In this post I want to highlight all of the problems with women in the workplace today. Ways that we get hung up, don’t advance, and feel defeated.
Women have a tendency of thinking of everyone else first, although this is a fine attribute it can keep you from asserting yourself in the workplace. Women don’t speak up for what they want or need in an employment situation. And, if you don’t ask, you will not receive. Women use more passive speech such as questions or comments rather than direct commands. And if women try to use more assertive and direct language they feel like a “bitch” in the office. Finally, women have a greater balance between work and family (this is statistically true!). This is a great attribute until you have to leave early because your son or daughter are sick OR you cannot make a work function because of your children. Your workplace may not see your commitment if you are always split between two major obligations. These are some of the major problems with women in the workplace.
The good news? I am going to offer solutions to help you with each of these problems listed above.
What’s Best For You?
When it comes to the problem of thinking of everyone else I would encourage you to include yourself in the scenario. Asking yourself questions like, “What is the best outcome with this work problem that works in my favor?” OR “What is a solution many will benefit from including myself?” Depending on the kind of work you do thinking of others may not be a bad thing. BUT it has to be balanced with your own needs.
I have a friend who is an excellent physician, like the best of the best, she is this way because she is so self-less, kind, compassionate, patient, and any other positive attribute you can think of. In the last few years I have helped her develop professional goals especially to assert her own needs more. See although she is SO very helpful to patients she will work 80 hour weeks and miss her own two little children. This lack of balance hurts her heart and she finds difficulty in balancing it. She is thinking of everyone else but herself. We have practiced how she finds professional outcomes that help her individually too.
So start today by asking what is best for yourself in any of your professional dilemmas or day-to-day activities. Start thinking about what is best for you.
Start Being Assertive
Women do not ask for what we need or want. Women need to be more ASSERTIVE. Keep in mind assertive lands right in the middle between passive and aggressive. I am not asking you to be aggressive. I am asking you to kindly speak up for what you want and need. Then start practicing speaking up for what is best for you to be successful in the workplace.
I am not suggesting you go to work tomorrow and ask for a $10,ooo a year raise. I am suggesting being assertive in little ways such as, “That meeting time will not work for me. I am free at 10am or 3pm”. Being assertive also includes being honest about any problems you are having, for example, “The productivity clause is too stressful and unmanageable.”
So to recap I am suggesting you practice being assertive, not passive and not aggressive. You can work on this everyday which will build your strength and confidence. And, when you think about being assertive I want you to try to have your confidence meet your competence. Keep this phrase in the forefront of your mind. If you are the expert then you should absolutely be asserting your opinion into the matter. You will be respected for doing so! So if you are competent, if it is your zone of genius, then let your confidence in that are shine!
Determine Work and Family Balance
Finally, the work and family life balance can be tricky. This is often held against women in the workplace and a reason analysts believe women do not make as much money as men (BTW we have to change this!). I don’t usually get too into the brain during these blog posts, but we are going to talk about it today.
First, the male and female human species is more alike than we are different. In fact, we are more alike than other male/female mammals. And our brains are very similar. Men have larger brains but many believe its because they have larger skulls. Structurally, our brains are very similar EXCEPT the fibers that connect the left and right hemisphere are thicker for women. This means women can access both the left and right hemisphere more quickly and frequently. In case you didn’t know the left hemisphere is responsible for love, language, and logic. The right hemisphere is responsible for spatial awareness, intuition, imagination, and creativity. Because of a thicker connection between the hemisphere in women we can multitask exponentially better than men. Women are also more in tune with the emotional state of ourselves and others around us.
So if we have this problem of having too many life responsibilities between work and home, how can we use our super power brains to balance this out? You could start by asking your boss to work from home, even if it’s just two days a week, while highlighting your high degree of responsibility and productivity. You could also suggest a flex schedule since you are so damn good at multi-tasking. This way you can more easily work around your family’s schedule.
Determine the work and family life balance that’s perfect for you and then ask for it!
I hope today’s blog was helpful. A few reminders in how to fix the problems of women in the workplace:
- Think of yourself
- Practice being assertive
- Your confidence should match your competence
- Finally, determine your perfect work and family life balance based on your strengths
What solutions have you used to conquer the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.