What is it that holds smart capable and intelligent women back? Do these factors differ culturally? What are the common struggles women face and is there a way to realize and approach them differently? The author of ‘How Women Rise’ Marshall Goldsmith, led a workshop at the U.S. Embassy in Mumbai and gave us some insight into what keeps women from rising, globally.

The leadership coach began by elucidating the importance of finding ways to empower women to join the workforce. Not only for their personal empowerment but also how it is especially relevant to India because they will make a meaningful contribution to the economy and lead to a stronger GDP.

He stressed upon the fact that empowering women is not the role and responsibility of women alone but the role of society at large.

Further, the best-selling author outlined an endless series of hurdles that women encounter.

On Guilt

“Women statistically carry around one thing more than men, globally — it’s guilt!”. He delves deeper into the issue to discuss the politics of women and guilt, explaining that women feel the pressure to fulfill a range of roles to perfection.  The author adds jocularly, “ In India, We see an additional and impossible role to fill perfectly, that of a daughter in law!”.

Goldsmith explains that women are twice as much harder on themselves to juggle the range of roles they have to play and set exceedingly high standards that aren’t worth attaining at the cost of our time and energy.

He says, “women need to focus on their own happiness and self-acceptance. Focus on being happy yourself before trying to make others around you happy, because the first person you can take charge of is yourself”.

He mentions seven points that hold women back:

  1. Women are too hard on themselves, try and be kinder and more forgiving to yourself.
  2. Women are far likelier than men to sacrifice their long-term career/profession to fulfill their short-term “jobs”. It is emotionally satisfying to take responsibility for the happiness of those around. Women become indispensable in their short-term jobs, and that prevents them from excelling in their long-term careers.
  3. Women are much worse than men at self-promotion. They often feel uncomfortable and have this ridiculous belief that their good work should speak for itself. Women don’t market themselves enough and self-conscious to say that they deserve the positions that they apply for. Moreover, women often lack the confidence to speak up and are less likely to negotiate their salaries.
  4. Women are way more concerned with perfectionism than men are. While they are 95% proficient in their jobs they strive for being 99%/100% which is not worth the opportunity cost, and long-term goals.
  5. Women are likelier to get far too attached to the people on their teams and projects than men. This prevents them from leaving for next job or project on the horizon
  6. Women are more sensitive to their social environments.  This benefits them in terms of stronger intuition it can also serve to be a consuming distraction.
  7. The Disease to Please.

He concludes with asking women in the audience, “Do you think the world will be better off with your influence on it? Then go for it and don’t worry about looking like you are showing off, because you have skills/talents worth showing off!”, He adds, “The world will not ask you what you are going to bring to the table, you have to sell it to them!”

Akansha is an intern with SheThepeople.TV

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