As women, we need to speak up more and create visibility for ourselves whether it’s in a meeting, an interview with media, or a conversation with colleagues at work. This topic comes up over and over again in my discussions with clients as well as guests on my radio show. In my recent interview with Toddi Gutner, the hesitancy of women to speak up and stand out surfaced again.
In the interview, Toddi talks about how important it is for women as a group to become more visible in the media. Visibility in the media supports and contributes to women’s leadership initiatives across all industries and government. The White House Project’s Benchmarking Women’s Leadership Report confirms the fact that women get less bylines in eleven of the top political and intellectual magazines and that this lack of visibility needs to be addressed in order for women to advance to leadership positions. Women need to be visible and credible.
Toddi also says from her experience as a reporter she finds that women are not only hesitant to promote themselves, but are also not always organized, can often ramble, and don’t come across with the same confidence as men. Men are much more declarative. They frequently respond quickly to her questions in precise, short and often quotable statements.
Both the White House Project and Toddi strongly advocate media training for women. I agree, of course, but also feel strongly that women need to learn how to promote themselves more effectively and feel comfortable delivering their message. We must get over our belief that we are bragging when we talk about ourselves in a positive manner. Certainly, bragging turns people off and, as women, we need to be especially mindful of this in the workplace. Outright bragging can sabotage our efforts to advance our careers, but done diplomatically and appropriately, it is possible to get our message across to become more visible in the organization. It is possible to learn this and do it well.
We have valuable experiences, information and stories to share. We need to speak up and promote ourselves!