Most organizations often look for candidates who can communicate well and effectively. While good communication is an important trait necessary to complete daily tasks, it is vital for both career and personal growth. After working with a variety of people from different cultures and countries, it is safe to say that many of us hesitate to speak up at work. Even moreso, it is a general notion that specifically women in the tech world do not speak up as much as their male counterparts, which can result in missed opportunities all-around.
As we settle into 2023 and reflect on where we’ve come in terms of gender equality and workplace inclusion, I feel that we’ve certainly come a long way; but is there more that we can do?
In conducting research to support my book, “The IT girl”, I spoke to many accomplished women within this field. Many of which shared that one of the most difficult things we can do as women in tech is to speak up and make our voices heard. This can be difficult, especially in a male dominated field, but it requires a certain level of professionalism, growth, and confidence within a specific skill set.
I started to dig a little deeper as to why some women hesitate to speak up and I narrowed it to these three challenges:
- Most likely interrupted at work
An interesting research study conducted by Barnard College & Emory University discovered that women within senate committees are 10% more likely to be interrupted than their male counterparts.This research was based on reviewing transcripts from more than 24,000 court hearings.
- Underrepresented in leadership
While there has been a significant increase in the number of women in leadership roles, many still feel that they haven’t had any role models to look up to and hence hesitate to approach management for a pay raise or a promotion.
- Presumption of being categorized as outspoken/rude
As a society, we unknowingly support harmful preconceived ideas that inhibit women from speaking up, presenting an idea, or disagreeing with a coworker without being taken as rude or outspoken.
These challenges can be intimidating at first glance, but it's important to remember that speaking up doesn't always have to mean speaking loudly. Sometimes, a simple comment or suggestion can have a big impact. And don't be afraid to speak up when you disagree with something or someone. It's important to express your dissenting opinion, it helps make better decisions for the future of your company.
I personally think both women and organizations need to take the necessary steps toward a mutually beneficial future together. Technology consulting agency, Artisan Studios, believes in cultivating a culture that encourages all of its employees to share their insights and ideas in order to grow.
To everyone who is silent at the workplace and feels like you have a lot to say, here’s a virtual pat on the back. You can do it. Speak up and you’ll be glad you did.