We’ve all heard the myth that women don’t support each other-but it’s not true. Together we can level the playing field and go further faster
Women can be powerful allies work and there are simple things we can do every day to celebrate and advocate for our female coworkers. Read on to find
Make sure women’s ideas are heard
Set a good example by sitting front-and-center and speaking up in meetings.Encourage other women to do the same. Then look for ways to shape the conversation. When a woman is interrupted, interject and say you’d like to hear her finish. When you advocate for your female coworkers, they benefit—and you’re seen as a leader. Moreover, meetings are most effective when everyone’s best thinking is heard.
Challenge the likability penalty
When you hear a woman called “bossy” or “shrill,” request a specific example of what the woman did and then ask, “Would you have the same reaction if a man did the same thing?” In many cases, the answer will be no. When you’re having a negative response to a woman at work, ask yourself the same question and give her the benefit of the doubt. Odds are she’s just doing her job.
Encourage women to go for it
Look for opportunities to celebrate women’s accomplishments, and point out when women are being blamed unfairly for mistakes. Better yet, get together with a group of women and agree to celebrate one another’s successes whenever possible. Although women are often penalized for promoting ourselves, you can lift up other women, and they can do the same for you. When you introduce female coworkers, highlight their credentials and accomplishments.
Mentor and sponsor other women
Commit the time and energy to mentor another woman. If you’re early in your career, don’t underestimate the value of your input—you may have just been through what a woman starting out is experiencing. If you’re more senior, go beyond offering advice and use your influence to advocate for your mentee. Sponsorship is a great way for female leaders to reach back to help women early in their careers.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Whene women stay quiet, our status suffers. Women who speak less in group discussion are seen as having less influence.
- Men get about the same amount of credit when they write a research paper with a co-ed team as they do when they’re the sole author. In contrast, women get almost zero credit if they write a paper as part of a team with a man on it.
- Men apply for jobs when they meet 60 percent of the hiring criteria, while women wait until we meet 100 percent. Moreover, women negotiate less frequently and ask for a third less money. Yet when we negotiate for others, we are just as effective as men.