Workshop Discussion Points and Sources
Thanks for attending Credit Corp's Women’s Success Network session on Getting Your Voice Heard.
I shared a number of data points and research pieces, so here are links to some of that research.
Some of the barriers to speaking up at work:
- Women are interrupted twice as often as men
- The microaggression of being spoken over or having someone take credit for your work has a significant and lasting effect - not so micro after all.
- Women's mistakes are judged more harshly than men's
- Women get more feedback on tone over content
- Men are rated more highly than women at speaking
- Women face a double bind where they are expected to be more nurturing and caring, but are seen as less authoritative when they are.
A Note on confidence
- Reshma Saujani's commencement address on Imposter Syndrome. I'd love to know what you think of bicycle face!
- A Forbes article that said, Focusing on how women need to be “fixed” to achieve career success draws attention away from the real problem: which is the different workplace dynamics women and men experience.
- And yet, working on our own confidence levels also only helps!
Responding to barriers
- Advocate for ourselves
- Advocate for others
- Build our confidence
- Frame your message so it's most likely to land
- Write a list of 30 things that you have done/contributed to/feel proud of in your work. You can build the list over time, keep the (small) size of my examples in mind.
- Add to it over time throughout your career as you contribute in ways you feel proud of
- Keep emails and feedback from people in a file to remind yourself of a job well done
Prepare to have your voice heard
- Preparing ahead to get your voice heard can increase your confidence in the moment and make you more confident in what you will say.
- Plan what you want to say, prep the content, and practice it with a friend/colleague/ally.
- If you know you want to try self-advocacy techniques, practice how you will ask someone to pause in interrupting to share their thoughts.
- Remember that speaking up isn't about being combative, but about knowing what you want to say, how to best present it to your audience, and being about to respond to questions and comments confidently.
In order to set yourself up for the best possible outcome, there are a few key steps you can take to prepare for the most positive outcome.
Be clear and concise:
When you are making an argument or proposal, be sure to be clear and concise about your points. Avoid using jargon or technical language that your audience may not understand.
Support your arguments and proposals with evidence, such as data, research, or expert opinions. This will make your arguments more persuasive and less likely to be dismissed.
Tailor your arguments to your audience:
Think about the needs and interests of your audience when you are formulating your arguments and proposals. This will help you to make your arguments more relevant and persuasive.
But also, this is a chance to think about people who potentially speak over you and how you will respond, and who you can amplify in the meeting/discussion.
Speak clearly and loudly, practice what you are going to say so you feel confident in the words that will come out of your mouth, be as assertive as you are comfortable to be, and fake it till you make it.
Check out Amy Cuddy’s power poses!
If possible, find allies who can support you and your ideas. This could be a colleague, manager, or mentor. Having allies can help you to get your voice heard and to overcome biases and stereotypes. You have this women’s network, you also have Lean In circles, these are the people you will be spending more time with and can use them as a sounding board
Ask for feedback:
If your idea is dismissed, ask for specific feedback and try to understand why it was not accepted.
Have any more questions?