Women have become a powerful group in the modern workforce. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are 67.5 million women working outside of the home throughout the world as of 2013. Yet there are still many communication challenges that women face within the professional world.
Kathy Caprino of Forbes finds that there are 9 common communication challenges that women face.
[note note_color=”#efefef”][dropcap]1[/dropcap]Don’t take it personal.
Some women place too much emotional stock into workplace dynamics and interactions. Avoid taking most occurrences within the office as personal. Instead filter them through a more objective, analytical lens. This will empower you by giving perspective and helping you attain strategic advantages.[/note]
[note note_color=”#efefef”][dropcap]2[/dropcap]Taking credit.
In most professions, workers move up based on performance. In many cases, women are reluctant to stand up and take credit for what they’ve done. Learn to speak powerfully and comfortably about what you have achieved. If “we” didn’t actually do the work, don’t be afraid to say “I” did.[/note]
[note note_color=”#efefef”][dropcap]3[/dropcap]Getting what you deserve.
One of the most prevalent communication challenges for women is fighting for what you’ve earned. Studies show that men negotiate more for what they think they deserve (benefits, positions, salary). In today’s economy, doing the same work and making less pay is a self-inflicted wound. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for what you know you are worth. If the company really values your contribution, they will be willing to play ball too.[/note]
[note note_color=”#efefef”][dropcap]4[/dropcap]Challenging Power.
Many women have been raised to believe it is rude or “unladylike” to challenge authority, even when it is obviously destructive. This can be one of the most harmful communication challenges women face, as it can enable harassment or inappropriate behavior and attitudes in the workplace if not addressed. However, it will be difficult for women to advance to higher levels without questioning the ideas, policies, or goals of those in higher positions.[/note]
[note note_color=”#efefef”][dropcap]5[/dropcap]Creating a powerful and confident persona.
Even if women don’t feel powerful and confident, it’s important to project these traits. This communication challenge is tricky because women can run the risk of seeming overbearing, even if they only match the same level of power and confidence as their male counterpoints. Still research shows that people who exhibit these traits are more likely to be promoted, attain raises, and be put in positions of leadership.[/note]