70% of women think they will get on with hard work alone, according to New York think tank. These women did not value stakeholder engagement and collaboration, they believed that hard work alone would ensure they get on.
I mentor many young ambitious women and recently one shared feedback from her boss about raising her profile, as his boss was questioning what she does. She is incredibly hard working, taking on projects on her own and delivering.
As with many women I have mentored over time, they all suffer with the similar issues. They work on their own and are silent achievers. Some have said its up to my boss to know what I am doing. That comment in itself lacks understanding of a manager, who probably leads 5-7 people and may not know the work of individuals in the team. I have had this comment from women of all ages in their career and I am always flabbergasted at the naivety of the comment, given the work load of managers in today’s flattened organisation structures.
The advice given by her boss was to sit next to his boss, so he can hear her on the phone and he can see what she is doing. He also said she needs to brag more about what she is doing. This advice to a female is unhelpful and will not sit with their values. Instead the advice needs to be: What projects are you currently working on? What success have you had in the last week? Listen to what she is doing and then share with your boss. Other options are I would like you to present at the next team meeting on your current projects, can you collaborate with these teams as they will have an interest in what you are doing and can contribute to the project outcomes. This type of coaching is far more valuable then advice such as sitting near your boss.
Leading women is very different to leading men, understanding that women’s values are different, therefore your coaching needs to align to their values and needs.