Women have many life issues that can interfere with work and career, especially, since we’re usually the primary caregivers, not only of our children, but for extended family, as well. And, if you have two high-powered careers, most often, it is the woman who has to make job or career sacrifices for the good of the family.
The economy, our own independence, and happiness make working a necessity for a majority of women. Yet, there is still a lot of inequality and unfairness in the workplace. Women have plenty of hoops to jump through to receive the recognition we deserve. There is one hurdle that women can control; that is, a woman’s tendency to be modest about her accomplishments.
A study conducted by Jessie L. Smith of Montana State University and published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, found that women were more willing to brag on their friend’s accomplishments while downplaying their own. Men seem to not have this problem. (see excerpt, below):
“Women’s Bragging Rights: Overcoming Modesty Norms to Facilitate Women’s Self-Promotion” was published in the December 20, 2013 issue of “Psychology of Women Quarterly.” Smith said the research, which sampled nearly 80 MSU undergraduate women, confirmed that women downplay their own accomplishments but have no trouble promoting a friend. Past research had already shown than men are not affected by modesty norms like women are.”
Society tends to judge braggadocious tendencies in women much more harshly than in men. Males who brag about their work or successes are viewed as being more capable and competent; while, women are more likely to be ostracized and called out for being conceited, arrogant or, even, difficult. From childhood, young girls are given messages that nice girls get along, are ladylike, kind, congenial, and meek…in other words, you don’t make waves! So, what can an ambitious woman do?
As a start, women should be aware of the tendency to hold back in communicating our talents, accomplishments or other outstanding qualities; and start aggressively documenting such. But, we must take it a little further. Women have to be willing to be aggressive and take a stance. When it’s time for raises, promotions, awards, etc. once a woman has shown that she is as or more, qualified than anyone, she must have the confidence to speak up and demand what she deserves, and refuse to be kindly, passed over, and ignored.
While modesty may be a gracious trait to have, women may have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
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Regina Essel is a Life-Empowerment and Business Coach/Consultant. She is also Founder and Administrator of the (Free to Join) Savvy Empowered Women’s Network. Connect with Regina at www.reginaessel.com, www.twitter.com/savvyewn, www.facebook.com/savvyewn, and www.linkedin.com/in/reginaessel.