Why are women often held back? (Part One of Two)

In this two-part blog series I will be looking at the reasons why women are often held back.
I’ve been thinking about this and wondered about those women who fall in love as their biological clock is ticking away and make do because they want to have a child or those who are swayed by love or their emotions.
We have all read how women are not only held back by others but also, sadly, by themselves through attitudes instilled by others and their own self-critique.
Getting out of those artificially instrinsic behaviours is essential if you are to progress, whether in your home, work or personal life. It’s about re-wiring your brain and developing more helpful and supportive habits.
One of the biggest blocks to achieving and moving up the ranks is the area of celebrating achievement where women often feel uncomfortable using the I word in relation to their successes and thereby missing out on further advancement. I say if you’ve done something, and are proud, show and tell people. By doing this you are valuing your achievements and other people will too.
The flipside of this is that you will believe that your successes will speak for themselves and as a result others will recognise and reward these. However, in this world it doesn;t happen like this and as a result you may end up feeling unappreciated, under-valued and overlooked which impacts negaitively on job satisfaction and morale.
Another habit is trying to be excellent at every aspect of your role which means you put yourself on an endless treadmill. You’ll find that your male counterparts focus on doing those parts of the job with the greatest chance of visibility and increasing relationships that will take them to the next level.
Building rather than leveraging relationships is important too and shouldn’t be seen as self-serving. Think about what and how someone can help you and how you can give them something useful too. Networking gives you the chance to meet the right people who can support your advancement; connecting is a clever and wise business habit to develop and keep nurturing.
The majority of women wait until they are settled in a new job and have proven their level of competence and success before they enlist the support of peers. However men tend to ask who can help them from day one which means they are better positioned with the right support at the start of their careers.
Loyalty to our employer is another hindrance which holds women back. Staying in a job because you want to be loyal is detrimental to progression as it sends out the message you don’t deserve the promotion or movement up the ranks. Staying in the same job for too long will undermine your self-worth and long-term satisfaction too.
What have your own experiences been? Have you ever found yourself in a situation you know would have been handled differently by a man? Have you modified your behaviour as a result of missing out on a promotion or are you wired up the way you are believing you cannot change? I’d love to hear your stories.
Elisa x