I am currently reading a great book by one of my colleagues, Dondi Scumaci, Designed for Success - the 10 commandments for women in the workplace. Right from the beginning, she grabbed my attention with some interesting food for thought as it relates to women in corporate american and their leadership skills.
Here are a few concepts, she addressed that has me thinking:
1) Women are raised and socialized differently from men
How many times have you heard that women don't brag or talk about themselves? On the other hand, it always more acceptable for men to be competitive (think sports), aggressive (gotta be a man) and stand up for themselves.
Have these mindsets been holding you back from being heard on your job or going after high-profile projects?
2) Women are too modest and undervalue their strengths and abilities
Can you count the number of times that you have actually negotiated your salary increase, benefits package or asked for additional perks before accepting a new job?
Don't beat up on yourself too much - ask your female friends and you will find that you are not in the minority, women simply accept what is given despite their level of experience or qualifications.
What can you start doing this year to start changing this self-defeating habit on your end?
3) Women are too willing to wait for recognition rather than speak up and take charge
Who ever came up with the philosophy that women should be seen, but heard definitely has no clue.
Are you guilty of being a "professional women in waiting"? Waiting for the boss to plan your career; waiting for the boss to acknowledge your contributions; waiting for the boss to assign you to a new project; and waiting and waiting - when will you take action and quite waiting?
4) Women are more comfortable promoting their "non-leadership" skills
It is often natural for women to multi-task, be quick problem solvers, effectively coordinate events and delegate assignments, but to excel in corporate america and grow through leadership roles, they need to demonstrate critical thinking, strategic planning, talent development and staff management.
When you describe your strengths, are using clear examples that demonstrate your potential and candidacy as a future leader?
5) Women are generally great caretakers and often viewed as suitable for support roles
Hey, you cannot deny and avoid your "woman" DNA - we are nurturers, caretakers, supporters and often seen as having the best shoulders to cry on - but don't you want to be manage your personal brand and be viewed as a leader, change strategist, rainmaker and take-charge individual?
Great food for thought, right? I believe it is a matter of being conscious of your actions and behaviors - what do you think?