Have you ever heard any of the following words applied to people specifically because of the gender they identify with?
These are examples of stereotypes and they can extend to the workplace. People of any gender may be subject to biases when others perceive their characteristics or behaviors as different from the norm.
"Ugh - she's so bossy!"
"He really should be more assertive!"
Gender stereotyping is harmful: it limits a person's capacity to develop their professional career.
Thankfully, we can do something about it! Here are a few tips to help you navigate gender stereotypes in your workplace.
Know your stuff: consistently aim for your very best.
Speak up and share your knowledge. Regardless of the gender you identify as, let your excellent work and contributions speak for themselves.
Feed your self-confidence.
If you're experiencing self-doubt, write down your successes and strengths. Read them out loud to yourself for a pep talk!
How can you become more confident at work?
Find A Mentor
A mentor should be someone who supports your path and has experience navigating the types of things you will experience.
"Would you be my mentor, fellow nurse?"
Your mentor can give you recommendations on how to navigate challenges you might face at work, including gender-based biases.
Find An Ally
An ally is someone who will stand up for you when you need a helping hand.
Consider the following scenario:
Jill starts to make a point at a meeting, only to be cut off by Marcus who has less experience in the field. Her ally, Aarush, uses his influence to lift her up:
"That's the point that Jill was making earlier! Jill, you’ve been doing work in this area, perhaps you could weigh in with your expertise?”
Thanks, Aarush! I'd love to provide some insight here!
When you see gender biases coming into play, say something.
Lead by example rather than waiting for the problem to fix itself (it won't). Have a private conversation with someone who has said something inappropriate or contact HR.
Be a part of the solution!
To address gender-based biases in your workplace: