6 Ways for Women to Support Each Other at Work
We’ve all heard the stereotype that women don’t help one another. However, this isn’t true. Women can be great allies for other women at work. These six ways to support women at work are simple things we can do every day to celebrate and encourage our female coworkers.
Ensure that Opinions of Women Matter
If you observe coworkers of the same level at meetings, you’ll find more guys in the front and center chairs.
Women move toward the table’s end and the room’s edge, away from places that imply rank. In group talks, women also get less attention. Men frequently interrupt women and discredit their ideas.
Set a positive example by sitting in the front row of meetings and speaking up—and encourage other women to do the same.
Consider how you may influence the conversation. Interject and praise. Continue when a lady gets interrupted. When a coworker steals a woman’s concept, remind everyone that it was her idea in the first place. State that you’d want to hear other points of view if you perceive a woman struggling to get into the debate. When you speak up for your female coworkers, they benefit, and you get respect.
Put the Likeability Penalty to the Test
Women face a double standard that men do not.
Coworkers like men’s assertiveness and confidence. On the other hand, because women are more likely to be nurturing and collaborative, they frequently encounter resistance from both men and women when they speak up. The issue is that to be effective, women must assert themselves. The representation of women’s portrayal, both casually and in performance reports, is the evidence of this “likeability penalty.” Women are frequently referred to as “aggressive” and “ambitious” when they speak directly or push their ideas. When a man does the same, he is “assured” and “strong.”
Request a particular example of what the woman did when she was considered “bossy” or “shrill” and then question: “Would you have the same reaction if a guy did the same thing?”
The answer will be no, in the vast majority of circumstances. Ask yourself the same question when you have an adverse reaction to a woman at work, and provide her with an opportunity to demonstrate her worth.
Recognize and Honor Women’s Achievements
Look for opportunities to acknowledge and applaud women’s achievements. Call attention to instances where women face unfair punishments.
Furthermore, men and women react to acknowledgment in various ways. External variables such as “luck” and “assistance from others” are frequently attributed to women’s accomplishments. Whereas men ascribe to inherent talents and skills. We undermine women’s success while, on the other hand, we always praise men’s accomplishments.
Women are frequently given less credit for positive accomplishments and criticized more when they fail.
Get together with a group of ladies and agree to applaud one another’s achievements whenever feasible. Although it is common for women to be penalized for marketing themselves, you may help other women by lifting them, and they will do the same for you. When introducing female coworkers, emphasize their qualifications and achievements.
4. Encourage Women to Take Risks
Women do lack a specific confidence gene that makes us more prone to self-doubt than men.
Working conditions for women are unequal. Because of this bias, changing a woman’s name to a man’s on a resumé enhances a candidate’s hiring ability by 61%. Because women’s abilities are frequently undermined, we have to work harder to prove we’re just as capable, and therefore we’re more likely to miss out on essential assignments, promotions, and raises. Women, in particular, tend to undervalue their own abilities. Because the job is harder for women, we are more prone to destroy our own confidence.
Look for ways to promote other women’s self-esteem and encourage them to take risks.
If a coworker says she isn’t ready for a new project or job, remind her of what she has already accomplished and offer to be a thought partner while she “fakes it till she makes it” or gets up to speed.
Offer Direct Feedback to Women
Women frequently receive less — and less valuable — feedback than men.
Men receive specific advice for enhancing their work, whereas women receive more generic praise, such as “Good job” or “You need more presence in meetings”. These “encouragements” are much tougher to appreciate or follow.
Men may be hesitant to provide critical comments to women out of fear of triggering an emotional response. Unfortunately, a lack of input slows women back; it’s challenging to develop your abilities and advance if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Look for ways to provide input to the women you work with to help them learn and grow.
Remember that holding back because you’re afraid of upsetting someone isn’t good for them. When possible, share your input in real-time, when it is most beneficial. Treat feedback as a gift and ask for it frequently—you’ll profit from it, and other female employees will hopefully follow your lead.
Serve as a Mentor and Sponsor for Other Women
Mentorship and sponsorship are essential factors in achieving success, yet women are often left out.
Because they share common interests, men gravitate toward mentoring other men. In fact, two-thirds of the men, in our Women in the Workplace research, said their mentors were predominantly men. Women are also less likely to have mentors who advocate for and promote them. Because sponsorship is what ultimately opens doors and generates chances, these differences help explain why there are fewer women in leadership positions.
Commit the time and energy to mentor another women.
Bottom-Line of Women Supporting Women
Even if you’re still new in your career, don’t underestimate the value of your input. If you’re more experienced, go beyond offering advice and use your influence to advocate for your fellow women employees. Sponsorship is an excellent way for female leaders to help other women, early in their careers, to grow and develop.
Authored by: Afifa
Edited by: Yara Fakhoury
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