Updated: Dec 18, 2018
You can't read a news feed without seeing something related to gender equality. It is everywhere!!!
***The Case: Women comprise 51% of the global population, 55% of undergraduates in the US, and 46.8% of the US labor force.
***However: 22.2% of Fortune 500 Corporate Board members are women, 4.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, women who work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) 24%
***It is still a man’s world!
Change is important for the future success of countries, companies, families. The first step towards change is awareness, so the press is good. Yet we just aren't there yet in terms of meaningful shift towards equality as proven by the statistics. So in the meantime how do us lady folk survive in a man's world let alone kick some serious butt?
--> CONFIDENCE “Fake it until you become it” -Amy Cuddy
Confidence is crucial to success in a man's world. Whether you feel it or not, you must come across confident, secure, knowledgeable, powerful to be taken seriously.
Non-verbal cues are everything. Stand tall with good posture, take up space, make eye contact, use a firm hand shake, smile. If you need to trick yourself into confidence: spend 2 minutes in a power pose prior to an evaluative situation (interview, performance review, salary negotiation, presentation…) No kidding this has been proven to work! Uncover your fears. What makes you feel unconfident? It is likely founded on your own insecurities & assumptions, not reality. Use daily affirmations to reverse these fears. Here's a great book (a 1 plane flight read) if you need some guidance.
--> BE LIKABLE
Take interest in your male counterparts/boss/subordinates. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Start interactions by asking about their family/favorite sports team/recreational interests, etc. Be authentic and if you have to do a little home work, do it. Don't belabor the small talk, make sure it is genuine + to the point.
--> CHOOSE YOUR WORDS
Women and men have different motivations for communicating. Men tend to be goal oriented, women tend to focus on relationship building. To be most effective in how we communicate with men:
*Actively listen! Listen with the intent to pick up cues on their communication style. Communicate back to them in a style that resonates.
*Be concise + get to your point. Clearly share the “whats in it for them,” don’t make them guess.
*Know who you are talking to: if he’s a square ~ keep it polished + professional // if he’s more edgy or has a sense of humor ~ incorporate those elements into your message
--> WATCH THE "WHYS"
If you must decline a meeting invite, ask for a day off, change direction on a project: just do so without feeling compelled to rationalize. Men typically do not give the “why” to negative news, similarly they don’t need the “why” on your negative news. Keep your rationales brief + objective. “I apologize Paul, I cannot make the Wed 8am meeting, would Thursday work for you?” Paul does not need to know about your dentist appointment.
--> DRESS + CONDUCT
Confidence is of utmost importance. We tend to be more confident when we are comfortable + our "look" reflects who we are authentically. Dress within or right on the boundaries of what is appropriate for your line of business yet suits your taste + exemplifies your authentic self. Think about what message your clothing choices might send.
Be clear about your intentions or lack of intention. If you plan to attend a 1-1 dinner with a customer, clearly state that there is an agenda prior to the meal. With colleagues make sure your actions support your intentions.
Clearly just a scratch on the surface of kicking butt in a man's world. I'd love to hear your ideas too! Meet me over in the community section to share your experience + pearls of wisdom!
Here's to kicking butt,