Speak Up

Why You Need To Take Credit For Your Work

creditToday’s women-helping-women movement is all about collaboration, not competition. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take credit for your work. In fact today it’s more important than ever to know your value and to give credit where credit is due—and that includes yourself.
A recent article at DailyWorth.com addresses this very thing and while your workplace might have evolved to a point that it runs collaboration, when it comes time to dole out raises or promotions, it’s not your whole team being judged — it’s you. If you continually let someone else take credit for your accomplishments, it will be tough to get ahead.

You Could Give Away Hundreds of Thousands in Lifetime Earnings

Yes, it’s partially about the money, but getting credit for your work is also important in pushing back against sexism and other forms of prejudice that can hold you back. As a recent post TheMuse.com points out, when someone speaks over you, constantly interrupts you, ignores you, or, worse, takes credit for your ideas, it can be difficult to speak up for yourself. You should speak up for yourself anyway, of course. But it’s much easier to speak up for other women. And some of them will return the favor. Of course, this isn’t limited to standing up for women. You can stand up for everyone who commonly gets spoken over.
The stakes are so high that making sure you are getting credit for your work requires constant vigilance. The question is how to do that without appearing too self-serving.
In practice, it’s always a good idea to create a paper trail, whether through emails, putting your research in a document you send out, or writing recaps of what was discussed in a meeting that just happened. It doesn’t appear overt to tag work documents with your my name and the date, similar to the way you put a header on your school papers. In fact it actually comes across as very organized. The writer at DailyWorth even provides a workaround when documents aren’t part of the flow and suggests that you take it upon yourself to create documentation for any new procedures that have been added to the workflow.

To Get More Credit, Ask For More Responsibility

If you have trouble sorting out the aspects of a group project for which to claim credit, it could be because the tasks were not assigned very clearly from the start. When the project begins, push to have specific people responsible for specific tasks. Set yourself up during the delegation phase. If you want more credit in the end, ask for more and bigger tasks in the beginning.
Bottom line, we’ve all seen co-workers steal each other’s credit regardless of gender. As women, it’s important to retain your voice and not let ambitious co-workers or authority figures intimidate and undermine you, or take credit for your work. Keeping track of and quantifying your accomplishments can not only be helpful when it comes time to make a case for a raise, it can keep you motivated as you work, and get you closer to your goals with each and every project!
 
 

Empowered Quotes For Women

It is time for women to connect, collaborate, and help one another. That means that the time has come for the women helping women movement to really take hold.  it is time for women to reach out and bring other women into the fold. No individual woman is as creative, skilled, or powerful as we are together. We need to step up and take our place as leaders, and make a positive impact on our communities, and our world.
should
together
stepsayitruleheardconnectcompetitioncollaboratechangebravebold

Keeping Women Safe On College Campuses

DNOCampuswebWhen we raise our girls and get ready to send them off to college and out into the world, the last thing we might think to prepare them for is a sexual assault on campus. However, headlines about sexual assault and mishandled rape investigations on college campuses are dominating the headlines nationwide. I have three daughters and seven granddaughters, so these stories have definitely grabbed my attention.
Nearly one in five women have been raped at some time in their adult lives, according to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of those women over 37% were first assaulted between the ages of 18-24. The CDC also reports that 19% of all undergraduate women have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.
It’s a fine line when it comes to preparing our girls for life on campus because not all of the men they meet will be predators. Just because one in five college women have been assaulted doesn’t mean that one in five men are assailants. Slate.com reported on a study, which found that only about six percent of the men surveyed had attempted or successfully raped someone. While some of them only tried once, most of the rapists were repeat offenders, committing an average of nearly 6 rapes apiece. The six percent of men who rape are generally violent men who commit other crimes as well.
Is it a fraternity problem? Fraternities are definitely receiving some intense focus right now but the blame can’t be laid solely there. Is it an alcohol problem? Cosmopolitan reports that some universities are taking steps to address drinking on campus. Brown University is clamping down on drinking, and banning alcohol in all residential areas, including Greek houses. Dartmouth instituted a similar policy, barring students from possessing hard alcohol on campus. But will that have a positive impact, or will it just drive parties underground, making students less safe?
There is no one approach to guarantee the safety of girls on campus, but there are steps that can be taken. John D. Foubert, a professor of higher education and student affairs at Oklahoma University advocates teaching students about sexual assault in a way that enlists them in helping to prevent it. He was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying, “When you have an intervention with a very strong empathy-building component that helps men understand what rape feels like, and you combine that with bystander intervention … you’re not blaming men for being part of the problem, you’re helping them to be part of solution.”
Enlisting the help of others is also the approach behind the “It’s On Us” campaign unveiled last year by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The White House enlisted Hollywood stars to help fight campus sexual assault and ItsOnUs.org features a public service announcement with Obama, Biden and Hollywood A-listers telling viewers it’s their responsibility to stop sexual assault. Watch the videos here. The campaign urges everyone on campus to make sure his or her friends are safe and to step in to prevent assault. The message is particularly targeted at men, with the White House pointing to research that shows that men often hesitate to speak out because they believe other men accept it.
This problem, like so many others that women and girls face today, can only be solved through awareness, dialog and action. It is our responsibility to keep this issue at the forefront, and add our voices to the cause. This is the way we can bring about change. We can do it if we all work together.

Words Really Matter In The Workplace

DNOLeadSurveyWebWhen Janet Yellen was confirmed as the first woman Federal Reserve Board Chair, blog posts with titles like “Janet Yellen: the Bitch of the Fed” sprouted across the Internet. Madeline Albright has struggled with similar labels and in her memoir said, “As I began to climb the ladder, I had to cope with the different vocabulary used to describe similar qualities in men (confident, take-charge, committed) and women (bossy, aggressive, emotional,).”  She also noticed how men behaved in ways that would be dismissed if they had been women.
Examples like this spotlighted the negative connotations used to describe women and helped launch Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. The campaign sought to change a culture in which men are “boss,” but women are “bossy.” Sandberg’s campaign drew amazing leading women as co-sponsors including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Girl Scouts CEO Ana Maria Chávez. Together, these women took to the airwaves asking people to stop referring to women as “bossy,” especially when talking to little girls.
These negative terms are pervasive in our culture, and alive and well in the workplace. In a recent report for Fortune.com, linguist Kieran Snyder took a look at employee evaluations to see if she could quantify the double standards in the ways that male and female employees are evaluated. She collected 248 performance reviews from 28 companies ranging in size from large technology corporations to small startups.
Her findings, coming from reviews conducted by men and women alike, were startling. For one thing, women managers behaved just like their male counterparts. Critical feedback was doled out in a much higher ratio to women: 58.9% of men’s reviews contained critical feedback, while an overwhelming 87.9% of the reviews received by women did. And it wasn’t performance that was drawing the feedback in many instances as much as it was personality. “Abrasive” appeared 17 times to describe 13 different women, but the word never appeared in men’s reviews. In fact, this type of character critique, which showed up in just 2 of the 84 critical reviews of men, showed up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women.
What to do? As always, awareness is key. Some have suggested that simply educating managers and asking them to monitor this tendency in themselves can reduce such disparities. And because the loss of talented women to self-employment drains off valuable human resources, this education should also include recognition of the strengths that women bring to the table.
Leading Women co-author Dr. Marcia Reynolds points out that companies that change to accommodate women’s strengths can have valuable employees who will stay and grow within the culture. “Women like communication that does not just flow downward but travels up-down-sideways like the Internet,” Dr. Marcia says. “We want flexible work arrangements and freedom to complete goals in our unique work styles. We don’t like operating within hierarchical silos.”
As she pointed out, smart employers have already learned to provide what keeps women happy on the job. Simply providing frequent new challenges and opportunities, flexible schedules, collaboration with other high achievers, recognition, and most importantly, the freedom to be themselves helps keep women in the workplace for the long haul. And who knows? Those talented high-performing women who stay just might propel the company’s success to the next level.

Dr. Claire Damken Brown–Women Leaders Speak Out

Gender Communication Expert

Claire Damken Brown, Ph.D.

Gender communication expert, Claire Damken Brown, Ph.D. urges women to speak out and get their voices heard to build their credibility as leaders. Claire became interested in gender dynamics while working in the male-dominated technical industry at AT&T in the late-70’s and early-80’s. She earned two degrees in gender communication and co-wrote four books before contributing to Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life.
Claire did her first interview on “Conversations with Smart Amazing Women” to discuss her book, Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen. This book and conversation examined the different ways men and women speak.  Men are very direct, use and expect one-word responses, women want the story behind the answer. Relationship building and collaboration lie behind women’s communication, while men communicate to get the job done. Both men and women must understand their differences and adapt to create a productive workplace.

Women’s Workplace Issues Yesterday and Today

In this conversation, Claire discusses changes she has seen since her early days at AT&T. Largely in those days, the issue was equal pay for equal work. Today, even though the pay discrepancy has moved a bit closer, men still head the larger corporations and the issues are still the same.
One thing that has changed is harassment in the workplace. Claire notes that it is still rampant; we read about a major case being settled every week. Today, however, it’s not just men harassing women; it’s women harassing women and men harassing men. Bullying has become a common term and people are dealing with it at all levels in the workplace. Dr. Nancy points out that when we spend eight hours working together, it becomes a family, and it’s up to the leadership to develop a culture of integrity and the kind of company and product you are proud to add your name to.

“Power Up: Three Ways to Build Credibility and Make Yourself Heard”

Claire’s essay in Leading Women addresses a major issue for women leaders. To be seen as a leader, a woman must speak out and make her voice heard. She relates how she felt when she had an idea stolen in a meeting. She actually thought this was just something talked about in school books, so she was stunned when it happened to her. To address the issue, she shares strategies for recapturing the idea:

  • Bring attention back to yourself
  • Buddy up with someone in advance and have them bring the attention back to you
  • Seek help from the meeting facilitator.

This final point, however, she warns might not work. The facilitator often gets caught up in the meeting and doesn’t control the flow of dialogue. It is most important to speak out for yourself. That’s why she stresses that the only way to be perceived as a leader is to express your idea clearly and make sure your voice is heard.
Dr. Nancy says the point to Leading Women is to create a supportive, collaborative kind of environment: women supporting women and men supporting women. With the book, a collaboration of 20 very accomplished women leaders contributed their expertise freely to help lift up other women. Claire says that she has given the book to several male colleagues, so they can better understand the issues of women in life and the workplace.
To find out more about Dr. Claire Damken Brown’s work in diversity management and gender communication, her books and her company, Damken Brown and Associates, check out her website and link with her on Linked In.

 

Rallying For The Rights of Pregnant Women

When something as common as getting pregnant interferes or comes into conflict with something as fundamental as having a job, we have a problem. We need protections in place for pregnant women. If we don’t, too many women are a doctor’s note away from financial ruin or disastrous health consequences.

Talking Feminism Is Alive and Well

President of Barnard College

Debora Spar
President of Barnard College

Barnard College, the oldest liberal arts college for women in the U.S., launches a new perspective on Feminism.

Dare to Use the F Word” is a new monthly podcast series created by and for young feminists. Barnard President and author of Wonder Women, Debora Spar, says that she doesn’t presume to know what young women collectively think about feminism today. She says that some of them embrace the f-word and others despise it. And she also asks, “How many feminists honored their ancestors by calling themselves suffragists?”

Check out her post, President Spar Shares her Thoughts on How Young Women are Embracing Feminism, to learn more about their diverse ideas and listen to their voices.

 

Holiday Gifting Blog

A couple of years ago, I started making my dad cookies for Christmas. I had run out of ideas for him. He has every power tool known to man or woman, no longer wears out his clothes and has more magazine subscriptions than he can possibly read in his lifetime. He also has a diabetic wife who no longer bakes like she once did. Having sampled the store-bought cookies at their house, I saw a void I could fill.

Molly Mahoney Matthews, CEO, The Starfish Group

Smart, Amazing Woman Conversations Guest…
“From the minute I spoke with Dr. Nancy O’Reilly I felt I’d met a life-long friend. She focuses on two essential words: “women speak” — finding our voice is simple in concept but not always easy to do and so powerful when we learn how. Thanks to her we have a role model who educates, supports and inspires. Dr Nancy is an explorer of the human mind and how we all fit into this complex world. She knows how to get to the heart of a subject and guide people to see with new eyes. I found her to be an extraordinary interviewer and more than that, a passionate female leader who wants to help us all become the best we can be.”

Molly Mahoney Matthews, CEO

Step Into Your Best Self

Watching Maria Shriver on the Today Show reminded me what women can do when they feel empowered to be their best selves. Each of the star-studded presenters at the 2010 Women’s Conference in California has followed her inner guidance and overcome doubts to become who she really is. And look what they’ve done with their lives!

Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Laura Bush, Erin Brockovich — the list goes on and on. More importantly, most of the 150 speakers were not household names but instead are women like us who decided to use their voices, to channel their unique powers, to help resolve problems in the world.

Let’s honor other women — and ourselves — by encouraging every woman to see and use her own powers. Don’t get caught up in the BS, the shrill name calling, the obstructionist attitudes. We MUST work together.

As Shriver said, we have too many problems to waste time screaming at each other. Women want to know about the real issues. They are breadwinners, parents, entrepreneurs, caretakers. It’s so important that we find ways to get along, to find common ground.

The stated mission of The Women’s Conference Organization is to create Architects of Change. An Architect of Change is a smart, strong, capable and compassionate leader who sees a problem and seeks to create the solution, be it in her home, her community, her state or our world.

The overarching theme of this year’s conference was “It’s Time.” Proceeds from the conference  finance dreams and invest in entrepreneurs, lift people out of poverty, help end the cycle of violence, send young women to college, honor courage, wisdom and strength, and build community centers, playgrounds and gardens.

The website has wonderful resources like this inspiring list.

9 Ways to Be An Architect of Change

1. Find your own unique voice and listen to what it’s saying.

2. Empower a young woman. Become a mentor by connecting with a young woman in your workplace, neighborhood or place of worship. Find small ways to reach out, listen and support her.

3. Act locally to make a difference globally. Make informed choices about what you buy and consume, as well as how you dispose of items. Reduce your carbon footprint, use energy and water responsibly and green your life.

4. Advocate for a cause that you care deeply about. Your time and expertise could help make a difference as a volunteer, counselor or board member.

5. Invest in women entrepreneurs. Join Team Maria in the WE Invest/Kiva partnership to give women the tools to start or expand their own businesses. For as little as $25, you can “Become a lender. Change a life.

6. Speak up & ask for what you need.  If you need to take time off of your job to care for a child or parent, ask for it. Families need more flexible work schedules, better child care policies and changes in family and medical leave. We need to use our voices collectively to improve workplace policies.

7. Engage your children in the world.  As a mother, get your children involved at a young age in seeing the world through the eyes of others, respecting diversity, developing empathy and understanding the gift of giving back.

8. Donate to nonprofits that help women.  Instead of purchasing a birthday, anniversary or holiday gift for family, friends and colleagues, make a donation in someone’s name to a nonprofit that works on improving the lives of women and girls.

9. Be an informed citizen.  Educate yourself about the world you live in, share your knowledge, educate others and ignite a conversation.

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