Many things happen at work that we do not address enough or sometimes not at all, which affect women’s engagement at work. In this Expert Insight Interview, Alessandra Wall discusses the importance for women to speak up on burnout and the pushback they face in the workplace. Alessandra Wall is a business consultant, speaker, psychologist, and CEO of Life in Focus Coaching Inc., helping women to develop deeply satisfying careers and companies to attract and retain exceptional women.
The interview discusses:
- Unconscious bias against women
- Wonder Women effect at the workplace
- Things that men overlook concerning female coworkers
The way how we socialize in the professional environment is often unconsciously biased towards women. Being nice for women in business means doing everything people ask them to do. Being humble means not communicating the impact they make in projects while being kind means not saying no to anything because then they would not be team players. The reason for unconscious bias is because we lack full self-awareness, and we are prone to avoid things that make us uncomfortable. Thus, the company should put in place a system to help employees gain self-awareness and practice it regularly. Other people can identify our patterns more clearly, so pairing up people enables the use of objectivity in the right way. When we realize our bias, we get defensive, so the goal is to rise above it and to take action to change it. The change should start with small, practical, and doable steps, so thinking of only one person we treated this way and changing our behavior towards that person is a great start.
The “Wonder Women” Effect
It is a common situation that company leaders are not aware of their top-performing women trying to leave their jobs. These women always say yes to all new tasks. They also never voice out their overwhelm, portraying themselves as a “Wonder Woman” on the outside, when indeed they are slowly burning out inside. Hence, to avoid the “Wonder Women” effect, women must take ownership of their roles regarding what their responsibilities are at the workplace.
Men Can Help
There are some things that men overlook when it comes to their female coworkers that could make a significant impact on women’s satisfaction and engagement at work. Firstly, management delegates more tasks to perform to women than to men. Secondly, women often get interrupted when they speak during the meeting or have to justify their statements. And lastly, asking women what you can do to make them feel more supported and valued at work is the easiest way to unburden them while increasing their work satisfaction and improving their overall well-being.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.