During March, the Salt Lake Chamber is highlighting influential women in Utah. By sharing their stories and advice, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of Women’s History Month.

Monnica Manuel believes that all history is women’s history. For her, an important part of Women’s History Month means acknowledging that the contributions of women, often unpaid, have made our country’s economic successes possible. We asked Monnica for her input on celebrating this month, success, and women in business:

What are some actionable steps people can take to benefit women this month?

If you’re a policy maker, there are lots of things you can do to require businesses to be equitable and support those who have not had equitable footing, women especially. If you’re an employer, you can make sure that every time a decision is made about a group of people, that demographic has representation and a seat at the table. No matter who you are, make an effort to mitigate implicit biases, and put processes into place to present them. For example, if we don’t pay people based on potential instead of past, we will never change the earnings gap. There’s a huge wage penalty for women, because if they take a year out of their career to have a baby, they could have up to a 40% pay gap. It’s a missed opportunity for the organizations and for all of society, who will need the workforce 18 years from now. It’s an unvirtuous cycle for working families – if we want something different, we have to do something different. 

What does success mean to you? 

It’s so satisfying to see someone else accomplish their goal because you collaborated with them. That’s what keeps me fueled and what has kept me successful. If you can put people together in successful teams, their success becomes your success. To me, success is getting to do that and doing it with my partner, and that’s how RSG Performance began. We ask ourselves, “What makes organizations come together? How do you build a team? How do you make confidence predictable? Success also has to do a lot with grit, which is a huge predictor of success because it shows your ability to stay with a goal through adversity – but not mindlessly. 

What advice would you give to other women in the business world?

If there’s a path you wanna be on, and think big about what you want, ask yourself five questions:

  1. Where are you today? Be specific, and take inventory of your skills.
  2. Where do you want to be? Again, be specific and write it down, focusing especially on the gap between where you are now and where you hope to be.
  3. What do you need to overcome to get there? As you state that problem, be realistic and determined.
  4. What is going to get you there? What’s the bridge that will hold your weight?
  5. Why will you do this, even if it’s hard? 

Women have a tendency to only apply for things they’re 110 percent qualified for, but a strong woman can do anything she puts her mind to. With grit and determination, anything is possible. 

*Stay updated on more stories, events and information on Women’s History Month by visiting the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s History Month website and engaging in our weekly challenges.