Women are making incredible strides and there is no time to take our foot off of the gas pedal.
With women making up half of the world’s population and consistently striving to better themselves and the world through politics, business, arts, sports, and endless other avenues, we want to take a step back and give women everywhere the recognition they deserve.’
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The month of March was a great time to highlight and appreciate these moments. As we look back at this past Women’s History Month, we both reflected and celebrated the accomplishments and enormous strides females have made, from knocking through the (metaphorical) glass ceiling in the business world to tackling bias in everyday life.
As important as it is to focus on these past triumphs, it’s now time to shift focus on to the next steps. Our work is far from over, and we want more women in positions to implement amazing work. Below are 4 habits that—when adapted—can help propel female entrepreneurs towards their goals and help climb that corporate ladder with the right tools.
Stop apologizing + use stronger language
Over-apologizing can be a hard habit to break, but unnecessarily apologizing can weaken the power and meaning of your words, and even undermine your confidence at work. Believing in yourself and the decisions you make will turn into a positive feedback loop—the more confident you are now, the more surefooted you’ll become. If you aren’t 100% behind your decisions and feel completely confident, it may be time to rethink your stance on that situation!
If you do happen to be at fault, profusely apologizing might seem like an easy way out, but there’s a better strategy. When in doubt, choose action. So instead of over-apologizing, try admitting fault, actively looking through your mistakes, provide a solution to remedy the error, and work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In the same vein of over-apologizing, there are certain types of language that can undermine your message at work. Scanning your emails for words or phrases that belittle your meaning is a great first step. Once you learn how to identify and stop using weak language at work, start replacing all of those “sorrys” and “justs” with powerful language at work.
Don’t focus on the gaps
This is all too common. With the frustration of continuously being counted out of the next promotion or patronized at the water cooler, it can be easy to focus on the gaps that exist between women and their male counterparts. However, entrepreneurs, both men, and women have a lot in common and focusing on the differences isn’t going to help anyone.
Spending too much time looking into the frustrating aspects can actually do you harm in the work you produce since often, this mindset can lead to a competitive mindset instead of a collaborative one. With collaboration being a key to employee satisfaction, focusing on the encouraging statistics instead of dwelling on the negative ones can improve not just your own attitude, but your coworkers as well.
Michelle Lam, the CEO of True&Co., a company striving for female empowerment, touches on the subject. Lam said, “Proactively building bridges instead of dwelling on differences takes real confidence. It can be especially difficult where women in the top ranks are few and far between. It can feel like a boys club if you let it get to you. Stay strong and remember that you can find common ground and connect to your colleagues in many ways without adding a Y chromosome.”
Support your ‘work wife’
As women, we’ve likely experienced the feeling of hate or animosity from other women. 2019 is the year to come to a consensus and squash these hateful, competitive tendencies. If we want to have a shot at finally smashing through the barriers, banding together and lifting each other up will set in motion the type of change that will be hard to stop.
When was the last time you took a look at your network? Strategic sisterhood alliances are crucial for success, and will lift you in a way you never knew was possible. Backing each other up, being an anchor for other women, and ultimately lending an ear when the stress gets to be too much, can instill a positive community in an otherwise hostile work environment. Think about reaching out to a new contact to increase your industry knowledge, or take some time to be that knowledge well for other women starting out.
Women know that even in 2019, we—at times—have to work twice as hard in their career to receive the same recognition as their male coworkers.
However, it is important that this year we begin to work smarter not harder. Organization is one of the best ways to accomplish this! Toning down the “thriving in your own chaos” attitude can help put certain routines on auto-pilot and free up more mind space for creative and innovative ideas.
So get creative with your to-do lists, email sorting, and even the displays on your desk. You will be surprised at how much of an impact a clean and clear desk can have on your productivity.
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