I came across this article in a Harvard Business Review blog, by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, through a Linked In mailing list:
I would like to suggest a few minor improvements to this article:
- The title
- Four Ways
WomenMen Stunt TheirWomen's Careers Unintentionally
- The first "low-confidence behavior" confidence-lowering behavior involves modesty:
Being overly modest.Discouraging modesty. We see that men are more willing to take public credit forbrag about their successes. Women believeunderstand that their accomplishments should speak for themselves, and they spendwaste less effort ensuring they get the gold star next to their name. While modesty is a nice character traitModesty is an admirable character trait, it's naive to believe that your boss, your clients, or your colleagues will recognize your accomplishmentsand it's important to recognize women's accomplishments even if youthey fly under the radar.
- The second involves the risks of not
asking for promotionsbeing smart about giving promotions: Not asking.Not noticing accomplishments. We've seen it over and over again: women fail to get promotedmen fail to promote women because they fail to step up and applythey expect them to waltz right in and demand it. It feelsis personally risky to step-up and ask forto waltz in and demand a big job or assignment — but there's really no other wayand waiting for someone to do this is obviously not the best way to find the right candidate. Not asking means you've lost the chance to influence the outcome.Failing to actively seek out qualified candidates for promotions means you may have lost the chance to get the best outcome.
- The third involves the perils of
blending inencouraging gratuitous attention seeking: Blending in.Privileging attention-getting behavior. Some women go to great lengths totry to avoid unnecessary attention. They don't want to stand out without a good reason — in meetings, in the boardroom or even in the elevator. A client from one of our workshops told us that her greatest fear was riding the elevator with the CEO. What would she say to him? Would they talk about the weather? But blending inCreating an environment that privileges attention-getting behavior means you are missing opportunities — every single day — to stand out and sell your ideasto get the best ideas. Another client we know (also a women) waits in the lobbyhas resorted to waiting in the lobby many mornings in order to ride the elevator with the CEO. Her confidence has never been questioned — at the cost of losing productive time.
- The fourth is about the problem of
women not speaking upmen not letting women speak: Remaining silent.Not listening to women. It's not easy to get a word in during meetings , especiallywhen six other colleagues, often men with deeper and louder voices, are all fighting for the floorengaging in verbal aggression to dominate the discussion. But failing to speak up and express yourselfTalking over women when youthey have something relevant to add is a missed chance to get in the gameto get the best ideas. Getting your point of view acrossAllowing multiple points of view to be heard during important discussions is essential for your careerbusiness.