Friday, August 12, 2016

How to counter gender bias at work

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, writes about gender bias in Forbes.

Men outnumber women in many businesses--such as tech startups and engineering firms. But women can survive and thrive even in these with the right techniques.

Morin says that men tend to dominate by the behavior, not just because of their XY chromosomes. Women who exhibit "masculine" traits such as aggressiveness and confidence tend to receive more promotions than even men exhibiting such qualities.

You can ask for a raise, speak up in meetings, not apologize all the time for everything.

In a 2014 study in the Harvard Business Review, women are much less likely to speak up in meetings--and are more likely to allow themselves to be interrupted.

Women should also be direct. Don't say, "I am not sure everyone will agree, but..." or "I hate to ask you to do this..."

If you do get a compliment--accept it. Don't say, "Oh, I got lucky."

Do you think women are less likely to be successful? This will come across.

Whether you wear a suit or dress, come across as confident in your outfit. Don't pull at it or adjust it.

Men network--they play golf, for example, or go to dinner together during conferences. They talk sports. You may not be as successful if you don't join in--or even take time from your family to go to Happy Hour.

And--stop blaming men for your lack of success. Pity parties do not change things.

This does not mean you need to hang out in bars, use profanity, or adopt the less attractive qualities of some males--it just means you need to be on the team, visible, strong, and productive.

And above all, know your worth.

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