuff!

02J80136confidenceThroughout my career as a coach, there is an ongoing theme when working with women – which comes back to a lack of confidence.

While there is a string of reasons why this is the case – most of which we are all familiar with;

  • Conscious & Un-Conscious Bias
  • Society & Cultural Norms
  • Over Personalising Set Backs
  • Personality Traits
  • Personality Type
  • Perfectionism
  • Under estimating our abilities
  • And so on…………

It is so great to read an article with some lovely practical suggestions to help build women’s confidence in an entertaining fashion.  The article by Julia Baird is titled Why you should carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man and is one that all women lacking in confidence should read. It is well worth the time.

Julia Baird writes  about knowing your values to help ground you (something I am a strong advocate of for men & women to be aware of). If you are not sure what yours are, you can do a complimentary values exercise on my blog, ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’

Having clarity of your core values forms part of the foundation of who you are and helps in building self- confidence. In the article there is a wonderful suggestion for when your confidence is lacking particularly when speaking or appearing somewhere:
– Ask yourself, who are you
– Why you are there,
– What you stand for. Then speak from that place.

There are some great tools and resources about to assist in growing your self-confidence from Ted Talks such as that by Amy Cuddy on ‘Power Posing’, through to ‘The Confidence Code’ book by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay. In addition many coaches, counsellors and psychologists work with clients around building confidence.

Contact me for information about coaching support to help build your confidence.

How to Adopt an Agile Approach to Your Career

career planning old new

The world of work is no longer predictable. We live in a time that has been termed VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity).  For a lot of professions, the way that we once managed our careers is no longer applicable. The traditional ‘ladder style’  career management model may work for some, such as those who join accounting or legal firms and look to follow the partnership path.  However, for a lot of us, we need to adopt a more agile approach to how we manage our careers if we want to experience a personally and financially fulfilling career.  Our professions may be in flux, evolving and new streams emerging, or we may look to adopt a portfolio or flexible approach to how we manage our careers – all of which require an agile approach.

Realistically we can expect to change jobs every 3-4 years, which may involve a job or career change through choice or redundancy.  I use the analogy of a game of snakes and ladders to represent the agile career management model.  It is certainly a positive model as it represents fun, opportunities and choices.  We may be climbing one ladder to find that we have reached the top and look to take on a new challenge in a different field. We may lose our job and slide down a snake, however there are lots of ladders (opportunities) around us that we can jump on board.  The key theme around an agile model is to ensure that your values are being met and that you are experiencing a sense of purpose in the work that you do.  It requires a letting go of the old ideas about how a career should look!  Your career should look just as you want it to. There are no right or wrong careers, there are only people who are engaged and satisfied in their work and those who are not!

Working in today’s market requires a degree of self-awareness, understanding where you can add value and having a more opportunistic and strategic approach to your career. The ability to re-invent ourselves as the need arises and ensuring that we have a positive and accurate personal brand in the marketplace. It is about working in your job and also making time each week to be working on your career.

What style of career management will work best for you?

The Right Way To Ask For A Raise


As we come to the end of the year, many of us think about our goals for the new year.  An increase in income is often a big one for a lot of us.  I am thrilled to share that my friend Susie Moore is offering some awesome free video training on “The Right Way To Ask For A Raise”.  Susie coaches a lot of people on confidence and how to ask for what you want and when it comes to money it’s so important to speak up!  There is evidence that those who consistently negotiate a raise earn $1M more over the course of our career.

Here is her first free video on why you have to ask for a raise if you are confident that you deserve one. Click here:

Over the next few days you will see a couple of more free videos with even more key insights – covering what not asking is really costing you and what 3 key things that need to be in place before you ask for more money at work.

Be on the lookout for a special free bonus gift that I have created in support of this important subject. All of those who sign up for the series will receive a complimentary copy of my book, The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation.


How Chanel’s Style Advice Can Help You in Your Next Salary Negotiation

quotescover-JPG-62While fashion icon Coco Chanel is remembered largely for being a style icon, she was also an incredibly savvy self-made business woman. She had an impoverished upbringing, yet she was clear about her unique creative gifts and the value she had to offer the world.  She was willing to back herself in business which was particularly unusual in 1913 when she opened her first store with the financial backing of a made (is made correct?) admirer (she paid off the loan a few years later). She also was an innovator and took calculated risks, from establishing and growing high end fashion stores, to creating the perfume Chanel 5 in a time when perfume was not worn by most of the population.   Chanel made many bold decisions over her career, which were largely the right one’s that led to this amazing lady creating one of the most renowned fashion houses in the word.

Chanel has many wonderful quotes that relate to fashion, business and life with one of my favourite quotes being, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”.  It is one of the quotes which transcends fashion and is just a pertinent to how women should approach salary negotiation. Let me explain.

Just as Chanel is highlighting in her quote that sometimes women can overdo it when we dress up to go out by adding too much to our outfits – the same applies to when women enter into the salary negotiation. We can overdo it by having too many items we want to negotiate and being too verbose and over justifying why we deserve them in the salary negotiation process.

My advice is to approach the negotiation as the great Chanel would have done. She would go in confidently, clear of her agenda and business case and she would execute the negotiation with just the right amount of information.  She would be sure of the value that she brings to her current or prospective employer and would be confident in asking to be paid her worth – because she would know exactly what it was.

As highlighted, being too verbose in salary package discussions is an approach that women sometimes use, but that is off-putting to decision makers. Having long lists of wishes and lengthy justifications for a pay increase can result in an immediate “No”. Consider your audience and their work style. If your boss is sharp and straight to the point, your salary negotiation pitch should also be sharp and to the point. Being clear and concise will more likely result in achieving the outcomes you want.

The three key things to remember when negotiating your salary package include;

  • Confidence – even if you have to ‘Fake It Till You Make It’
  • Business Case – research & prepare a compelling business case to justify the increase
  • Keep It Simple – don’t over complicate it or over personalise it

The financial situation for women has advanced since Chanel opened her first store over a hundred years ago, however women still remain underpaid in contrast to their male contemporaries.

When negotiating think of Chanel. Don’t overdress and certainly don’t over justify and overdo the salary negotiation discussion.

Kelly is the Author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation which you can purchase on Amazon. Start being paid what your worth! 


Equal Pay Day (4th September) Get Your Complimentary Salary Negotiation Book

Workbook_CoverEqual Pay Day –  It’s Time to Have Equal Pay Packets 

“In April 2009, BPW Australia determined to galvanise advocacy around the issue of equal pay and gender inequity started the Equal Pay Day Campaign.” At this time I was fortunate to be involved with BPW in Melbourne on Bourke Street, handing out information and obtaining signatures for the campaign. It was hugely successful.  In July 2009 BPW Australia reached a landmark agreement with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) signing a Memorandum of Understanding to form the Equal Pay Alliance.

‘In 2015, the national gender pay gap was 17.9%.  This has not shifted in the last 20 years. Another way to look at this statistic is that the average woman would have to work an additional 64 days per year to earn the same as the average man.’ Click to view statistics source

Some of the issues that contribute to wage inequality will not be easily resolved and will take time before we see real changes. However, there are a few areas women can take control of to assist in addressing the imbalance. These all revolve around negotiation of salary; be that for full time or part time work, a bonus, added benefits or asking for above award wages.

Studies undertaken on this topic across the globe show that women are highly uncomfortable with salary negotiation – as a result we avoid it.  Even when we do enter into a salary negotiation we don’t actively seek out the best deal for ourselves, but rather look to a positive outcome for both parties.

Some key facts include –

  • Men initiate negotiations about four times as often as women.
  • Many women are so grateful to be offered a job that they accept what they are offered and don’t negotiate their salaries
  • Women report salary expectations between 3 and 32 percent lower than those of men for the same jobs.

If any of the above facts ring true for you, I would like to encourage you to download my complimentary copy of the e-book The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation 

Note: The book is complimentary from the 4th to the 9th September on Amazon.

To find out more visit Equal Pay Day 


Our Fear Can Keep Us Stuck In a Worklife Rut – Can Asking For A 10% Discount Off Your Next Coffee Get You Out Of The Rut?

02J68316 ‘The Tim Ferris Experiment’ is a great business show by Tim Ferris author of The 4 Hour Work Week. The show opens with him talking about fear and how it holds so many of us back from doing things that are important to us – from changing jobs or careers, to setting up a business or asking for a pay increase.

One of the people on the show is a women who is considering setting up her own yoga studio. Tim Ferris and Co give her the task of going into a café and ordering a coffee, asking for 10% off. The women is fearful of going in and asking for the discount.  They ask her if people ask her for discounts ever (she is a freelance yoga instructor).  She does not reply however you get the sense that they do. The penny seems to drop and she goes for it.

The key to overcoming fear is to face it head on, which she does. Research suggests that if you don’t act on the decision to do something out of your normal routinue within 5 seconds, chances are you won’t act. So there is only a small window of opportunity each time to convince yourself to move out of our comfort zone.

It is a small step, asking for a discount on a coffee however for the woman it is a pretty big thing.  She goes into the café and passively asks “Can I order a coffee with 10% off? Would that be ok?”  The assistant gives her the discount and asks “What is the occasion?”  What appeared completely daunting became a little bit of fun.  Plus she got what she wanted.   The show goes on with more of her fears being tackled and coaching to get her business up and running.

The point is that we all experience fear – even the most successful people, they just know how to manage it and don’t let it hold them back from achieving the life they want.  Overcoming fear is a major blocker  for so many people in their worklife which is understandable.  The difference is that to achieve the worklife we want we need to take small steps towards achieving our goals -which entails overcoming our fear one step at a time.

There is nothing wrong with actively asking for what we need to achieve our worklife goals. When you do this authentically, with confidence and focus how effective it is. Just start small and build up. Start by asking for 10% off your next coffee order!

Incidentally when it comes to salary negotiation, it is generally accepted that employers are willing to pay an additional 10% above the salary they say is on offer when recruiting for a new role!

Kelly is the Author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation

Equal Pay for Australian Women – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Get” The Tipping Point

weekend australian



‘In 2013, the national gender pay gap was 17.5%.  This has not shifted in the last 20 years. Another way to look at this statistic is that the average woman would have to work an additional 64 days per year to earn the same as the average man.’ Click to view statistics source

When the average Australian woman has to work an additional 2 months a year to achieve the same salary as the average Australian man, there is a problem.  If you think it sounds a bit dismal, you are right, and let’s not even mention our comparative superannuation payouts upon retirement, which are nothing to get excited about, and our longer average lifespan.

Women represent more than half the workforce – 50.5%. Their choice of occupation has some bearing on the difference in average pay (Mining Sector at the top for wages, and Food and Accommodation at the other end). Sadly women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation and the gap increases the higher up the corporate ladder. We know that the pay gap has little to do with our intelligence and level of competence. It has a lot to do with our lack of confidence! But it is from the whole story.

Click to read my full article published in The Weekend Australian Newspaper or online. 





Kelly Magowan is the author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation available on Amazon and CreateSpace.




And So It Goes…. The Pay Gap Continues To Grow

In today’s Herald Sun there was an article by Jessica Marszalek,the ‘Pay gap just gets bigger.’

According to the ABS it seems that the gender pay gap in Australia is not closing in – rather it is expanding considerably, across all industries. Healthcare has seen the biggest pay gap of $600 amongst those classed as professionals.

The average working full time male in Australia now receives $1678 per week while the average women receives $1307.

There are various reasons as to why this pay gap exists – from choice of occupation, to gender bias, through to women engaging in less negotiation discussions than men. Men initiate salary discussion 4 times more than women.  Certainly food for thought.

Is it time to have a salary negotiation with your employer?

Salary Negotiation Coaching Service
If you are new to Salary Negotiation or find yourself in unfamiliar territory The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation will provide you with all the tools you need to get started.

Visit Amazon to purchase The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation

Alternatively contact me to find out about my ‘Salary Negotiation Coaching Service’. 

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17 Career Management Tips for Women

03B68299While it seems managing our careers is just another thing we need to do in our already busy lives, the reality is, that like ourselves, our careers are hopefully always evolving and our salaries growing!

That said, it can be difficult to ensure we are focusing on the right areas for developing our expertise and our career growth.  Review the 17 areas below and take note of what you are doing that is aligned, and of the areas you need to create an action plan for improving over the next six months.

  1. PERFORM efficiently those job responsibilities which will help your boss the most.
  2. FIND OUT what your boss regards as good performance in your job role. It may differ from your current opinion.
  3. MASTER your position as quickly as possible and pass your knowledge onto another person. This will prevent lack of suitable successors stopping your next internal job move chances.
  4. LEARN to like yourself and value all the talents, attributes and experiences you bring. Put yourself into the spotlight so others can see, respect and take notice of you.
  5. STEP OUTSIDE the confines of your position description responsibilities; make sure your actions are regarded as constructive initiatives—not just attention seeking.
  6. DON’T accept a job move if the role involves a lot of responsibilities you don’t like. We all perform better when doing things we enjoy and using skills which we prefer to use.
  7. EXPAND opportunities for those in influential positions to learn more about you by achieving success in outside work activities such as in community service organisations and/or personal development studies.
  8. IDENTIFY a well-regarded person in a senior position where you work who could be a potential sponsor and who you could seek career advancement advice.
  9. SUGGEST thoroughly prepared recommendations—not criticisms—for problems within your employment environment.
  10. DEVELOP your skills at interpersonal relationships; accept the fact that ‘office politics’ exist; re-examine your personal values regularly so that when faced with ethical dilemmas at work you will know what to do without procrastination.
  11. RECOGNISE that ability alone will not advance your career—persistence, hard work, careful planning and being seen as personally ambitious, but an effective team worker, will.
  12. SMILE a lot. Others notice and favour people with happy but conscientious dispositions. The despondent people are often regarded as too risky to move to new positions.
  13. ENSURE you have a good variety of interests outside work to prevent stress of your efforts bringing you hard.
  14. PRACTISE self-nomination. Don’t wait to be offered new job roles. Let it be known the role/s you want and present your case for why you’re the best candidate.
  15. PLAN for more than one career path. Ensure you develop skills and knowledge for different directions for your career development and eligibility for them.
  16. CHANGE employers after you have done the research and looked at your options objectively.  Accept a new position factoring in everything from pay, to developing new knowledge, career repositioning, education and so on.
  17. NEGOTIATE your salary whenever opportunities arise such as performance review and salary review time. In the event your employer does not arrange these, be sure to schedule them directly once a year at a minimum.

Actions: Take note of which of the 17 steps you have chosen to work on developing. It is recommended that you don’t choose more than 4.

  • List which four have you chosen.
  • What help will you require and from who in order to accomplish these improvements?
  • Document a plan for implementing these changes over the next 6 months.

About the Author

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach and has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space. Kelly has been working in the arena of Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Career and Executive Coaching for over 17 years. Initially focusing on commercial recruitment, and later moving into corporate Human Resources working with Ernst & Young and General Electric. Since 2012 Kelly has been working part time at Melbourne Business School as a Careers Consultant assisting the Senior Executive MBA students, MBA Students and Alumni in securing their next rewarding role and/or embarking on a new career. In addition she continues to successfully grow her own Careers Consultancy and speak on the topic of Salary Negotiation for Women.  In addition she is the author of ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’.