Women, Advocating for Ourselves and Each Other: What is the Best Way?

Advocating for ourselves in an effective way, especially in the workplace, is a critically important skill, and perhaps now, is more important than ever. Advocating for each other, both in the workplace and in general, both locally and globally, is particularly important, especially in the current political climate. So, even though the majority of women are uncomfortable with engaging in self-promotion or not very comfortable advocating for gender equality at work, we must find a way to overcome our reluctance.

The discomfort so many women feel when facing the need for or engaging in self-promotion or self-advocacy in the workplace is completely understandable. Not only is the discomfort women feel quite real and easy to understand, but there are also some very real risks and costs. Women are expected to behave in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes such as being communal, collaborative, nurturing and giving, and when they don’t, or are perceived not to be, there is often social push back and they are evaluated more harshly, earning labels like, “bossy,” “aggressive,” and “intimidating.” Women who resist gender stereotypes and negotiate on their own behalf or behave assertively, risk being evaluated more extremely and negatively when they demonstrate “out of role” behavior. Self-promotion is considered more normative and acceptable for men than women and in fact, research shows that self-promoting women are deemed less likeable by both men and women even though they receive the highest performance evaluations. This classic double-bind situation can handicap women as they pursue their own goals and also as they endeavor to help other women succeed.

Despite the obvious challenges, it is important for women to be able to break through their discomfort and strike just the right balance between not enough self-advocacy and too much. Please join us on July 28th as we discuss how to navigate the challenges of self-advocacy and find the best way to advocate successfully for ourselves and others.

Please join us on Friday, July 28th for our roundtable discussion. Together we will engage in great discussion, share ideas and strategies and learn from one another.

Please note: This is a “brown bag” event and it is recommended that participants bring their lunch to eat during the roundtable. We’ll also have beverages and popcorn or other snacks to share.

About the Roundtable: The Women’s Leadership Roundtable is a facilitated open forum for women, as leaders of themselves and others, to discuss relevant issues, build community and network, collaborate with, learn from, and support one another. It provides an opportunity for women to be heard, share their experiences, engage in thought-provoking discussion, and to generate ideas and growth together. The roundtable is an ongoing event, open to the public, held on the last Friday of every other month from January through September in a Denver area location. You are encouraged to attend as frequently as possible and bring your ideas, issues, and interests to the discussion. There is a $10 charge for the roundtable, paid in advance when registering online, and a $12 charge when paid at the door. For additional information, contact Karen McGee at 303-503-9681.



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