#GirlBoss, Are We There Yet?
#GirlBoss Are We There Yet? Over the next few weeks will are taking a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada/ Profectio community as we discuss gender diversity, and have our guest share advice and thoughts on how women can excel in the business landscape. In our tenth episode we interview with Meredith Gillies, Marketing Manager, Canada at Bumble.
How do you define #GirlBoss?
I totally understand the power of the term and the rallying quality of it, but I sometimes think this term is limiting. Have you ever seen someone use #BoyBoss to describe a top male executive? Leadership comes in so many different forms that should be celebrated! I look forward to a time when we reach a level of equality in the workplace that we no longer have gender tied to someone’s success, and I also appreciate all of the women paving the way for the generations to come.
Was there a moment of pride when a fellow female in a leadership role did something that really inspired you?
I am constantly inspired by what our local and global Bumble teams can accomplish at all levels—not just those in leadership roles. Bumble is special because we have an 85% women-identified work force and while we may be located around the world, everyone collaborates and celebrates each other day-in and day-out. In Toronto I am inspired by our Country Lead, Emily Ramshaw who reminds me to be thoughtful and to make everything that we do meaningful for our users. Our Field Marketing Manager, Katryna Klepacki, constantly teaches me that the sky is the limit and that no idea is too crazy.
Was there a personal moment of pride?
I was once offered a job that I was excited about but the salary was less than what I asked for. In the moment, I was very tempted to take it, thinking that the perks would make up the difference. Ultimately I declined because I didn’t want to undervalue my capabilities. This was a real turning point for me because I realized I needed to have confidence in my work and be compensated fairly for the value I bring.
Any advice for aspiring women who aim to get into leadership roles?
Be confident in what you bring to the company and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or direction. You are responsible for your own career and if you want to make it to the next step, you should know what is expected of you to get there.
Anything that you noticed that might stop more women from excelling to leadership roles?
I think in PR specifically, it is so easy to get caught up in what is going on around you and wanting to be in the know and in the action (I was very guilty of this!) but at the end of the day, this won’t advance your career. Work hard and keep your head down – it’s easy to compare yourself to other colleagues, and always feel like you deserve more, but ultimately the hard work will get noticed and a petty attitude will get you nowhere.
Two tips on how women can get recognized in the corporate world?
I think that more companies need to arm their staff with the tools of knowing what to ask for and how to make their case for a raise. Bumble hosted a negotiating course for its staff because senior leaders realized that the women at the company weren’t asking for raises and promotions when they should have been. More companies should empower and reward their staff fairly, instead of making the reviews and promotions process anxiety inducing.
When it comes to getting recognized, I believe that being a yes person who will lend a hand to anyone at the company, whether an intern or the president, will always pay off.
Who is a woman that you admire who has “crushed it” through successful having a strong work-life-balance?
I really admire my friend Lindsay Woods who is a Lawyer at Lerners LLP. Since she’s starting out her career in law, the idea of having a work-life balance isn’t as realistic for her but I think she does everything she can to find time for friends + family while still focusing on her career. It’s amazing to watch her advance in her industry.
Equal pay has been an issue is the news more and more, will there be a time where equal pay is universal?
With the current status of the wage gap, it’s hard to imagine a world where everyone is paid equally but I am hopeful this comes sooner rather than later. Canadian women earn 88 cents for every dollar a man makes and the wage gap widens for women of colour, indigenous women, and trans women. Because of this, on April 9, which is Pay Equity Day in Ontario, Bumble Bizz will ask leaders at companies across Canada to join us by pledging their time to support the women in their communities and fight for pay equity for all. We will also have coffee trucks in Ottawa and Toronto where men will be asked to donate $1.00 and women will be asked for $0.88 to emphasize the nature of “market price”. All proceeds will go directly to Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl campaign.