Andrea Edwards paid a visit to CEL Solicitors to host a Female Empowerment session, where she provided tips for negotiating salary, asking for a pay rise, and how positive self-talk can increase your confidence.
Who is Andrea Edwards?
Andrea Edwards is an award-winning business owner and business coach with an extensive 14-year long portfolio. Co-founder of The Interesting Eating Company, Andrea owns multiple eateries in Liverpool, such as 52 Rose Lane Bistro and Tusk.
Andrea is also a Director of MOVE, an online platform which offers business coaching, online courses, and networking events.
International Equal Pay Day
The ‘gender pay gap’ is an indicator of the inequality between men and women’s salaries. International Equal Pay Day is held on the 18th September each year to raise awareness of this issue, with the goal of ending gender pay discrimination and thus closing the gender pay gap.
In light of this, Andrea was invited into the office to present a Female Empowerment session where she provided the team with the tools to feel confident discussing pay and negotiating salary. She also touched on a wide range of empowering subjects, such as vulnerability, goal setting, and the importance of a positive mindset.
Gaining Confidence Within the Workplace
Discussing pay within the workplace can be difficult, so people tend to proceed with caution, or avoid the interaction all together. This in turn, lowers their confidence when asking for what they want. Putting out a poll to the audience, the business coach asked how many of the women felt confident enough to put forward their honest opinions and salary expectations in an appraisal meeting. Those who did not raise their hands were asked to explain why.
‘I feel like my voice wouldn’t be heard.’
‘I have a fear of being misunderstood.’
‘I fear that my opinion would affect my job.’
‘My opinion isn’t likely to make a difference, so I just prefer to get on with things.’
To mitigate these types of insecurities, Andrea encouraged the women to practice building a positive mindset through swapping out negative thoughts for positive affirmations and practicing neuro-linguistic programming.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach to communication and development. NLP uses perceptual, behavioural, and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions, and therefore achieve specific goals in life. As an NLP practitioner, Andrea encouraged the team to practice NLP as it can change the way we think and feel, thus reducing negative aspects of our thinking.
Andrea also highlighted that strong and transparent frameworks must be present at HR level so that employees can feel confident broaching this subject.
The Positive Impact on Staff
The team had a willingness to learn from the Andrea as she was able to provide key insight into a topic that is often regarded as ‘taboo’. Andrea gave the women a framework for navigating these difficult conversations. She highlighted the significance of goal setting, speaking your mind, and using vulnerability as a strength. The team were unanimous in feeding back that Andrea’s talk instilled confidence and was a reassurance that they are not alone in the problems they face in their personal and professional lives.
‘The talk provided a comfortable environment and I took a lot from the discussion. It brought the women of the office together. Bonding over similar situations was very refreshing.’
‘Looking at the reasons women might be afraid to voice their contribution and demonstrate their value was insightful and revealed that, by and large, we all experience a lot of the same feelings.’
‘I thought it was important that this event wasn’t about men versus women or staff versus employers. There are a lot of factors that determine your journey and it’s about the being the best version of yourself.’
Commenting on the visit, owner and Director, Jessica Hampson said:
‘Andrea was highly recommended by a well-respected female entrepreneur, who is also one of Andrea’s mentees. From the moment I met Andrea, I was drawn to her. I enjoyed learning from her vast business and personal wisdom. I respected Andrea’s female perspective on harmonizing what is right for you in the context of a work-life balance.
As a business owner, Andrea has given me a lot to think about. She was our most well-received speaker as she created a safe and inclusive environment whereby female colleagues felt empowered to speak up and ask questions.
I believe my law firm and management team will continue to greatly benefit from Andrea’s insight.’