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How this career coach bumped her salary by $50K, now she’s committed to helping other women of color do the same



How this career coach bumped her salary by $50K, now she's committed to helping other women of color do the same

“I meet so many women who’ve never negotiated their salary,” says Esther Leonard, a career coach whose self-decreed mission is to help women of color earn more and set themselves up for career and financial success.

Leonard, a 2010 graduate of Loyola University Chicago, knows the difference a salary bump can make. After spending most of her career in non-profits and education, Leonard moved into the tech space after relocating to Boston from Chicago roughly seven years ago. There she became enraptured by the tech industry—as well as the lack of pay equity. The experience motivated her to switch careers, negotiating for a $50,000 salary increase in the process.

“I got really fascinated with Cambridge. It’s like the Silicon Valley of the east,” Leonard tells Fortune. She worked at Roxbury Community College when first moving to Boston, leading the career development and internship programs.

“One of the things that really interested me was the idea of digital literacy as well as the wealth gap,” Leonard says. “And of course there’s a wealth gap, but it’s also a race gap… Right away I was like, ‘this is something I’m really passionate about.’”

During a stint at Boston University as assistant director of career education—planning diversity, equity and inclusion events, and coaching students and alumni on job searching skills—Leonard set out to start her own practice: Esther the Career Coach. She began advising first-generation college students who were graduating with “so much student debt… I would see them and think, ‘Okay their first job they’re probably going to make just the bare minimum salary,” she says.

Meanwhile, students she saw graduating from the business or engineering schools who would go on to jobs with salaries that were so much higher.

She found herself navigating that world, too. The more Leonard learned about the tech landscape and networked with people in the industry she felt she too could be earning more.

Leonard was making somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 when she worked at Boston University. She wanted a pay hike and says she saw the tech industry as her best option for that. She wasn’t particularly familiar with the landscape and what she’d need to do, but then she was introduced to Colorwave, a non-profit focused on closing the wealth gap by helping people of color develop skills and connect them with leadership roles at VC-backed startups.

Through a fellowship program at Colorwave, Leonard garnered a job opportunity as a sourcer at Faire, an online wholesale marketplace. The company initially gave her a salary range of $75,000 to $80,000—but that wasn’t the bump she was looking for.

“So I did a lot of research—always do your research,” Leonard says. “One of the salaries I saw on Glassdoor was for $100,000.”

So she asked for $120,000. They landed on a number just below that.

A commitment to helping women of color negotiate that raise

In addition to working at Faire, Leonard still acts as a career coach. Negotiating her own salary has inspired her to teach women, especially women of color who just weren’t taught from a young age, the value they have and the importance of negotiating. It builds confidence, she says, even if the first time around is a no.

Black women’s median weekly earnings for the second quarter of 2022 were $840, or roughly 72% of earnings for white men ($1,161), 88% of earnings for white women ($956), and 88% of earnings for Black men ($953), according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Weekly earnings for Hispanic women were $752.

That gap in pay starts as early as 16 years old, according to data from Lean In, and it only grows from there.

Leonard encourages the women of color she works with to do the research, to take into account their budget and cost of living, and to know when they’re willing to say no and walk away.

“We need to destigmatize the salary negotiation,” Leonard says. “Usually when I start talking to women about interviews and salary, I ask ‘How much do you want?’”

She wants to help end the culture of just being happy to get in the door; get the offer and rid women of color of the fear of being seen as ungrateful for asking for more.

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Coinbase’s near-term outlook is ‘still grim’, JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm’s ability to face crypto winter



Coinbase's near-term outlook is 'still grim', JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm's ability to face crypto winter

Coinbase is well positioned to successfully navigate this crypto winter and take market share, Bank of America said in a research report Tuesday. It maintained its buy recommendation following the exchange’s second-quarter results.

The results warrant “a muted stock reaction,” the report said. Net revenue of $803 million was below the bank’s and consensus estimates, while its adjusted $151 million loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was better than the street expected. Importantly, the company remains “cautiously optimistic” it can reach its goal of no more than $500 million of adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year, the report added.

Coinbase shares fell almost 8% in premarket trading to $80.74.

Bank of America notes that Coinbase had no counterparty exposure to the crypto insolvencies witnessed in the second quarter. The company also has a “history of no credit losses from financing activities, holds customer assets 1:1, and any lending activity of customer crypto is at the discretion of the customer, with 100%+ collateral required.” These rigorous risk-management practices will be a “positive long-term differentiator” for the stock, the bank said.

JPMorgan said Coinbase had endured another challenging quarter, while noting some positives.

Trading volume and revenue were down materially. Subscription revenue was also lower, but would have been much worse were it not for higher interest rates, it said in a research report Wednesday.

The company is taking steps on expense management, and in addition to the June headcount reductions, is scaling back marketing and pausing some product investments, the note said.

The bank says the company’s near-term outlook is “still grim,” noting that the exchange expects a continued decline in 3Q 2022 monthly transacting users (MTUs) and trading volumes, but says Coinbase could take more “cost actions” if crypto prices fall further.

JPMorgan is less optimistic than Bank of America about the company in the near term, saying pressure on revenue from falling crypto markets will have a negative impact on the stock price. Still, it sees positives including higher interest rates, from which the firm will generate revenue. It also sees opportunities for the exchange to grow its user base, leveraging almost $6 billion of cash. The surge in crypto prices in July, and the forthcoming Ethereum Merge are also seen as positive catalysts, it added.

The bank maintained its neutral rating on the stock and raised its price target to $64 from $61.

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Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he’s forced to buy Twitter



Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he's forced to buy Twitter

Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion of his shares in Tesla Inc., the billionaire’s biggest sale on record, saying he needed cash in case he is forced to go ahead with his aborted deal to buy Twitter Inc.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted late Tuesday after the sales were disclosed in a series of regulatory filings. 

Asked by followers if he was done selling and would buy Tesla stock again if the $44 billion deal doesn’t close, Musk responded: “Yes.”

Tesla’s chief executive officer offloaded about 7.92 million shares on Aug. 5, according to the new filings. The sale comes just four months after the world’s richest person said he had no further plans to sell Tesla shares after disposing of $8.5 billion of stock in the wake of his initial offer to buy Twitter.  

Musk last month said he was terminating the agreement to buy the social network where he has more than 102 million followers and take it private, claiming the company has made “misleading representations” over the number of spam bots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk to consummate the deal, and a trial in the Delaware Chancery Court has been set for October. 

In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his Tesla stake and increased the size of the equity component of the deal to $33.5 billion. He had previously announced that he secured $7.1 billion of equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital, and Binance. 

“I’ll put the odds at 75% that he’s buying Twitter. I’m shocked,” said Gene Munster, a former technology analyst who’s now a managing partner at venture-capital firm Loup Ventures. “This is going to be a headwind for Tesla in the near term. In the long term, all that matters is deliveries and gross margin.”

At the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter provided its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “the deal should proceed on original terms.” 

Musk, 51, has now sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla over the past 10 months. The disposals started in November after Musk, a prolific Twitter user, polled users of the platform on whether he should trim his stake. The purpose of the latest sales wasn’t immediately clear.  

Tesla shares have risen about 35% from recent lows reached in May, though are still down about 20% this year. 

With a $250.2 billion fortune, Musk is the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen around $20 billion this year as Tesla shares declined.    

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The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are ‘squeezed the most’ by higher rents, BofA says



The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are 'squeezed the most' by higher rents, BofA says

Most of Gen Z is too young to remember the 2010 New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan.

But over a decade later, they would probably agree with his signature issue (and catchphrase): the rent is too damn high.

This July, median rent payments were 7.4% higher than during the same period last year, according to a Bank of America report released Tuesday. 

The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment has been hitting new highs nearly every month this summer. It was $1,450 for July, according to rental platform Zumper. In the country’s largest city, New York, average rent exceeded a shocking $5,000 a month for the first time ever in June. 

But inflation in the rental market hasn’t hit each generation equally, and no one is getting squeezed harder by the higher monthly payments as Gen Z. Those born after 1996 have seen their median rent payment go up 16% since last July, compared to just a 3% increase for Baby Boomers, BofA internal data shows. 
“Younger consumers are getting squeezed the most by higher rent inflation,” BofA wrote.

The great rent comeback

Early in the pandemic, landlords slashed rents and gave significant COVID discounts to entice tenants to stay instead of leaving urban areas. Once those deals started expiring in 2021, many landlords suddenly raised payments once again, sometimes asking for over double their pandemic value. 

Young people across the board have been hit hard, and rent burdens compared to age can be seen even within a single generation. Younger millennials had their median rent payment grow 11% from last year, while the median payment for older millennials rose 7%. Gen X experienced a 5% median rent increase, according to BofA. 

It’s not a surprise, then, that Gen Z feels so strapped for cash. The majority of young people, 61%, said they want to receive their wages daily instead of twice a week, a practice typically reserved for workers living paycheck to paycheck, according to a report from the Center for Generational Kinetics, which specializes in research across the generations. Rising rent inflation has even priced nearly a third of Gen Zers out of the apartment search altogether. Around 29% of them have resorted to living at home as a “long-term housing solution,” according to a June survey from personal finance company Credit Karma.

It’s no wonder—the rent really is too high.

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