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HousingWire Magazine: December 2021/ January 2022

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This webinar will be a discussion on understanding what’s to come in the future of mortgage lending by analyzing past trends in the industry, evolving consumer behaviors and demographics of the industry’s production capacity.

Logan Mohtashami on Omicron and pending home sales

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Girlfunds

MBA’s Marcia Davies on the power of supporting women

Here are some things women can do to champion each other

This HousingWire Daily podcast transcription features a crossover episode from HousingWire’s Girlfunds podcast. In this episode, Marcia Davies, chief operating officer at the Mortgage Bankers Association and  HousingWire Women of Influence winner, talks about the power of leadership and what women can do to better support other women. 

During the episode, Davies shares her own journey in dealing with “imposter syndrome,” as well as actionable tips for women just starting their career.

Listen to the full episode here or below and make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:

Brena Nath: Like we said earlier, we couldn’t be more excited to have Marcia Davies on the podcast today. For those who are not familiar with her or the mortgage industry, even though I think a lot of us has touched different parts and pieces of the mortgage and housing finance ecosystem, she is the Chief Operating Officer for the Mortgage Bankers Association. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner. And before joining HUD, Davies spent 21 years at Freddie Mac, where she held a variety of officer positions in communications, customer outreach, marketing, service or relations, and policy.

This is one part that I know we’ll probably dig into a little bit more on the podcast but wanted to know kind of what it is here as well. But Davies is the founder of mPower, MBA promoting opportunities for women to extend their reach and be this networking platform for women in the real estate finance industry. Under her leadership, mPower has grown into an engaged community of more than 24,000 people providing best-in-class conference and webinar programming, networking events, and online opportunities to stay engaged. Through mPower, more women are positioned to achieve leadership positions and are well represented in all segments of the industry.

Also, I wanted to know that she is a member of the NAWRB in our Diversity Inclusion Leadership Council and DILC. Davies is also a member of Women in Housing Finance and the International Women’s Leadership Association. I wanted to shout those out as just kind of extra kudos to who she is and how she’s founded such an amazing organization that we’ll dig into later. So to start, just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today, Davies.

Marcia Davies: Oh, Brena, thank you so much. And I’m really delighted that you have been to so many mPower events. That means that you’re taking the time out of a very busy day to invest in yourself. And that’s a lesson I wish I had learned earlier in my career.

Brena Nath: Yeah, and I appreciate you. I know I keep saying appreciate, but even you hosting them. So kind of the first question we kind of start this podcast with is always kind of your best piece of financial advice, but wanted to tail one other piece into that. Because I remember it was a luncheon, maybe it was two years ago at the mPower event. And you had a guest speaker there who had a whole book and she just listed out a whole bunch of stats on females in the workforce, not just mortgage industry. And that really resonated with me.

So selfishly, I also added a second part to this question about a statistic that has stuck out to you since that was something from your events that stuck out to me. So first part of that question is, what’s the best piece of financial advice that you’ve ever received? And then on top of that, what’s just like one statistic on females in the workforce that has stood out to you?

Marica Davies: Well, I will say the best piece of financial advice I got, and I am speaking to all of the women out there who are listening, is never delegate decisions about your finances to anyone else. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t consult financial advisors. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t take input from your spouse or significant other. What I am saying is do your research and make informed decisions on your own with all of that input. I know we can get very busy and things are going on in our lives. And it’s easy to say, “Oh, can you just handle that?” Or, “If you think that’s a good idea, yeah, let’s change my risk profile.”

And what I’m saying is, it’s so important to manage your finances, no matter how busy you are. And it’s important for you to do your own research to make sure you know your risk tolerance. And you know what future you want planned and how your finances come into play with that. So I just say, stay actively involved and make sure you’re taking all of the information in, but you and you alone are making the final decisions.

Now, on the second part of that question, statistics and fun facts. Yes, you’re thinking, you are at the servicing conference, and I know exactly the speaker that you’re talking about. And we do like to spend some time talking about the power and influence of women. And our goal is to make sure not only that women understand the impact we have, but also that our allies and other colleagues understand the impact we have.

And when I started mPower, now we’re going back more than five years, I used to cite catalysts data, which said simply Fortune 500 companies with 3 or more women on their board experience nearly a 50% higher return on equity in only 5 years. And Fortune 1000 companies with women CEOs, and we know there weren’t that many of them, performed 3 times better than benchmark S&P 500.

Now that was what I used to start with. But recently, a Harvard Business Review report caught my eye. So, listen to this, companies with the most ethnically diverse leadership teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. And specifically speaking to women, those with executive-level gender diversity worldwide had a 21% higher likelihood of outperforming their industry competitors. So the data stands the test of time and highlights how diversity, and specifically gender diversity and leadership, is good business. So simply stated, the more diverse your leadership team is overall, the more profitable and successful your company will be.

Sarah Wheeler: I love that. And, you know, we’ve been tracking that similar thing. We’ve had our Women of Influence. We’ve probably had that award program for seven years now at HousingWire. And we started that in a similar way to be like, how can we recognize the people who are doing such great work and tracking that sort of those sort of stats about what that means to have women in leadership in our industry.

And that goes into my next question, which is, you have this impressive background, you’ve been in the industry for a long time. And people who may not know this, the mortgage industry, for a very long time has been predominantly male, especially in the leadership in the mortgage industry. So it’s so great to have Davies as a female leader. So let me ask you, what was it like starting out in our industry as a woman? And then, you know, what changes are you seeing, you know, in the last few years?

Marcia Davies: Well, Sarah, you’re so right. It was. And a lot of times, there are still pockets in the industry that are male dominated. And that was not unique to mortgage finance, right? A lot of industries were male dominated. I started way back 30 years ago. And you’re right, there weren’t many women in the industry.

And as I grew in my career, there became more and more frequent times when I was the only woman in the room. And I didn’t have a network of other women that I could go to and bounce ideas off of, or to talk about challenges I was having. And so, you did have to learn how to navigate the workplace and this industry kind of not only on your own, but a little bit of trial and error.

And what would have been helpful is having a group like mPower, or more women around where we could talk about what we were facing and problem solve together and make sure that our male counterparts were aware of some of the things that we were facing in the workplace. And I think about the imposter syndrome. Do you know what I’m talking about when I refer to the imposter syndrome? It’s that little voice in your head that makes you question, “Can I do this? Should I really be here? I was ‘lucky’ to get here.”

It would have been helpful as I was navigating my career to know that that was a real thing. I just thought it was my own, you know, self-doubt. And I was the only one who was having that. It would have been helpful to talk to other women and say, “This is what goes on in my head,” to have somebody… Sarah, you’re nodding. I know and say, “Yes, I have that too.” And it doesn’t really have anything to do with our abilities, right? It has all of the inside chatter we have to overcome and trust in our abilities and our successes.

So I do think that this next generation that’s in the workplace, hopefully, we are laying a foundation that makes it easier for them in the workplace. And I think that groups like mPower and all of the other groups that have been created in organizations to support women and diversity will keep these conversations going so we can have a successful and inclusive environment in our industry.

Brena Nath: That word imposter syndrome is something, to your point, that when it finally… Maybe if someone, whoever created or the history behind that word, finally put kind of feelings behind something. And I appreciate, the reason why I love having you on the podcast and last week we had Sue Yannaccone on the podcast and it’s being able to hear from women leaders, like just genuine, like hearing a leader say, “I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome really just helps someone like me realize, you know, we’re not alone.

And I think bringing words into the conversation rather than just thinking, “I’m probably the only one that’s dealing with it.” But like watching people who do inspire me also go through that is just so relatable and good to hear. So I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciate that. And even I think, Victoria, our producer, Sarah, and I are thankful because the three of us have this special connection because of the podcast because we have been able to have more conversations to your point.

I’m going to the next question, maybe selfish for me to, I would love your answer for this one. Which is like, how can we create more opportunities within our industry? And some of these might be universal, it doesn’t have to apply just our mortgage industry, a lot of industries could use these tips, to create more space for other women to succeed and to succeed and lead.

Marcia Davies: I think that’s a great question. And I love being asked questions that are actionable, right? So I think we need to mentor, sponsor, and lift women up. It sounds simple. But as, you know, when everybody’s busy at work, sometimes you forget that you need to make the time to sponsor and lift other women up.

And if you’re fortunate enough to be in a leadership role, I do believe it’s your responsibility to send that elevator back down and lift other women up so that they can have opportunities. And they can really have the advantage of someone investing in them to make sure that they are successful and they can thrive. So those are some of the first things I can think of.

The other thing is, we have to be able to sponsor and support women. So you may have a colleague who, whether young or could be a seasoned professional, who doesn’t often speak up for the great work that they’re doing. And so when you’re in a meeting, and that’s appropriate to mention that Sally did this amazing work where people are aware of it, we should leverage it, or whatever it is, you need to be the person who can sponsor that woman when they’re not in the room and also help advocate for them.

As women, we are not usually strong advocates for ourselves, right? We assume our good work is just going to be recognized. Well, ladies, we have to learn to toot our own horn. And I’m not saying do it to the point where we’re going to blow it. But we do need to make sure our good work is recognized. I always say, tell people what you’ve accomplished and I guarantee you, it’s more than they even realized.

So I think we need to advocate not only for ourselves, but we need to advocate for the other women who are doing really great work in our office. And again, if we’re in leadership and we have a seat at that table and we’re in that room, we need to make sure we’re sending that elevator back down and we’re lifting other women up.

Sarah Wheeler: Such a great point Davies. You know, a couple months ago, I wrote an end note every day for our PM newsletter that goes out to, you know, tens of thousands of people. And I just brought up this very point, that women will tend to not promote themselves and they don’t even take the opportunities when they’re extended to them. A lot of times they self-select out of opportunities, whether that’s to speak on our podcast or to speak at our event or to be seen as the leader in something.

I can’t tell you how many times women will go, “I don’t think that’s me. You should talk to this person.” And it’s a man. I have so rarely had a man say, “Oh, that’s not me. You should talk to this woman.” It so rarely happens.

Marcia Davies: Exactly. All the time.

Sarah Wheeler: You don’t hear that. Like, “Oh, yeah, no, I totally talk about that. Yeah, I’ll do that.” And I got so much feedback from that. It must be the way that you feel sometimes. On a very small level, it must be kind of what you do, where people were like, “Oh, my gosh.” And they realized through that when we were that conversation, like they were doing that themselves. And that they didn’t even realize that they were really putting themselves at a disadvantage in that way.

Marcia Davies: Well, it’s interesting, you bring that point up. I made that very point when I was asked… We just did our commercial real estate conference, and I got a question. And somebody said, “What can be done for more women to advance within an organization?” And in addition to talking about what I think organizations can do, I talked about the responsibility we have as women to raise our hand and to step into whether it’s new projects or new opportunities that we need to silence the, “I have to be more than 100% qualified in order to raise my hand.” That there’s so often others will just step in and say “Hey, that sounds great. I’m going to go ahead and do it.”

And so we need to trust our skills and our competencies and our successes are transferable to some things that we may not naturally think that we should do. A podcast being a great example. We’re just talking. We can all talk. Why would we select out of it? But we have that inside voice. So sometimes we do need to get out of our own way.

Sarah Wheeler: Well, it was encouraging, because I got a lot of feedback also from male leaders who are like, “Yeah, I see this happen all the time. I’m so glad you wrote this because I actually, I see this happen.” So it was interesting to see that women saw it in themselves, they saw it in other women, and men in women too. And they said, “You know, we want to give people more opportunity.” So I just thought that was so interesting and exactly to your point on that.

Marcia Davies: And the other thing we really need from our male counterparts is feedback. The other thing I’ve learned through this journey with mPower and talking to men, not only in leadership positions, but our allies that are our peers, is sometimes men are afraid to give women the feedback we need to whether it’s engage better or, you know, do better or improve. They’re afraid. And actually, Brena, the same woman who read the stats, Joanne Lipman talked about this.

We need the feedback. We want the feedback. And she has this great quote and it is so true, “Sometimes, men don’t give women the feedback because they’re afraid they’re gonna hurt our feelings or upset us.” And she said, “If a woman cries at work, she’s either frustrated or pissed off. It’s not because you’ve hurt her feelings.” So give us feedback. We need it in order to advance. Men get feedback all the time. Don’t be afraid to give it to women.

Sarah Wheeler: Oh, I love that. And that’s so true. It’s like, sometimes my reaction to something I feel strongly about is I’ll just tear up, which I hate. I absolutely hate this. But it’s sort of a biological thing that I have tried to control. But I don’t have that much control over. I’m not like going around crying all the time. But when I’m frustrated, that can be something that happens.

Marcia Davies: Frustration. Yes. That’s one thing.

Sarah Wheeler: And so, you know, I don’t want someone to interpret that as like, “Oh, you’ve hurt my feelings?” “Oh, no, you haven’t hurt my feelings. I’m upset. I’m mad.”

Marcia Davies: I’m mad. Yes.

Sarah Wheeler: This is not sad. Well, let’s talk about mPower because, you know, here you are a leader at the Mortgage Bankers Association, and you started mPower. So what was the impetus for that? What’s the heart behind that? And are there any personal interactions or stories during your time leading mPower that stand out to you the most?

Marcia Davies: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about mPower. It is the best thing that’s ever happened in my career. And it started out as in my job at MBA, and I had been in my role for about four years. And I travel all over the country and attend a lot of industry events and a lot of them are different, right, pieces of the industry, whether it’s the commercial segment, the residential segment, or servicing, whatever the discipline would be. So you get a true mix of the makeup and fabric of our industry.

And, of course, I was never surprised there weren’t many women at the events, right? There were always more men than women. That didn’t surprise me. I’ve been in this industry a long time. What shocked me is the women didn’t seem to know one another.

And after watching it, I decided, I think I need to do something about this, right? I would like to be able to sit down in a session and know another woman in the session and not feel like they’re a total stranger. And I decided to randomly pick 75 women who are attending our annual convention and invite them to have lunch with me to see… Because I know we’re so busy at conferences and I think women, especially, really try to be as efficient as possible when they’re away from home, especially if you have children and other things, right? Because you’re trying to juggle traveling and making big time count when you’re on that trip because when you get home, you’re going to have, you know, a lot to do in the home front as well.

But I wanted to see if women would take an hour out of their very busy schedule during a conference to have lunch and meet other women. And I invited somebody 75 women at random, many of them I didn’t know. And 150 showed up. And at that moment, I realized women were hungry for connections. And so for about eight months, at every MBA event, I had women’s networking events.

And I’ll never forget, it was at the Secondary Market Conference in New York. And I was having a lunch for women. And I invited a speaker because I wanted to take it one little step further. So we’re all connecting and we’re getting to know one another. What if we added a smidge of personal development? A topic that we could all relate to and really engage in that type of conversation.

And so, I had a speaker. And then at the end, I’m interviewing the speaker. We’re taking Q&A from the audience. And unbeknownst to me, my boss was looking for me. And when he entered the room, which I am very proud to say was packed, and he stood and listened to the Q&A that was going on.

And when I got back to the office, he said, “When I was looking for you, I went to every breakout room at the conference. And the room that you were in with the women was so full, it had bigger attendance than some of the other breakouts.” And he said, “You need to do something formal with this. Please do something formal with this.”

And at that moment, I realized I had the support of my leadership to take this idea and run with it. And I’m blessed to have an amazing team here at MBA and we branded mPower and created an online community so that women who can get to events could still connect and post, you know, issues and articles and videos. And then, we threw in too our free webinar series.

And so I really did it because I wanted to create opportunities for women that didn’t exist when I was coming up through this industry. And some of the best things I heard, to get to some of the stories, is that women not only networked and supported one another, a lot of women started doing business together. They broke down whatever barriers companies may have had, and they were able to start doing business together.

I get a lot of emails from organizations that said, “We attended mPower. We’re going to replicate something like that inside of our organization.” So there’s a lot of momentum for women to connect and support each other and really provide more professional, you know, development opportunities, whatever the focus may be, some of it is mentoring.

But the thing that impacted me most recently, during this pandemic, was I got an email out of the blue from a woman in the community who attended our mPowering You event in Austin, Texas. And part of the registration bag, we have given away luggage tags that had inspirational sayings. And she sent me this email. And she had just been recovering from a very serious bout with COVID.

And she was finally released from the hospital after weeks and weeks and had a long recovery ahead. And she said she was in her bedroom and all of her medicine was on her nightstand. And she was really struggling with her recovery and really not feeling great. And when she went to get some of her medicine, she noticed there was this little box with the mPower logo on her nightstand. And she opened it up. And in it was one of our luggage tags. And the expression on the luggage tag was, “Your superpowers can take you anywhere. Be mPowered.”

And she said in that moment that was the inspiration she needed to remind her that she was going to get better and there were better days ahead. And that meant so much to me that in that moment, you never know when you might touch someone in a very personal way. And she shared that with me. And I actually shared it with my team here at MBA to say, “You know, I know the work we’re doing is meaningful and impactful, but read this, it will change the way you think about the work that we do.”

Sarah Wheeler: I really relate to that. You know, both Brena Nath and I are very outgoing people who love going to conferences. You can put us in a room where we know no one and it’s fine with us. And still, it is so nice to walk into an MBA conference and know those women that we’ve met through mPower and know other women and feel like oh, you know, there’ll be a table of 10, you know those round tables of 10, and there’s 9 guys there, and to go and sit down there and talk to them again.

It can be kind of intimidating. It’s so much better than when there’s a table and there’s two women there, “Oh, I know one of them from mPower.” And so, I mean, if we feel that way, I can only imagine how people feel who aren’t as outgoing and can’t be just dropped into any situation and how much more they feel like they belong.

Marcia Davies: Well, and some of the conversations, and you know this because you’ve probably experienced it firsthand that happened at those tables, depending on what the topic is, get very personal and deep. And you make a connection because you’re sharing, you know, some personal experiences, and you’re also sharing some things within the industry, you may be showing a vulnerability, you know.

I know there are times at servicing conferences where some of the people want to talk more technically. And it’s okay to ask questions and not be afraid that somebody’s going to think, “Well, you should know that if you’re here at this conference, right?” You can be vulnerable and say, “I’ve had this question.” And the women at the tables will answer it without judgment. I find women rush to help each other with really with passion and compassion and not judgment. So I just hope it continues to grow. And I can’t wait till we’re back in person again.

Brena Nath: And we talked about, I think we’ve mentioned a couple times, like making room at the table for other females, but I think it’s also the other half of that would be creating a safe space. Your point of a safe space to ask questions, a safe space to be vulnerable, especially because a lot of us are kind of life first in this industry, no one thought they’d be here, but a lot of us have been in this industry for a while. So it is nice that, you know, every year, we, in the past, had at least, you know, three, four conferences where we saw the same females over and over again.

And I’m a relationship-based person, so be able to build not only relationship with other women, but also like have, like more vulnerability on like the industry, what they’re going through and the other side of the story that maybe you don’t always get from just attending the other breakout sessions, but instead of mingling with other females and seeing what they’re going through. And we will just have that open, safe space to ask general questions even about whether it’s servicing or what’s going on in the industry and things like that.

Also, you kind of mentioned the practical advice side of things. So this next question goes right into that actual tangible advice. I love quick hits snippets on what I can do. And so what practical, tangible advice would you give a young female who’s just starting out her career?

Marcia Davies: The best advice I can give is do not be afraid to take some risks. And I’m not saying you have to take big risks. But start getting comfortable with putting yourself out there and taking risks and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. And what I mean by that is… It was, I was probably at Freddie Mac, seven years, and I was very technical and proficient in the area that I was working in and managed. You know, I worked my way up and I knew how to do all aspects of the job.

And one day, my boss came to me and wanted me to go manage a completely different area that I was not technically proficient in. And I was like, “Are you out of your mind?” And he cited all of the reasons why he wanted me to go over and manage this other group. And it wasn’t anything about the technical capabilities because he reminded me I had a team of professionals who had the technical capabilities. He needed leadership. And he needed someone who was decisive, and he needed someone who could take this department and really build it into what his vision was. And he thought that I had those skills.

So he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. And I took that leap of faith. Now that was a big risk. But what he pointed out was throughout the seven years I had been there, he had watched me navigate and step outside my comfort zone. And I kept growing my department, I kept sweeping more things under my wing as I saw the opportunities where I thought I could, you know, achieve really great results. And he said, “I’ve watched you, and you will be excellent in this job.”

And it really changed the course of my career and I couldn’t be more grateful. And so I don’t want women to wait, you know, 7, 10, however many years into their career. That may be when you start taking the big risks, but start getting comfortable with putting yourself out there. As I said earlier, raise your hand and I bet you’ll be really surprised at how well your skills transfer into some of the projects or other opportunities that may be out there. And that gives you exposure. And it builds on your skill set and your competencies.

Brena Nath: I want to add there too. And I think Sarah would say the same thing as me. But I’ve always been very thankful that Clayton, who’s our CEO here, HousingWire… I had this heart to heart with myself like a few years back when I was trying to figure out, even “GirlFunds,” and I was like, Clayton has always championed me more than I champion myself. And I’ve always made it a goal for me to be like, “Why can’t I? Like I should be bigger champion for myself than Clayton is.”

But so thankful for his leadership, for those males in the industry who have helped push me and see more of me, and then helped me push my limits of being like, “No, Brena Nath, like, you can do this. Like, you should be your greatest advocate right now.” But thankful for like this podcast was something he so sat down was there and I and helped us kind of map out what’s our vision, what we want to do with this, what’s our why behind this. And so that was a moment that really stuck with me in my career of like, I should be just as supportive of myself as someone like Clayton is for me, so why can’t I champion myself further?

Marcia Davies: Well, and I will tell you, as a young professional, there will be a time where you really need to sit down and take stock of your accomplishments and the value you bring, so that you can start, not only advocating but also make sure you know your value. And we talk about this a lot within the mPower community.

And for women, it’s hard for us to talk about our value and what we bring to the table to be sure that you know, our opportunities, whether they be promotions or, again, projects to get on, and the pay that we make are commensurate with the value that we bring and that the organization puts on the jobs that we do. And so I think that would be another takeaway is really as you grow into your confidence and your accomplishments, you also need to remember that you bring value and make sure that you keep that data of all of the good that you’ve done, and really know the value that you bring to that organization. So you can continue to advocate for yourself and negotiate for yourself.

Sarah Wheeler: You know, a really practical thing on that. I have three daughters and two step daughters. And one of my daughters was at an ad agency. And she had a woman who is really great. She was like, really, she wasn’t one of the executives. She was like mid-level, but maybe in or maybe around 40. And my daughter was early 20s.

And she, before people would go into their performance reviews or whatever, she would kind of be like, “Hey, let’s talk. Let’s have lunch, whatever.” And she would really help them, the young women who had just start in their career be like, “Okay, what are you going to ask for? Well, what are you putting forth? What are your goals coming out of this performance review?”

And my daughter was like, “I don’t know I’m supposed to have goals coming out of this review.” And she was like, “Yeah,” and she really helped her map out. And I think this was one of those practical things that we can all do for whoever is underneath us to just have a really frank discussion too about, you know, what are you expecting for your… Like, where do you want to go? And how are you going to leverage this to do that?

And she was so thankful, she did that for the whole three years she was there. And that really helped her to learn how to negotiate and really bring forward like, “Here’s all the things I’ve done, and here’s what I want to do. And then here’s what that’s worth.” And I don’t think anybody knows that coming out of school, I don’t think male or female know that coming out of school. But I do think that maybe women are less likely to be like, “Oh, this is my opportunity.” They don’t see it as an opportunity for what’s coming.

Marcia Davies: I think that’s a really great story and amazing advice because women don’t always intuitively know that this is my opportunity to go in and make sure I can ask for what I need and want and make sure what my career trajectory is going to look like. And if there are things I need to improve, I need to know about those. But let’s, you know, have that conversation.

I think you’re right. And it’s a lesson that we don’t learn until we’re much more seasoned. So the fact that your daughter got that advice early is fabulous because she will continue to leverage those as opportunities instead of walking in and just walking in and being a passive person in the conversation. She’s an active person in the conversation.

Sarah Wheeler: And it was just so good for her to hear a more senior person say, “Yeah, you’re worth more than that. You need to you need to ask for more than that.” And that’s again, you know, one of the things about girlfriends is, “Let’s talk about money.” So it’s hard to talk with people at your work about money. Sometimes, in fact, you’re not allowed to talk about your salaries in most companies.

So talk to your friends, talk to your friends who are in the industry, who are in a similar position, you know, who can talk to like, “Yeah, the salary that you’re getting, I feel like you need to shoot higher than that. Here’s why.” Or maybe, “You know what? With your skill level for where you are, that’s all you can get. So let’s talk about how you could get more.” Because that is what, you know, that’s the actionable things that we can all do with our friends, with our relatives, with whatever family to really bring them to the next level.

Marcia Davies: That’s so true. And it’s something that we, as women, need to work on. And sometimes you need to practice saying things out loud because we get uncomfortable advocating for ourselves and talking about pay.

I have one funny story about that. I was in negotiating several years back and I had a specific ask. And I was prepared for the debate. But I was also prepared that I may have to make the ask twice because I have learned through talking to other women that sometimes you need to plant the seed, you need to state your case, and then you need to come back if you don’t get the yes. And I was so busy making my case that when my boss said yes, I kept talking.

And he stopped me and he said, “I know you’ve prepared for this, but I already gave you the yes. So we can move on to the next topic.” And I was stunned. I was like, “But I still have more points to make about why this is good idea.” He goes, “You had me at the first one.”

So sometimes, we are so afraid that we’re not going to get the yes. That it may come easier than we expect. And that that goes to the value that you provide to that organization that you may not even be taking in, you know, take it in yourself and realize, I bring so much to this organization, they’re going to want to say yes.

Brena Nath: And I love good personal stories. We had a girl, Rachel, a few episodes back who said she would coach her friends through it. So she’d take them to lunch. And she would always pretend to be a hard boss and help them understand what it’s like to help them prepare because you don’t often put things to words. So, I really appreciate you touching on that. I think it’s such a practical and tangible. I’ll keep using those words back-to-back because it’s really what our listeners are kind of looking for along with that leadership as well.

As we kind of wrap, wanted to say thank you. But also, we also like always asking our guests like where can people follow you or find you or learn more about kind of your mission and your cause?

Marcia Davies: Okay, well, thank you, Brena Nath for that question. Because I want to direct everybody to mPower. It is free. And again, and we offer a lot of things that you can take advantage of whether you’re working from home or you are, once we’re allowed to travel again, traveling. So you can go to mba.org/mpower, and there will be a button to join the community. And you just click the button and you will be able to be part of the community.

We have, actually, at our service conference last year, Valerie Gordon was our speaker. She’s doing our webinar this month. So I think it’s going to be great. It’s talking about how to make sure our communications and our inner voice is positive during these challenging times. And I think it’s going to be a great session.

So you, one, learn about all of the things that are going on and all of the articles and services that are out there. So that’s the first place. I would also love people to follow us on LinkedIn and on Instagram, and you can search MBA mPower and find us.

Brena Nath: We should use M for those. M is just the letter M and then power, if you guys are searching it. So I make sure people are able to find that. And once again, just thank you so much for your wisdom, your time and just your authenticity throughout this entire interview.

Marcia Davies: Oh, well, thank you. And I so appreciate the opportunity and I look forward to seeing you both at our next in-person event.

Brena Nath: Yeah. Can’t wait.

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