Women Need to Know and Express that They Belong



The movement for gender equality is strong and growing, with advocacy, demonstrations, initiatives and pioneering organizations all playing their part. It is important to always recognize and develop your individual role in this movement, and remember that experiencing professional success is a powerful way to contribute to gender equality.

Women can contribute to their success by recognizing their value, embodying their confidence and believing that they belong. This self-belief will be acknowledged within your workplace and you will be perceived as such.

Not conveying confidence and ability can have dire consequences on your career and professional growth. Studies show that women are up against it as it is; not leveraging your value only makes the mountain that much harder to climb.

A recent Wells Fargo report reveals that when it comes to raises, women: are four times less likely than men to ask for one, usually request 30 percent less than men, and are viewed more negatively than men for asking. Research from a 2016 study by London Business School professors also shows that women are less likely than men to apply at a company that has rejected them previously.

If you know your value, talent and capabilities, nothing should stop you from working towards your goals. If you feel you deserve more compensation, ask for it confidently. A rejection may hurt, but it should not be taken personally or emotionally; above all, not being selected for a position should not be perceived as proof that you are not deserving of it.

From NAWRB Magazine’s sheCENTER(FOLD) Interview with Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley:

”I’ve said this before in my first book Expect to Win, perception is the copilot to reality. That was the biggest aha moment because I did not realize that you could teach people how to think about you, or that it was important to understand the perception about you in the marketplace. I was very green, I just came in thinking that I would work hard and that would be enough. But as I said at the beginning of this conversation, if you’re working in a way that is inconsistent with the way they’re thinking about success, you’re not going to maximize your success. So there you are working as hard as you possibly can, but again, you’re offering that which is not valued so you don’t get the return for your efforts. Biggest lesson, that’s my biggest lesson.”

When you believe in yourself and know that you belong, everyone else does, too. By not allowing perceptions, stereotypes and rejections to detour your path to the top, you are helping eliminate these misguided notions. As you succeed, you are surely helping tip the scale towards equality.

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