Kill them with kindness, show some chutzpah – Stephanie Rach’s mom
Do you know what’s better than fancy cars or free money? Interesting people. An unexpected perk of working at Bourke Accounting is the opportunity to interact with interesting people on a regular basis. For example, I recently interviewed two fascinating business owners for Bourke Accounting’s Super Podcast: Marcy Billetter, president of Akamai Management Solutions (and Human Resources guru) and Stephanie Rach, founder of SuperLove Cookies (and Marketing genius). In both cases, we ran out of time; since unasked questions are the saddest, I asked both entrepreneurs if they would be so kind as to entertain just a few more through email. And wouldn’t you know it? They turned out to be so kind.
While our society has certainly progressed, we’re not quite there yet. When asked how she would explain the gender wage gap to upcoming generations, Billetter pointed to the Equal Pay Day model. This model breaks down the number of extra days a woman must work in order to match what a man is paid for the same job. For instance, Black women must work an extra 214 days to catch up; Latinas are looking at 293 days. This isn’t conjecture, this is the sad, stark truth. Billetter mentioned that she would explain the chart using the “language of mathematics – an area where we know that women are not treated with parity…” (Interview). Rach answered that she often tells her daughters that “they have every opportunity to earn equally to others.” Importantly, she counsels them to avoid complaining, to “educate yourself, stay motivated and never fear speaking up for yourself…” (Interview). Between math and good advice, the next generation might have a chance.
Besides the glaring inequality of pay, I asked both women how the working world has treated them. Billetter reported that she was never made to feel “less than” due to her gender. She attributes this to the higher education that allowed her to enter into “white collar professions where males were used to seeing females” (Interview). Additionally, she’s lived and worked in places where “women are financially successful” (Interview). However, Billetter has experienced discrimination based on her age and ethnic heritage by both men and women (Interview). Sheesh! If the left doesn’t take you then the right one will. Rach, just out of college and working in the entertainment industry, experienced sexual harassment disguised as “compliments.” An actor pondered aloud which was sweeter, the cookies Rach provided or Rach herself (Interview). Obviously, speaking to a stranger in an overly familiar and sexualized fashion reeks of weird dominance games. Perhaps even worse was when a female boss took an account away from Rach because the client announced that Rach was the reason for winning the account in the first place (Interview). Rach lamented that, while this woman should have been a mentor, she, instead, became a rival. The experience was so terrible, that Rach eventually quit and (here’s the silver lining) started her own agency.
After speaking with these two successful and interesting women, there is cause for optimism. The news from the trenches is good and both women seem to believe that full equality is on the horizon. Moreover, these business owners are striving to create inclusive and respectful work environments, not just for women, but for everyone. Clearly, they are walking the walk for all of us.
Like the above sages, Bourke Accounting treats clients and employees with respect. Bourke Accounting pros have found that discrimination is rarely interesting and, since Bourke doesn’t like being bored, they don’t engage in it. When you work with a Bourke Accounting expert, you will receive outstanding service and you will be treated with the upmost respect. You can’t ask for more when Bourke gives you all!
Written by Sue H.