Telling your manager you need more resources or training can be awkward. You don’t want to undermine your working relationship or appear less than capable to do your job, but you know these tools will help support your success in your role. You know you need to speak with your manager about this, but how do you walk the fine line between confidently asking for support and appearing underprepared for the task at hand?
Setting goals can be exhilarating and daunting. While you definitely want to approach goal- setting with a healthy dose of what’s realistic for you, setting a goal that really challenges you will help you grow more than you could imagine. Imagine how life will be once you achieve your goal. As we talked about in the last goal-achieving blog post, will it be to become a pilot by 2025, or to earn a promotion at work? Regardless of what your goal is, achieving it should really excite you.
In conversation with Alicja Januszewicz on the importance of setting goals, how do we know we are setting the right goals and tips on how to achieve the outcome you want.
Phew, it is already mid-2023! A great time to check in on the progress of our goals! In many organizations, we set our goals and objectives at the start of a year. There are no rules that goals must start with the new year or that goals will not change or be adapted during the year. Working on your goals can be a journey throughout the year so don’t worry if you are unclear on your goals or unsure if they still feel right for you, now is a good time to reflect.
The critical step is to define those goals, making sure they align with your core principles, are clear on what you want to achieve, by when, and who can support you in making your goals happen. This clarity will help you find the steps to get you there, to give you a roadmap. Many people use the SMART framework to map out their goals, I use SIMple. S for Specific, I for Important, and M for Measurable. Make sure you use some kind of framework!
When you ask someone the best thing their boss can do for them, the answer is straightforward: “Tell me what is expected of me, present me with growth opportunities, give me clear deadlines, and trust me to do my job.” If you ask them what's the worst thing their boss can do, the number one answer is: “micromanage.”
What is the connection here? Trust. As Etta Jacobs, MA, PCC, told us: “A boss who micromanages, gives their direct reports the impression that they don’t trust them to do the work.” When an employee does not feel valued for their expertise and empowered to solve problems on their own, they begin to lose interest. This leads to the number one reason employees leave their job: a bad manager.
Mental health struggles can happen to anyone. Being in a negative situation for too long is bound to have its effects, and sometimes it takes a lot of work to undo that damage. In many cases, mental health struggles are a result of one specific situation, or a toxic boss or co-worker, something easy to pinpoint. In STEM, that can be true, but even more so, women have seen a higher rate of mental health struggles because of more industry-wide issues. There’s still a stigma, in some places, that women don’t belong in STEM professions or that women are not going to be as smart or as well-educated as men.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, STEM, Gender Balance, Communication, Community, Choice, Resilience, Mentoring, Coaching, Culture, Networking, Discussion, Mindfulness, Change, Collaboration, Emotional Intelligence, Self-Awareness, Empathy, Gender Pay Gap, Confidence, Challenges, Career Development, Empowerment, Mentor, Inclusion, Diversity, Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, D&I, Gender Parity, Equity, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM, Strong Women
In 1920, women earned the right to vote. In 1963,
congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, protecting women from being paid a lower rate than men for substantially similar work. As part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it became illegal to discriminate in employment based on race, sex, color, religion, and national origin. It’s now 2023 and women have been making progress towards equality in the workplace for over 100 years now. While there’s still room for major improvements, women have come a long way in the workplace.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, STEM, Gender Balance, Women, Career, Women in STEM, Annual Theme, Equal Pay, Change, Making a Difference, Gender Pay Gap, Challenges, Career Development, Organizational Culture, D&I, Gender Parity, Equity, Organizational Change, STEM Women, STEM Leadership, Female Representation STEM, Hiring Women in STEM, International Women's Day, Women's History Month, Strong Women, Strong World
Often we misunderstand confidence to be a magical feeling that we either possess or it will elude us forever. We then find ourselves wondering how we can create this magical feeling of confidence. However, in reality, confidence is less of a magical gift and more a result of the everyday work of taking on difficult things, learning, failing, growing, and succeeding. In other words, it is not a question of whether you are a confident person or not, but a result of showing up courageously and authentically to things that feel hard (even impossible), scare us, and doing our best. Repeatedly showing up in those difficult situations courageously would slowly build that trust for you in your abilities, and that’s what confidence in self is: a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, and judgment. Confidence is an outcome of courage, not the other way around. This is what Pallavi Srivastava will focus on in her workshop for the WEST community “Nurturing Confidence: The Path Through Courage & Authenticity.”
I have been thinking deeply about how women in STEM can have more seats at the table and not the kiddie table where one goes to do tidying up and office housework. The table where their voices are heard, acknowledged, and acted upon. Working in tech myself, I notice particularly how women of color are under-represented and white men are over-represented. Is this a result of the ways in which women are conditioned since childhood? The subtle messages they receive again and again? Are women being excluded in important conversations and meetings? Are their thoughts discarded or ignored? Are they not being given credit for their contributions? Is a lack of mentorship and sponsorship the problem? Is the motherhood bias compiled in under-represented fields? Do women of color experience this even more than any other intersectionality? In many ways women are made to feel as if they don’t belong and speaking up about it can come at the detriment of one’s job and security. However, this narrative needs to change. If we want more women leaders and more of them at the top, we need to be able to approach these conversations calmly and strategically. We need a framework for having inclusive conversations and with that framework we need to use it as a piece of workplace culture that emanates throughout the rest of the organization.
Topics: Events, Leadership, Women, Career, Communication, Network, Culture, Women in STEM, Upcoming Events, Professional, Tools, Trust, Conflict Resolution, Challenges, Inclusion, Ally, Allyship, Strong Women, Strong World
If you’re fortunate enough to be at home with work and paycheck, your health and the essentials. If you’re beyond the basics, then you’re focusing on adapting to the new, rapidly evolving 'normal'.
Topics: Women in STEM, Influence, Digitial, Developing Your Skills, Challenges, Career Development, Career Possibilities, Influence Without Authority, Outreach, #WESTevent, Change Management, #WESTorg, Women in Business, Be Fearless, Be Brave
Like your career, executive gender parity is not one-off tactic or a simple checklist. Gender parity among leadership requires intentional cultivation, systemic design and strategic implementation.
Topics: Gender Balance, STEM, Gender Balance, Women, Awards, Women in STEM, Business, Equal Pay, Leading Ourselves, Gender Pay Gap, Challenges, Leaders, Career Development, Empowerment, Advocate, Inclusion, Diversity, #WESTevent, #WESTorg, Women in Business, Organizational Culture, Corporate Culture, Be Fearless, Be Brave, Gender Parity