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How can female leaders get ahead?

Women have significant challenges in the business world that date back far longer than two decades. While some people insist that inequality is not a reality, many industries are still overwhelmingly male. Furthermore, female stereotypes and harassment continue to play out in some workplaces. So, how can female leaders get ahead in their careers? Here are some suggestions, given that what works for men doesn’t always work for women.

Gain the tools that further female leaders

Have you thought about taking a program specifically for women who want to excel in leadership positions? The Kelley School Women in Leadership Online Certificate is one choice, and being available online makes it convenient to fit the courses into your busy schedule.

Going back to school to learn more about and master the challenges women face in the workplace is another way to move forward and conquer your chosen industry. So, I encourage you to learn more about the issues and how you can deal effectively with conflicts discussed earlier.

Promote your work

Rather than sitting back and letting the credit for your project go to someone else, make your voice heard, ladies. If you want to advance in your current organization or move to a different one, you need to share your accomplishments.

Otherwise, few people will know about your efforts in the workplace. The reality is that most people are so invested in their own day, what others think of them, and their continual to-do list, the achievements of others aren’t on their radar.

Unfortunately, self-promotion isn’t something that many women do well at. But not all men are good at it either.

The difference here is that when women are assertive, they are more likely to come across as unapproachable and aggressive than a man. It’s a gender stereotype that women be the fairer sex, and it’s not one that’s easily going away.

Thus, I encourage you to push through the uneasiness and promote your work to help get you a promotion or the next job that’s further up the career ladder. Rather than being quiet or giving away the credit for a project (to another person or “luck”), talk about what you did and use facts to back up what you’re saying about its success.

You’re not bragging. You are being real.

Identify the challenges female leaders face

When you look at why you’re not advancing in your career, are you considering the existence of gender inequality? Rather than pretending it’s not there, identify what is wrong so that you can then come up with solutions to rise to the specific challenges that could present themselves to you.

For example, gender bias is part of society, and that can keep women from having an accurate assessment of themselves. Imposter syndrome is another name for this.

Feeling like you are “less than,” even when there is evidence to say otherwise, can keep you back in your career, relationships, and other areas of life. Thus, I encourage you to take a step back and look at yourself from an outsider’s view. Doing so can help you take a more confident stance at work and elsewhere.

Changes happen, but still, more must come

While women have made gains, particularly in the late 20th century, there is still a way to go in the workplace and other areas of life. Females face the difficult position of having to be tough but also warm; yet, being assertive is not considered a traditionally feminine characteristic.

With so much to think about, it’s important to educate yourself, as well as the men and women around you, about issues and common misconceptions about women to bring awareness. With that can come positive change.

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