Women are making tremendous strides in politics, business and other areas of influence; gaining the recognition they deserve, the equality they are entitled to, and the respect they have long earned. But there is still much more to be done, especially in the workplace. So how do we create the right environment and opportunities for women to reach their full potential?
To start, we can ask ourselves a few basic questions. Do you shy away from asking for a raise? When you see another woman undervaluing herself in the workplace, do you offer encouragement? If you knew of a lack of inequality, would you find the right means of communication to bring it to light?
Transforming one’s outlook on women in the workplace can be deeply personal work. It involves taking a look at where we came from, the kind of role models we observed in our early lives, and our own sense of value and worth. I have worked long and hard to feel comfortable talking about money and expressing my value. You might say I have “Recalculated” my approach.
By reflecting on where we are when things do not go as planned, we can course-correct to propel ourselves forward and increase our productivity. Ultimately, we can get more of what we want not only in business, but also in life.
If you are feeling frustrated or upset by a situation, chances are it is time to recalculate your outlook.
Women in business face inequality all the time, and by working together we can recalculate the way the business world views women. Let’s take a look at how we can create an environment where all women and men can make a difference. For when one person is held back from reaching her or his full potential, so is anyone else who is involved but remains indifferent.
Here are four directions for women to win:
1. Move forward. Are you sitting back and waiting for someone to invite you to participate? If there is a project you would love to contribute to, to move from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat. Pick up the phone and let the person in charge know you are ready, willing and able. Sometimes we think it’s obvious we’re interested, but unless you are being proactive, you could be waiting a long time for that phone to ring…if ever.
2. Demonstrate admiration. Is there a woman in leadership you greatly admire? Invite her for coffee or a drink. Offer to plug into her favorite charitable organization, if she has one. Or simply send a handwritten note or card to acknowledge her as an inspirational person in your life. Demonstrating admiration creates desirable connections and friendships—even among co-workers—and can help you identify the qualities of a leader.
3. Give the gift of yourself. Offer time to a woman just starting out in your field. Send her a helpful article or call her to let her know you are available as a sounding board. You do not necessarily need to commit to a mentoring relationship, but letting her know you are there and believe in her can make a world of difference.
4. Reward yourself. Acknowledge yourself for all you have accomplished. When we get busy, it often takes a reminder to make the time to honor and celebrate ourselves. Take yourself out, buy yourself flowers, or send a group email to your closest female colleagues thanking them for being there for you. We can all use daily reminders—those small acts of caring and support—to continue our journey to self-worth.
As we mark Women’s Equality Day, let’s remember it is the 100% responsibility of each person to create an environment of equality. Instead of pointing fingers, let’s make it our business to be the ones who affect real change for our sons, our daughters and ourselves.