Moving Up As A Woman In The Workplace
It’s no secret that women have to face additional obstacles at work that men never experience. Women still make up a minority of executive and leadership positions in companies. Certain industries are still predominantly male, and it is notoriously difficult for a woman to break into these “boy clubs.” It’s not fair, but women often have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts to achieve the same level of success.
That’s why I want to share the experience I’ve learned throughout my many years in the business world as a leader and CEO. I want to pass along the knowledge I’ve gained to help those in the new generation. Below, you’ll find some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Sometimes, You Have To Make A Little Noise.
Women are often taught by society that they shouldn’t speak up or ask for what they want because the world punishes women who are forthright by labeling them as bossy or aggressive. Don’t let the fear of that stigma hold you back from setting boundaries and demanding what you deserve. This is something that women who are just entering the workforce and those who have been in it for years equally suffer from: a desire not to rock the boat. Unfortunately, this desire has long-term detrimental consequences on their careers and earning powers.
Why? Because this translates into women not negotiating for higher salaries when they get hired; not asking for promotions when they excel at their job; or simply not putting themselves out there to apply for new jobs because they feel like they must meet 110% of the requirements. Instead of constantly thinking of reasons of why you can’t do something or why you’re scared to do something, think of reasons why you deserve something and go for it. Don’t be afraid to ask for that extra salary boost. Don’t be afraid to ask for that new client or to head up that new contract.
Sometimes, You Should Ask For Help.
Find yourself a mentor who can guide you with her own knowledge. Mentors are invaluable because they are a resource you can turn to for a different perspective, aside from your regular coworkers and your direct manager. In some instances, it may be impossible to find a senior woman in your field who is willing it able to mentor you. You might be the first woman in your company to reach the level that you’re at! But even if you don’t have a female mentor to look up to, you should still seek out a male mentor who can help you instead. You can still gain access to his knowledge and his connections and he can help you develop and grow your career.
Sometimes, You Have To Do It Yourself.
It’s a sad fact of this world we live in that sometimes, no matter how hard you’re pushing, you’re still going to come up against those barriers based in sexism. Instead of just accepting that, however, take matters into your own hands. There is no rule that says you need to remain with a company if it does not treat you with the respect you ought to have. If you keep getting passed up for promotions or you’re not getting paid your due, then don’t take it anymore. Search out a new job that’s going to treat you the way you deserve. Or even better, start your own company and do things properly.
You may need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to follow some of these steps—but the good news is the more you push yourself, the more comfortable this begins to feel to you. Soon, sticking up for yourself becomes second nature.
Those are the basic tips I have, but now I want to hear from you. In the comments, tell me what kind of difficulties you have faced throughout the trajectory of your career because you were a woman? How did you react or adapt to them?