Last week a colleague and I conducted a workshop for women on negotiation. Surprisingly, we discovered that many of the issues that prevented women from getting ahead in the fifties still exist today.
Women told us: We have to be “good girls”. We are not allowed to ask, but have to hope that those we love guess (esp) what we want and give it to us. Asking makes us appear greedy and selfish. We have to be humble.
Many of the women believed (erroneously) that getting a promotion or salary increase would be offered to them if they did a good job on the additional assignments given them. This was in contrast to what most men do, which is negotiate for the raise and promotion because they are given the additional assignment, and before they even start to complete it.
The feedback from this two hour workshop was incredible. Many women came to tell us how much they got out of learning they were not alone in their beliefs. Many reported the importance of hearing our suggestions for taking some risks and asking for what they wanted and needed. They’ve asked us for more follow up and some role-playing practice.
The women who attended this workshop were all professionals, managers, executives. Yet, they had the same fears and resistance to assertiveness that their counter-part females just entering the workforce report.
Women are still being brainwashed. This is especially true for women born and raised in other countries.
So, if you want the women in your organization to take more professional risks and reach up for more – giving you, their employer more for your money – than you might want to consider offering assertiveness training and negotiation strategies for the women in your organization. (Yes, a shameless plug for you to bring me in to conduct these workshops.)