Category Archives: Leadership

Women of Color Navigating the Career Environment: Using Male Dominated Strategies to “FuelForward”

By: Vonya Hodrick & Vivian Blade

Published by: National Career Development Association (NCDA)

The article, Women of Color Navigating the Career Environment: Using Male Dominated Strategies to “FuelForward”, by Vonya Hodrick & Vivian Blade, originally appeared in NCDA’s web magazine, Career Convergence, at www.ncda.org. Copyright © June 2019. Reprinted with permission.

The career environment is complex, with formal and informal processes and networks, as well as plenty of office politics. Yet, professional women of color are missing critical relationships to enable success in their careers. These women must have influencers in their network to help navigate this environment and to help pull them through the ranks.

It is crucial for women of color to create and maintain networks to advance their careers. Women in general tend to have smaller networks of deeper relationships, choosing to primarily have people in their networks who share their value system as compared to men who view their networks more opportunistically, often as a way to advance in their careers.

LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company (2018) found in their major new study— with almost 30,000 employees across 118 companies — that women’s odds of advancement are 15% lower than men’s. For women of color the disparity in the opportunities for advancement is even greater. One reason the study cites is that women and men have very different networks.

Another reason is often that women do not have equal time to build and nurture these relationships. For example, women still carry a disproportionate burden of housework, childcare and elder care responsibilities, leaving men with more time to develop relationships on evenings and weekends.

Men also have more time for what researchers Monica Forret & Thomas Dougherty (2001) found in a landmark study to be two of the most powerful networking strategies:….

Continue reading the full article in the NCDA Career Convergence Web Magazine.

There are steps you can take now that can change the trajectory for your career and if you want them then don’t forget to…

Download my free guide to discover the 7 Steps To Advance Your Leadership Career

What Is The Fundamental Career Mistake That May Be Holding You Back?

Most “up and coming” professionals believe that you have to be the best at ‘getting the job done’.

You have to prove yourself… prove that you are the most committed and capable.  

You stay absorbed in your work, head down outworking everyone else on your team.

While you may be working hard, you may not be working smart…as it relates to managing your career.

Your biggest mistake?

You’re almost exclusively focused on ‘the work’.

Yet, when leaders make promotion decisions, that’s not the primary deciding factor.

You go through your career checking the boxes…. if you go get this experience, if you achieve these outcomes, you’ll be in line for the next role.

But, what typically happens is that the rules change…there are other skills and experiences that you don’t have that you’re told you need…. the bar moves.

In the interviews for my book, FuelForward: Discover Proven Practices to Fuel Your Career Forward, Ralph de Chabert, Chief Diversity Officer for Brown-Forman Corporation shared this perspective: “We continue to struggle with the notion of merit, wanting to believe that’s real. And we want folks to believe that positions are earned through dint of sheer effort, i.e., people grow in an organization because they were rewarded solely for the results achieved through their hard work – I got this position because I earned it.”

What seems so unfair is that when you look at others around you who are landing those promotions, they are no more qualified or capable than you.

Can it simply be that your face doesn’t fit?

Or, is there more to it…

What’s the difference?

What are they doing differently?

What do you need to do differently to achieve your full potential  as an “up and coming” leader and breathe new life into your career?

And if you’re serious about taking action and taking back control of your career…

 Download my guide for 5 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Career.