In some cases, women have roadblocks in the workplace which can limit their ability to receive recognition for their work, translating into lower salaries or loss of promotions. The following are ways that women can build leadership presence in the workplace.
There are several non-verbal cues that can appear weak or submissive, and subconsciously make management believe that a woman is not deserving of leadership roles. Consider the following subtle non-verbal signs that may prevent the development of a strong leadership position for a woman.
- Head Tilt. While you may tilt your head to try to understand what someone is saying, or simply show concern or empathy, it can be seen as weak. Try to avoid this non-verbal cue when discussing serious work matters.
- Attempting to Appear Small. Examples include crossing your legs, keeping hands folded, heads down, or elbows close. Appearing confident in your body language can increase your leadership presence in the workplace.
There are also verbal signs (or lack of verbal signs) that can increase your leadership presence. Here are some ways to take back your power in the workplace and build yourself up as a leader.
- Tout Your Achievements. Don’t forget to mention or proclaim your work-related achievements. Women often focus on team-building as a strength, instead of their individual achievements. However, individual achievements will set you apart and let management know you are ready for a leadership position.
- Focusing on Actual Tangible Numbers. Instead of speaking from an emotional or team-building point of view, you can improve your leadership presence in the workplace by talking statistics, numbers, and how you statistically improved something within the scope of your employment. Focus on your monetary impact or how you developed a certain process that resulted in tangible success that is quantifiable.
There are several other ways a woman can build a leadership presence in the workplace. Some of these include making a great first impression, always having an attitude focused on solutions, standing tall and proud, making eye contact and smiling, projecting authority and power along with confidence, speaking clearly and confidently, learning new skills, developing better public speaking habits, and continuing to find ways to provide value to the workplace.
Unfortunately, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace. If you feel you were the victim of sexual harassment, subjected to a hostile work environment, or passed over for a promotion or raise in the workplace due to your gender, you have legal rights under both federal and state law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Learn how an experienced employment attorney at the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak at 415-373-1287 or online, can help you build a discrimination case to get the justice you deserve.