“How can I fight against gender bias at work?”
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Posted by: Barbara Francella
By Trudy Bourgeois
How are gender-based expectations in the workplace
holding women back — and how can I personally tackle a few of those roadblocks?
Wow! There are many, many ways that
gender-based expectations are holding women back. Let me call out a few.
The first thing to remember is that
corporate America was built by men, for men. But things have changed. The
expectation is a woman who is a mom can work around the clock. Another
expectation is the mindset that you have to be an in-your-face, tough, rough
and "bitchy” woman to be an effective leader today. But women, in general, are
more collaborative and more inclusive.The soft skills are now the hard
skills. The workforce now wants — needs — leaders who can connect with them.
One factor holding women back is we don't
know how to advocate for ourselves. But if you don't, you're viewed as being not
confident and not strong (another expectation). We must effectively advocate
for ourselves, for our work and for our boundaries to teach other business
leaders how to leverage us and all our unique challenges and responsibilities
as women. We need to educate people about the realities of being a woman (with
all our responsibilities), yet demand that not be used as an excuse for failing
to tap into our brilliance.
We need to change the game in a bold way. We
shouldn't have to act like a man. We must take ownership for our own
careers — and claim our own power!
Bourgeois is happy to answer your career questions. Please email them to NEW
Communications Manager Barbara Grondin Francella.
Trudy Bourgeois is founder and CEO of The
Center for Workforce Excellence and NEW
Executive Leaders Forum conference designer.
expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its
Officers, Board members and sponsors.
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