Interestingly, more mature women reflected on overt sexism and predatory behaviour experienced in the ‘80s & ‘90s. Younger women fear more subtle bias.
NUMBER 1, (this word came up repeatedly): “I hate to be seen as a bitch”. Variations include, “ball breaker” and “Hitler in knickers”. My advice when dealing with such language: reflect and consider – don’t react.
Maternity leave generates major concerns about career and financial prospects. Women feel they are considered casual about work when dealing with family issues.
Social fears: IMPOSTER SYNDROME. Being judged for everything but the quality of my work. Loneliness. Maintaining personal relationships. Can I still be myself? I don’t want to be compared to men. Getting my voice heard. When concerned, being seen as “harping on”, frustrating male colleagues.
Non-gender fears: Fear of failure. I’m safe/stuck where I am. The CEO won’t have my back. Developing from current role to demonstrating a strategic mindset. Putting my head above the parapet. Perception that women are more risk averse than men, (also better at mitigating it).
Ending on a positive note: “What fears? NONE.”
Next: “NETWORKS & MENTORING” #cultivateher #leadership
14th January 2021