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Get people to take you seriously
July 16, 2017, 2:27 pm

Depending on the industry you are in, being a woman at work can be tough. While some women are lucky to work at companies that value all employees equally, this is sadly not the case everywhere. Not only do females have to deal with the wage gap and sub-par maternity leave policies, but sometimes women also come up against people who are less receptive to their ideas simply because they are women. So how can you deal if you find yourself in this situation? To learn how you can get your coworkers and superiors to take you seriously, no matter what level you are.

Check your language:  The way you talk has a lot to do with how you are perceived, whether it is how you speak or how you write. Even if you are very comfortable with your coworkers, easygoing language is a bad habit. Casual language to some shows a lack of professionalism and a lack of respect, and many people would prefer well-written communications. It’s true that if you work in a really casual environment, your boss might use this kind of language when sending you messages, but it’s always a good idea to keep what you say back grammatically correct (although not necessarily overly formal). That way, you project the image of being someone who is well-spoken and values their own work. When you handle yourself this way, it is pretty hard for people to see you as anything other than the professional you are.

Remember that in business, finance matters the most:  If you are presenting a new initiative, idea, or business model, make sure you have thought about the financial side of things. This puts you at an advantage with higher-ups, regardless of your gender.  If you have a good idea and have demonstrated it can become a real business, you will be taken seriously. 

Present ideas with confidence and enthusiasm:  In addition to being well prepared and ensuring your idea is supported by the facts and data, it is critical to make sure that you present the idea in a way that is inspiring and confidence-engendering. Be confident, and don’t assume that the people you’re presenting to want to knock you down. You need to help them see the vision and feel your enthusiasm and understand your thought process.

Work on what is within your control:  If you are in a toxic work environment, it might be out of the scope of your abilities to change the company culture from the ground up. In this case, you should try to focus on what you can change.  If it’s not a level playing field or you are working with highly prejudiced men or in a culture that is indigenously discriminating, you are not going to change that. You only have control of yourself, your skills and training, your expertise and experience, and your behavior.


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