Financial anchor Nicole Lapin, host of the CBS business competition show "Hatched,” wants to jolt women into career confidence with her new book “Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career.” During a recent visit to Salon's New York studio, Lapin expanded on her book’s provocative title:
She encourages women to be true to themselves, Lapin said. “There is no other person like you and you have to be comfortable in your own skin -- I certainly wasn’t. So with the term ‘bitch,’ I’m taking back the word and owning it as a badge of honor. When I started off my career, I was called a ‘bitch’ in a derogatory sense, and what that meant was that I was strong, powerful, aggressive . . . And if that meant I was a bitch, then hello! I’m a bitch and I’m owning it.”
Lapin comes clean about her salary history in "Boss Bitch," which may startle some readers because of the social taboo around talking about money, which is especially strong among women. Lapin reports she even conducted a study with Nielsen showing that women would rather admit their weight than their salary.
“I tell women particularly to talk about their salary,” Lapin said. “I think the only way for us to get ahead is to have those conversations and not be scared. I’ll be at the dinner table, I’m sure you’ll be as well, with girlfriends. We’ll talk about bikini waxes, we’ll talk about sex, we’ll talk about everything before we talk about money . . . I’m like, ‘Girlfriend, you just told me about your whoo-ha. You’re not going to tell me about your salary? I’m not here to make fun of you. I’m here to help you. That’s the only way we’re going to get ahead.’”
In my conversation with Lapin, we discussed the importance of women advocating for what they deserve in terms of workplace compensation.
“Fifty-seven percent of men negotiate their salaries. Seven percent of women do,” she said. “That’s so bananas. I think for me, if I’m telling women to talk about it, I have to put my money where my mouth is.”