4 Ways to Own being a Woman in the Workplace

If you’re a woman in the workplace or a woman looking tostart a career, you’ve probably experienced some unique challenges of being a woman in the professional world. Some of these challenges inhibit us from reaching our full potential. More and more, we’re seeing women becoming leaders in their fields and companies. We long to see a day when there are as many successful, inspiring women in their careers as men. There are a lot of things that we can do to help realize that goal.

Know your worth

Women tend to downplay their strengths. Well-known authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman cite the “Confidence Gap” on one of the reasons women struggle to reach their full potential in the work place. Though this doesn’t capture the whole picture, they have a valid point: women need to be as confident as they are competent. Women are more educated than men, with women making up 60% of college graduates, 60% of masters degrees and 52% of doctorates. We are strong and intelligent and competent, so believe it!

Don’t apologize

For whatever reason, women apologize constantly. Pantene recently created a campaign showcasing many instances of women apologizing when there is no need to. We apologize when we have something to say and we even apologize when someone bumps into us! Pantene challenges women everywhere to stop apologizing and #shinestrong.

Set high goals for yourself

It is widely understood that setting goals is a healthy practice in being successful. When you set your goals, don’t minimize them to make them seem easier to tackle. Instead, set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for yourself and set smaller goals along the way to get you to that goal. Most importantly, believe that you will achieve that goal. Even if you don’t ever get there, believing you can will motivate you to achieve many things you might not have thought possible.

Take advantage of being a woman

Women have unique biological makeups that differentiate us from men, we all know this, but one little known fact is that women more than 9.5 times more white matter in their brains than men. White matter facilitates the connections between the two hemispheres of the brain, which allows women to gather and synthesize information better than men. Women have the unique ability to see a situation, analyze it from every angle and develop a conclusion incorporating all of the relevant information. This unique perspective plays into our ability to manage relationships and provide helpful advice in difficult situations, which are two qualities of great leaders.

To women everywhere, we issue a challenge. Claim your strength, don’t minimize yourself and work hard to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. We’re so excited to see you achieve the things you set out to do.

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.