Why Women Stand In Their Own Way

Women like Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Indra K. Nooyi, did not get to where they are sitting on self-doubt. They have proven that actively working towards goals happens inside and outside the office. Successful women are courageous. Below are the top three reasons women stand in the way of their own success.

1. Relationship Stagnation

In the workplace, women tend to look for friendship and forget about developing relationships that will help them advance their career. This leads to women being associated with gossip. They are making wrong connections, giggling with their peer instead of seeking sponsorship and mentors in senior level executives. A sponsor is an advocate of your abilities and can help you get promoted to a position others might overlook you for. We tend to stick to what we know and do not reach out to those that can help us move upward and forward.

2. Silence

What is it with the quiet submissive persona women take on at work? Self-confidence is the number one trait necessary for success. If you don’t believe in yourself, please tell me who will?  While at work: speak up and solicit feedback, own assignments, assert that you can accomplish a task, ask for more challenging work, convey your goals and embrace your achievements. Speak up at meetings and offer your ideas. How will you be heard if you are whispering or not saying anything at all?

3. Poor Presentation

Professional and polished are synonymous in my book. I have not seen a senior-level woman look ungroomed or unpresentable. In many offices, especially creative industries like PR and advertising, the dress code tends to be more relaxed. That is not an excuse to go right ahead and throw on jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops. To be taken seriously, a woman must look serious. Business casual, neatly groomed, with make-up on. Looking good is non-negotiable. It affects how co-workers, supervisors and clients perceive you.  It’s called power dressing.

In conclusion, women do not build their network with people who can help them, they do not speak out and present themselves poorly. I made steps to change these things at my current internship and the window of opportunity has turned into a door.

Have a specific question or interested in learning more? Email me (emmeliedlc (at) gmail.com) or leave a comment.

Post inspired by: The Sponsor Effect: Why Qualified Women Dont Make it to The Corner Office | Vault.com.

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