Cornerstone Kansas City helps client companies identify and hire top-tier executive talent to meet their goals and needs. Our firm supports Women in Business and our Director of Client Services, Lisa Bruemmer, offers insight and tips to women in the workforce.
I have the cartoon you see below pasted above my office computer. Science tells us, and I’m sure my husband will confirm, that women use as many as 13,000 more words in a day than men.
But what science doesn’t address is that many times it takes that many words to actually be heard. Since we can’t whisper our input to a man and have it said for us and therefore attain intrinsic credibility, sometimes we just have to keep saying it, and saying it, and saying it…..
Progress is being made in leveling the playing field and many more women are being heard OR possibly many more of us are finally speaking up. Whatever the case, educated, knowledgeable voices should be heard regardless of gender.
Differing backgrounds, experiences, points of view, and approaches applied to any situation are always beneficial. By listening to all available relevant and competent input, we secure the best chance of finding creative solutions and moving an endeavor forward….all boats rise.
Women are too often still relegated to the “be seen and not heard” category and, if a woman pushes to break out of that box, she’s labeled as pushy, bossy, arrogant, bitchy, etc. vs. the male equivalent…. “ambitious”. I recently read a post by Kare Jacoba, CEO-Leadquest titled: “Women: Being Nice is Killing your Career”, and she makes an excellent point:
“We hear so much about how women in business have such a hard time getting ahead, being taken seriously, reaching their goals, or progressing into leadership. I believe that all this niceness that we women are so damn attached to, is the core of why success appears to often be just beyond our reach. Because we expect ourselves to be…nice…and we expect other women to be…nice…so, too do men in business expect us to be nice, thereby making it more difficult for them, and ourselves, to take us seriously.”
I’m not advocating not being nice. What I am saying is that speaking and acting in a knowledgeable, professional manner and being taken seriously shouldn’t be tied to gender or being perceived as “nice”.
Employees who are nice and well-liked are overlooked every single day because they never advance to “professional” or “valued resource”. They’re never able to make their fullest contribution because they’re too dang busy being likable instead of valuable. Unless you’re being paid to be nice, it shouldn’t be a primary factor in determining your value.
Ideas and input come from our minds, life experience, knowledge and education….so using those to evaluate what we have to contribute simply makes more sense for all involved.
All relevant voices heard and valued regardless of gender. Now wouldn’t that be nice?