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The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
The following excerpt is from Dr. Patti Fletcher's book Disrupters: Strategies for Success for Women Who Break Form. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it direct from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code LEAD2021 by 4/10/21.
While researching for my Ph.D. In a dissertation, a woman told me, "I'm a golfer, but there really is a huge difference between women and men when it comes to golf. Men will play business golf even if they are terrible. Women only play business golf if they & # 39 ; It's pretty good because they don't want to be ashamed. And it's dramatic, the difference. I've played on golf trips where a lot of men (who) are horrible. And there are never women (who) horrible because they are Will decline the invitation. "
This observation sums up the chicken and egg problem faced by women: trust comes from competence, but we cannot acquire real competence without applying ourselves, and we cannot really apply ourselves without taking up the challenge. . . what we don't want to do until we are convinced of our capabilities.
Many women go the long way: they gradually acquire an overwhelming amount of competence until they feel confident enough to take on other tasks.
I believe this is one of the areas where we as a gender really do ourselves wrong. The faster way to get where you want to go is to ignore the voice in your head screaming about your lack of confidence. Develop your skills and dive headfirst into the challenge. You may worry about finding trust later. You need to familiarize yourself with uncertainty.
The two main points that my PhD students identified as keys to overcoming obstacles (such as gender bias and self-imposed barriers) were competence and mindset.
But how do you get them? Let's talk about some of the most common mindsets that limit women in business.
Related: 10 Inspirational Quotes From Female Business Executives
Impostor Syndrome: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Your Brain
Impostor syndrome is by far the most common trait that the women I have spoken to and exercised with have experienced. Every woman who has achieved a minimum of success fears that one day someone will realize that she does not know what she is doing. The usual chorus I hear: "I'm afraid they'll find out I'm a scam!" Short message: Everyone inspires it.
The focus on trust, where the belief "not good enough" persists and where experience is the only perceived indicator of ability, should be replaced by competence. Competence drives away the fraud syndrome by tackling it directly. Women who understand that they are able to figure things out even when they are not "the best" know that they deserve a place in the room and at the table.
Be aware when you are the only woman in the room
It took a class on feminist leadership theory before I finally realized: How was I so blind to the obvious ?! How did I not see that I'm almost always the only woman in the room? It makes a difference. I have to be better prepared and do more to demonstrate my competence and abilities than my male colleagues. I should not; It's downright sexism. But it's the reality anyway.
It reminds me of the time when a chief diversity officer admitted she was still fighting unconscious prejudice. While it was flying over Greenland, the Airbus A380 – the largest passenger aircraft in the world – encountered some turbulence. The captain, who was a woman, made a reassuring announcement.
The diversity officer's immediate reaction was, I really wish it was a man. I hope she can do it.
After that, she realized how ridiculous her fear was – as if the captain had to physically carry the plane through the air. There is no logical reason why a man can automatically deal with turbulence better than a woman. And that was her point: Even someone who is as attuned to these irrational feelings as she is, still experiences unconscious biases. As soon as you become conscious, your unconscious tendencies become conscious. If your bias turns out to be unsupported, it will eventually wipe itself out of your brain – but only if your decisions and deliberations are interrupted for a moment of true clarity.
Related: How To Be Successful As A Female Leader Anywhere In The World
Don't assume that others know more than you do
What percentage of Fortune 500 CEOs attended Ivy League schools? As you ponder your answer, keep in mind that they are the elite executives at the helm of AT&T, GE, JP Morgan Chase, Boeing, Intel, Pfizer, Dow, and other such companies whose gross profits are above GDP of lies many countries.
When someone first asked this question, I thought my guessing was provocatively low: "Half?" No Hardly a third. That means nearly two-thirds attended more humble schools like Texas A&M, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Arkansas. Don't assume that other people necessarily have more skills or education than you do.
And don't let the path you take define you. You choose how you want to define it. Take my way to higher learning. While I was spoiled for choice of admission to some of the best colleges and universities in the world, I was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. My parents' salaries ranged from "Sorry, you don't earn enough to afford this place" and "Sorry, you make too much to qualify for financial assistance." I had to enroll in a smaller but cheaper college.
I was married and worked for my MBA, so Chris and I could afford to go to the prestigious School of Business at Richmond University in London. But when it came time to continue my PhD, I couldn't quit my job. Chris was at home with the girls at this point and mine was the only source of income. I also had to travel a lot. This required flexible online studies. The only one that suited my circumstances was the online Phoenix University.
I used to worry that people would make fun of my degree online if they could graduate from an Ivy League. Today, however, my professional work and doctoral thesis speak for themselves and overshadow every academic pedigree I have. I do not allow my previous audacity to define what I am capable of through the source of my higher education. My path may not have been traditional, but I never let it determine the path before me.
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