Forbes magazine published an article that talked about how women receive conflicting messages in the workplace. The article gives examples of conflicting messages like, “speak up but don’t be pushy” or “lead with confidence but don’t contradict your boss.”
With all these unspoken codes, it’s any wonder that women speak up at all. As we strive to break the glass ceiling and earn the same rate of pay as men, it comes with an inherent set of ground rules that we have to redefine.
There are times in an office setting when your opinion is the unpopular one, but you have to develop the fortitude to share it. I agree with the author of this article when she said, that women who do not speak up in the workplace contribute to stalled progress in their professional careers. A leader learns to trust his/her instincts and is willing to accept the consequences of those decisions.
Sometimes as women move up the corporate ladder, many are not interested in mentoring or offering career advice to young women within the organization who are striving to follow in their footsteps. The mindset of “I’ve got mine, now get yours” is unproductive and can set back the progress so many women in our past have fought for. I’m reminded of the saying that is still relevant today – each one, reach one. Let’s not allow the unspoken rules in the office silence our creativity, passion, or experience. Let’s avoid living up to the stereotypes of women being jealous and “catty” toward one another and choose to embrace the teamwork and solidarity needed to not only celebrate women’s successes, but to collectively strive to redefine the messages that are being sent in the workplace.
According to the article, our courage to share our thoughts and opinions begins in the classroom. We must teach our children-especially young girls, that it is ok for them to have an opinion and to not be afraid to share it.
As these young girls grow up and join the workplace, they will begin to trust their instincts and ultimately will exhibit the confidence that is respected in the boardroom by their colleagues.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell