Give yourself the permission to be all in
One of the biases that women face in the workplace and in society is prescriptive bias. The expectations that all women should behave in a stereotypical manner. Most often those expectations are that they should be good girls who are motherly which is code for nurturing, selfless and communal.
These are the opposite of what the KPAs for getting leadership positions are, which are the attributes that men are conditioned to be or affirmed for. Attributes such as ambition, competitiveness, confidence, initiative, self promotion, firmness and an affinity for financial success.
Some women often respond to this by either playing to the stereotype in order to gain acceptance; aka the Good girl syndrome. This will often get them acceptance but not respect . They might get to a certain level of leadership (often after many year) but will most often be stuck there and never break through the ‘glass ceiling’ into top leadership.
Most women know that breaking through to the next level will require them to be and act in ways that don’t come natural to who they have been conditioned and affirmed to be. Behaviours that they have condemned other women for. Not because these behaviours are necessarily bad but because they have been framed as unbecoming for a woman.
We all know there are biases against women in the workplace and those need to change. Its easy to become a victim because that absolves you of any responsibility and any accountability for your inability to advance into the next level of leadership.
If we are honest that is often a cop out for our unwillingness as women to get our hands dirty, to get in the race, to stretch ourselves, to learn and unlearn. We become the worst critics of those of us who opt into ‘the arena’ , while we secretly envy their willingness and strength to get in ‘the game’.
Are you a Black Woman in the Workplace who feels called to the next level of leadership, income and impact?
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