For Candidates

Woman in sales and why more women should consider a career in sales

Captivate Talent
November 8, 2019
5 min read
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The sales industry has changed immensely over the last few decades, and our collective impression of what it means to be in sales is starting to change with it. One important factor that we should also pay closer attention to is the fact that most people will label you as a “salesman”, male or female.

Women have been entering the workforce at a higher percentage than anytime before. However, the sales industry has remained male-dominated.

As a women dominated team in a sales-related industry that is constantly seeing success from our profession, it’s interesting to wonder why this is the case. However, instead of delving into the complicated historical intersections of societal/gender pressures and preconceptions, we’d like to make a case for why going forward, more women should consider a career in sales.

The Characteristics Most Closely Associated With Being A Woman Are Directly Aligned With What Makes A Great Salesperson Too.

Sales is more than cold calling and closing deals, especially at the more senior and strategic level. Ultimately, what makes a great and successful salesperson is their ability to ask questions, listen, and be empathetic.

It’s about building a relationship with your client and making them feel like you understand their needs, pain points, and goals. It involves developing trust and having the patience to put in the effort to build that foundation, and the intuition to then know when it’s the right time to work in your value proposition.

It is no secret that the adjectives: empathetic, intuitive, attentive and inquisitive, tend to be characteristics that most people associate with women. While men aren’t incapable of possessing these qualities as well, it’s important to challenge the preconceptions of what it means to be a salesperson; that it’s not about being aggressive and a “shark”, and that women are perfectly capable of possessing the attributes necessary to be successful in a sales role too.

Having A Large Portion Of Your Salary Rely On Commission Challenges The Gender Pay Gap.

Gender pay inequality has been at the forefront of politics and news for the last several years. The most recent research shows that Women in the United States make $0.82 on the dollar compared to men, and according to the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, that gap is even wider for Black and Hispanic Women.

Within sales based roles specifically, commission-based pay helps to bridge the gender pay gap because no matter your race, gender or background: if you work harder, stay late and make a few more calls, and are better at your job, in sales, you usually make more money.

You have control over your paycheck, and that should resonate with a lot of women. People are working longer and more strenuous hours as a trend in general, but in sales, it is nice to know that literally putting in more work and hours will lead to a larger commission check. There is a sense of self-sufficiency and ownership that comes with this experience, that you can’t get from most professions.

Diversity Hiring Is Your Friend

Because of the increasing social consciousness around the disparity in opportunity for all potential employees, a lot of forward-thinking companies are making diversity recruiting a priority.

We work with a number of clients that are focusing on a lack of diversity in their sales departments to help eradicate this problem and ensure that their ratio of diverse-to-non diverse interviews is representative of the population.

Considering that there are far fewer women, and especially women of color in sales roles, this means that if you are successful in the sales industry, the numbers are in your favor, for once.

Finding your right career path is a long and exciting journey. Because of this, we always ask candidates “what are the 3 most important things to you, when you are considering your happiness and fulfillment in your career?” If your answer has something to do with; ownership, autonomy, opportunity, and equality, then sales just might be for you.

Brooke Artz is a Recruitment Consultant at Captivate Talent, a recruitment and consulting firm. Contact Brooke to learn more about job opportunities in the sales industry.


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