Do you think that women and men are treated the same in the workplace? Of course not! I was reading an article in Psychology today that explained that men were penalized for being less aggressive and moral whereas women who were less aggressive and moral earned more.
Really? So as I woman is it wrong to be aggressive? ask for promotions? higher wages? Where is the line between assertive and aggressive?
I asked myself the other day if I were a man would I be charging more for my coaching and counseling. Maybe. Maybe women are still undervaluing themselves but are we being given a choice if we are rewarded for being “moral and less aggressive”.
In my research, it seems that women who are assertive are often seen as get seen as aggressive or bitchy. Further, if women get mad they are out of control and incompetent whereas for men it’s reasonable and can be a plus.
There is hope.
Quoting Amy Gallo’s article in HBR
“Don’t feel you have to muster interpersonal coldness to accompany your assertion. Feel free to be friendly and empathic while asking for your needs to be met,” says Ames. Find your own style instead of trying to imitate others. This is especially true for women. “Women need to be aware that becoming more like men is not sustainable,” says Cox. Nor do you need to be more assertive in every context every day. “You can bring out your competitive side when it’s useful and you can dial back and be accommodating when it’s helpful,” says Ames.
Play around with setting small goals and see how others react. Spend time with co-workers so they know who you are and understand your ambitions. Feel strong and self confident as you develop your style of assertiveness that will bring you maximum success.