“Role Incredulity” is something I often encounter throughout my career. Sometimes I’m ready to attend a meeting and lead it. People asked when their boss would arrive or if I thought I was there to take notes. Because women are perceived as “the place for men,” people often think of them as supporting rather than leadership.
From my experience, these types of misunderstandings can bother you or use them as an opportunity to redefine the moment.
I have positioned myself as an asset and have endeavored to combat people’s misunderstandings. In all my roles so far, I have worked hard to learn as much as possible about the business goals of the organization and how they can have a positive impact on them. In every job, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate how you can make the best contribution, personally and as a team member.
My advice for working young women is to be proactive and defend yourself. As more young people enter the workplace, culture is shifting towards success. If you need a salary increase, a speech opportunity, an expansion opportunity, etc., ask for it. You may come across “no” or “not at the moment”, but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. It’s also a good idea to raise awareness of what’s happening in the market. Conquering the subject gives you confidence in promoting the conversation and allows you to define yourself as a valuable resource.
I was fortunate to be able to take the approach I took. I didn’t wait for someone to give me permission to move my career forward or for someone else to give me an opportunity. As the women of the previous generation learned, if you wait, they will probably never happen. I encourage women to set ambitious (but realistic) goals and then run (don’t walk) to pursue them.
I also felt that not hesitating to do what I wanted and not being afraid to use my voice was another asset that helped me advance my career. It appears when you find your real voice and are true to yourself. For me, it means passionate, candid, and trustworthy. Knowing your voice and using it as a resource helps you navigate situations where people are trying to question your skills and abilities.
Unfortunately, these experiences are not just for me. They are shared by many women in this industry. I’ve found that the best approach is to have a perspective, although I’m certainly trying from time to time. It is important to reach a situation where you understand the perspective. Please ask yourself. How can you fit the equation and have a better impact? How can you expand the dialogue and make a better impact? It’s not your responsibility to change the story, but how you react positions you as a change agent with the ability to navigate tricky situations.
But because of the times when my role and leadership were questioned, I know the importance of being an ally. I don’t think everyone feels small or that their opinions do not add value to the mission of the organization. That’s why I’ve drawn from my experience to transform traditional leadership ideas and build a platform to enhance the role of others.
By adopting an approach that focuses on inclusiveness and empowering others, Government Marketing University provides a place for everyone to share their knowledge and experience. Through this collaborative experience, peers support each other and help shape each other into tomorrow’s leaders, rather than tearing each other apart.
https://washingtontechnology.com/opinion/2022/04/importance-finding-your-voice-woman-public-sector/365848/ The Importance of Finding Your Voice as a Woman in the Public Sector