Who Runs the Workplace? CWIB Girls!
Most college students enroll in higher education with a similar goal: to end up in a career that they enjoy. You put in the work, made sacrifices, and probably had a few sleepless nights during your time in college so that this goal could become a reality. However, recent graduates often do not understand some of the hardships that come with starting a business career. One of the main issues being confidence, and making your mark in a company where some of your colleagues may have up to 30 years of experience on you.
Although unfortunate, confidence in the workplace is often harder for women to attain than men. An interesting statistic I saw in an article from Forbes was that A Hewlett Packard internal report discovered that men usually apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications compared to women who only apply if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Society has progressed in that there are a lot more opportunities for women to feel empowered, however, we still struggle every day to make a name for ourselves in a business context. An article on Chron provided insight into this. They noted that “In order to help businesses incorporate gender equality into the workplace, the United Nations organization, UN Women, has established “Women’s Empowerment Principles,” which recommends that businesses establish gender equality goals that should be incorporated into manager performance evaluations.” Our blog’s female CEO article series highlights women who have mastered the art of confidence in order to dominate industries that are historically male-dominated. These women seemed to make it look easy, but that is certainly not the case. Therefore, I have a few ideas to help you achieve the confidence you all so rightly deserve.
1. Find a female mentor in your workplace. This is a great first step when it comes to building confidence. It may seem intimidating to speak with a woman at your job who holds a higher position, but odds are she has felt the same exact things you might feel when you begin your career. Your mentor, whether official or not official, can give you some great insight as to what steps they took to earn the position that they have now. It also just helps to have a friend you can confide in during your 40-hour workweek. Having a champion in your corner who believes in you make it easier for you to believe in yourself. During one of my internships, I became close with a female colleague who was an alumnus at Virginia Tech. She encouraged me to help with various projects in the office, and thanks to this push, I gained the confidence to write an article that was eventually published on the company website. She helped me to discover my love for writing, and I wouldn’t be a part of The CWIB Chronicles without her!
Finding a female mentor gives you the opportunity to bounce ideas, seek advice, or just have someone to talk to throughout the day. Photo credit: Collegiate Women in Business
2. Volunteer to take on challenging projects. A reason that women may lack confidence is that we have heard throughout history that men are superior to us. We were conditioned to believe that men are bigger, stronger, and smarter. If one good thing came from that, it is that we know we have to work twice as hard to get what we want. If you take on a challenging project and it turns out successful, which will most likely be the case, your colleagues will take notice. Having other people, men or women, give you recognition for a great job is another way to feel empowered at work.
If you are looking to hear more about how to be confident in the workplace, come out to our annual Power Panel on March 25th. The women on the panel can provide insight into how they empower themselves in their workplaces. Photo credit: Collegiate Women in Business
3. Implement strategies to be more self-aware. We all have unique strengths and recognizing what they are ensures that we are able to implement them into our everyday lives. You should also recognize your weaknesses so that you can work to improve on them. Here at The CWIB Chronicles, us staff writers complete peer evaluations so that we can figure out what works well and what can be improved on in each of our articles. This empowers all of us to exploit what we are good at and offer suggestions to make adjustments, fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and overall making this a great committee to be a part of.