It’s not you, it’s them

Are you mid-career and feeling like you’re not where you want to be? You’re not alone. This article from Harvard Business Review outlines three biases that can hold women back in their careers.

The article discusses three specific types of discrimination: the likability penalty, the confidence gap, and the motherhood penalty. Each affects women differently by either punishing them for their behaviour or penalising them for taking time off. For example, the confidence gap means that due to a lack of confidence, women may not take risks or ask for promotions or raises as much as their male counterparts do. The motherhood penalty points out how after having children, women are often seen as being less capable than men when it comes to job promotions and opportunities. And finally, the likability penalty shows how being too agreeable can lead to mid-career women not getting taken seriously by their colleagues at work.

These types of bias can have a huge impact on mid-career women’s financial success and career progression. It is important for managers, business owners and supervisors to be aware of these biases so they can better understand how they may be affecting their female employees and make changes accordingly. They should create policies which support working mothers and make sure that people’s qualifications rather than gender or behaviour are taken into account when considering promotions or assigning tasks.


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How can managers and business owners address these biases? Managers can make an effort to promote gender diversity in their organizations. They can also make sure that there are equal opportunities for advancement for both men and women. Business owners can create policies that support working parents, such as flexible work arrangements and paid parental leave. And everyone can make an effort to give equal weight to the opinions of men and women in meetings and decision-making processes.

These strategies can help to level the playing field for mid-career women, but there is still much work to be done. We need to create workplaces that are free from bias and discrimination. We need to empower mid-career women so they can reach their full potential. Let’s work together to create a brighter future for all women in the workforce.

Find out more in the original article here:

This article summary was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer, success coach and people skills expert. She helps managers and business owners build thriving teams and organisations, using tools from Positive Psychology. She's trained more than 60,000 people during her career as a corporate trainer and professional development consultant. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.