As a proud co-founder of ARA, an organization committed to attracting, retaining and advancing women in technology roles, and an owner of my own IT recruitment firm, I’ve long had a personal passion for gender equality in business. While there have been some strides forward in recent years, gender equality deserves continued attention as there is much work to still be done. This is particularly true in areas such as respect in the workplace, career advancement and pay equality.
The Importance of Speaking Up
It reminded me of an article I read a few months ago that I found insightful, empowering and well, practical; “Finding Your Voice as a Woman in Business,” which was published by customer experience agency Cake & Arrow. The focus of the piece is how we all, women and men, need to support women to speak up in the workplace and reduce bias.
Unfortunately, it’s challenging for many women to make their voice heard at work. Speak too aggressively, and you’re labeled as bossy. On the flip side, approach issues with caution, and you risk being ignored.
I like how the author points out that to “come up with strategies for combating this form of bias in the workplace, it is important to first understand the problem, which when it comes to women speaking up, is largely one of perception.” In fact, many women themselves don’t know how they can change perception and alter their own behavior to demand respect.
A few of the key strategies presented, based on internal employee workshop findings, include “Practice,” “Stop Apologizing” and “Balance Passion.” I highly recommend you read their advice in its entirety, and think about how your own voice factors into possible solutions to reduce gender equality and embrace diversity.