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Gender Gap in the Boardroom

There's been a lot of discussion over the last few years over the gender pay gap between men and women undertaking the same roles. Unfortunately, it still exists, however, I'm pleased to say it's slowly being addressed and has received a higher focus within workplaces. I've seen it, felt it, and experienced it myself.

The focus has been on an employer to help close the gap, however, I'd like to provoke the conversation believing that as women, maybe we've played a part in this gender gap too.

Our limiting beliefs, past experiences and behaviours may also be playing a part. Have you ever been told to "be a good girl" growing up? Subconsciously this may be playing a part in why there's a difference between men and women in the boardroom.

The limiting belief that plays in "The Good Girl" complex

Sure, we've come a long way with changing our parenting habits to select gender-neutral toys for our children. However, I see there are so many ways where our communities set expectations that affect our thinking and behaviours.

Subconsciously we've been taught girls should be polite, nurturing, warm and never get into trouble. On the other hand, boys have heightened unconscious lessons to challenge and stand up for themselves. From a leadership perspective as females, there's an undertone we should be warm, cheerful, softly spoken and loyal, with men being encouraged to be assertive, dominant and decisive.

How does this relate to work?

Our limiting beliefs and unconscious programming can be difficult to overcome when it's been deeply ingrained into us from childhood. This then translates to the workplace by us continuing to be "good girls".

We'll then be...

  • Polite and let others discuss the agenda and are likely to be the last to speak. This can then lead to our views not being heard or our contribution feeling less valued.

  • Feeling like we need to check in regularly and second guess ourselves and our decisions or ideas because we don't want to get into trouble.

  • Find it difficult to say "no" and end up working much harder as part of the team.

  • Will go the "extra mile" because we tend to be perfectionists. This also leads to us struggling to delegate tasks because we want to do everything perfectly.

Being a "good girl" can lead us to feel overworked, underappreciated and promotions fly under the radar for us.

This doesn't happen just in the workplace. We take these qualities back into the home. We often don't feel like we can speak up, we continue to avoid conflict and those perfectionist qualities continue in the home.

It's no wonder there are so many women who are struggling to feel like they have a balanced life. Exhaustion, guilt, resentment and the pressure to meet everyone else's standards leave us feeling exhausted and failing.

Interestingly though, if we aren't displaying the "good girl" behaviours we can be seen as pushy, aggressive and ambitious. What a debacle we face as women!

How do you feel at work? What behaviours are you displaying? Are they helping or hindering your success in the boardroom and in your relationships?

It's possible to rid the "good girl" complex where it's not helping you. You CAN find self-worth and lead a more successful career and have a more positive home life and relationships.

Removing limiting beliefs and replacing these feelings and behaviours with those which will enrich and support you to succeed is possible.

Contact me and let me show you how.

Book a chat with me here.

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