Women believe that they have to be the best at ‘getting the job done’. They have to prove themselves… prove that they are the most committed and capable. Your mistake? This is what you almost exclusively focus on. Yet, when leaders make promotion decisions, that’s not the primary deciding factor. Women go through their careers 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.
If you’re a woman of color, the bar often is set even higher, and it becomes much harder to compete.
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.
What’s the difference?
What are they doing differently?
What do you need to do differently?
In the interviews for my book, FuelForward, 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.”
My coaching clients often come to me frustrated, having dealt with the confusion of the unfair playing field. They, like you, are looking for solutions. You’re looking for help to understand and navigate the politics that are at work behind the scenes.
How do you begin to change the game for your career starting today?
In my guide, 5 Ways to breathe new life into your career, I lay out some steps to make sure you focus on what’s important in your career.