Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2007 19:26
Written by Jean A. Hollands
Some women need to be taught to support each other on the job. Women in the workplace tend to take each other more seriously than do men, who seem to have an ability to shrug off tasteless comments and inappropriate feedback. Women, on the other hand, are in general more sensitive to slights. Therefore, the successful businesswoman needs to be empathetic to the concerns of female co-workers. It can be depressing for women to realize they might need to be "taught" to be more congenial in an effort to garner support when they might need it. Some feel it is disingenuous and thus won't start asking people to join them for coffee simply because they are strategizing about the future. But, to succeed in the workplace, a support network must be built and nurtured. Change is possible and sometimes imperative. Making a conscious effort to watch out for your professional sisters could save your career in the long run - and give you some capital in the bank when you need it down the line. Women need each other. Those who say they don't need others to support them or advocate for them perhaps have not yet felt the pain of an arrow in the back. Obviously, I'm talking in generalities. Of course, men can support women, too. Some men support each other and others have difficulty advocating for their peers. But this discussion is about women, and because we are still the minority employee on the national business landscape, we have to stay on the same team when we can. Jean A. Hollands, M.S., is founder and chairwoman of the Growth & Leadership Center in Mountain View. For more information, call 966-1144 or visit www.glcweb.com.