Misconceptions about women in the workplace can be a hindrance to women as they look for advancement opportunities and leadership roles. Many women often find themselves working twice as hard to prove they can do their jobs because some managers and companies still believe women aren't as capable as men. However, women often defy these misconceptions to overcome obstacles to success.
The idea that women having a stronger sense of family loyalty than men is a common misconception about working women. A 2009 Reuters article reported on researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago who studied family and work responsibilities at a transportation company and found that many bosses believed women had more family and work conflicts that would prevent women from getting their jobs done. This misconception can force women to prove loyalty to their jobs, often working harder than their male counterparts or making sacrifices such as missing out on family activities.
Men and women often have different leadership styles, leading to the common misconception that women tend to be less assertive and more emotional, and thus do not make good leaders. According to an article on Monster's career advice site, many women like to spend meeting times talking through problems and resolving issues through communication. Women like asking for advice while many men may solve problems by working through issues and solving problems on their own. This difference in leadership styles can make women appear indecisive and weak when in fact this approach to problem solving can build teamwork among employees.
Many believe that for a woman to get ahead she must be callous and uncaring in her actions. A successful woman may in fact have a Type A personality, or one who tends to be very competitive and extremely critical. Possessing these qualities does not mean she can’t find a balance and learn to relax and enjoy her colleagues. Many successful women often appreciate attention and friendships, and value feedback from others.
Held Back By Men
Because many workplaces are dominated by men, the idea that women are unable to climb to positions of power is also a misconception, according to Monster. However, as Monster reports, men and women can and do help each other succeed. Men in leadership positions can mentor women and actually help position women for leadership opportunities.
- PolicyMic: Stereotypes of Women's Work Ethic: The Real Reason There Aren't More Women in Positions of Power
- Reuters: Misconceptions Stymie Women's Careers: Study
- Karen Keller: Top 5 Misconceptions About the Successful Working Woman
- Career Advice Monster: How Women Can Battle the Stereotypes
- National Forum: Women and the Leadership Paradigm: Bridging the Gender Gap
- Simple Psychology: Type A Personality
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