The Top 3 Leadership Lessons I Will Give My Daughter When She Enters The Workforce
Welcome to my weekly Q&A roundup. (Scroll down to find the Q&A.)
If this is your first time here, welcome. I spend a fair amount of time speaking at events and conferences. At the end of my presentations, I leave space for audience members to ask questions—tough questions, brave questions, you name it. The level of candor and curiosity always inspires me, and I want to share that sentiment with you. So each week, I pick one question that I believe others would find most instructive and publish my response to it here.
The purpose of this weekly tradition is transparency and inclusivity.
Transparency: a behind-the-scenes look at my day-to-day.
Inclusivity: bringing others along in the journey.
Top 3 Lessons For Emerging Female Professionals
What advice would you give to emerging female professionals, especially at a time like this when women are leaving the workforce in droves? What lessons from your own experience would you share with them?
We are living in the midst of a pandemic that has wiped out millions of jobs—55% of those jobs belonging to women. We are living at a time when the gender pay gap has been pushed back to levels not seen since 1998. When the unemployment rate for young women ages 20-24 sits at an uncomfortable 9.3%—and for young Black women, it’s 10.8%.
It’s okay to be apprehensive about the future. That said, we can’t let our apprehension paralyze us. Here are the top three lessons I want to share with young women entering the labor force today.
These are the same lessons I am instilling in my daughter as she grows up.
1. Jump and the ledge will appear.
We often and unconsciously place women in boxes—believing they are less confident or less brave than men. In fact, there’s an entire industry around “women’s confidence” that perpetuates the idea of women as inherently less confident than men. The truth is, women are brave. They are confident. It’s our system that tells them they aren’t. So be brave and jump, because the ledge will appear.
2. Center yourself in your power.
Again, you are not broken, the system is broken. By centering yourself in your power, you begin to act in harmony with your true self. And doing so provides the fuel to speak up in the face of inequity.
3. Be data-driven when you speak up.
Our world is at least 257 years away from reaching gender equity in the workplace. That means there’s a good chance you or someone you know will experience inequity at work. So when you speak up for equity, equip yourself with data. For instance, if you believe you were passed up for a promotion because of your status as a mom, use data (such as these seven studies proving the prevalence of motherhood bias) to make your point.
Those are the top three lessons I am sharing with my daughter. What professional lessons would you share with young women and girls before they enter the workforce?
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