Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to the White House for a women's summit called the "UNITED STATE OF WOMEN".
It was an honor to be involved in the conversation about the advancement and equality of women. We had a chance to workshop about a number of issues like equal pay, maternal leave and equal opportunity for women of color. I also got to hear the President's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett talk about her life and career. If you don't know who she is, google. Overall I was blown away by what a large portion of the President and First lady's staff were a.) women and b.) women of color. It was so beautiful and refreshing. Im really sad to see his term ending, but so thankful that all the rad efforts they started will ensue.
There were too many take aways to share, but one that stuck with me was in regards to equal pay. Women in this country still get paid less than men for holding the same positions. One of the conversations we had was based around the fact that women don't really ask for promotions/raises. Typically, we do our best at a job, and wait for our boss or employer to offer us a promotion once they think we deserve it. However, it was shared that men, almost always ask for and seek promotions and raises. We determined that part of the issue is due to the fact that as women we need to know our value and always seek out opportunities to advance by ASKING. It was also shared that a lot of women don't negotiate with an employer when they are initially offered a salary. Its good to know that offers are always negotiable, so aim high ladies! In the workforce we are usually the most important asset to a company, and paid the least.
After my day at the White House, I had a few hours left in D.C. before heading home, and I was lucky enough to be there at the peak of Cherry Blossom season. It was the most incredible/beautiful/dope/amazing thing ever!!!! The story is that Japan gifted the US with the trees as a peace offering after bombing San Francisco. They line the entire city, and add so much beauty and happiness. :)