I am taking a power and politics class this semester. I am learning so much about the advantages of social influence, branding, etc. This week we talked about how gender plays a role in the workplace. I borrowed these statistics from my lecture in class.
Women especially face many unique challenges. 60% of women are in the labor force and they make up 46% of the total US labor force. Women still make only 77.5 cents for every dollar that men earn. Minority women are worse off as well. African American women earn 64 cents and Hispanic women earn 52 cents for every dollar earned by men. Women in upper level management and executive positions earn 72% of men. Only 53% of employers provide at least some pay during maternity. The creation of FMLA laws is actually hurting women more as businesses can now rely on leave without pay. 40% of businesses worldwide still have no women in senior management positions. There is a glass ceiling that is preventing women and minorities from advancing to top management. Only 13.5% of executive officer positions in Fortune 500 companies are held by women.
Many women have to choose between families, their careers or their husbands, obstacles in education, and discrimination in pay. But women are essential in leadership because they bring perspectives and experiences that are needed.
Women make several crucial mistakes:
- Avoiding office politics
- Pretending it isn’t a game
- Pinching company pennies
- Waiting to be given what you want
- Polling to make a decision
- Needing to be liked
- “Acting” like a man
- Telling the whole truth
- Sharing too much personal information
- Ignoring the importance of network relationships
- Never saying NO
- Offering a limp handshake
- Limiting your possibilities
I have actually made several of these mistakes, if not all at some point. I am working on improving. So, if you are a female and want to advance in your career, take note of these tips, and let’s change the status quo!
P.S. If you are a male, you might still be making these mistakes. Perhaps, you don’t ask for salary raises, or avoid networking because it’s too much work. Do not limit your possibilities!
Have you noticed yourself making these mistakes? Any suggestions?