Senior women often find themselves in a male-dominated team where the rules of engagement are hard to navigate. They experience subtle, and not so subtle, competition from colleagues. They can be criticised for sounding too emotional when they speak up on a topic. And they can also be criticised for not being assertive enough! It’s a no-win situation that’s demotivating and frustrating.
An article in The New York Times in July 2017 said that “the challenge for women is how to enter into the intangible but crucial circle of male camaraderie”. It goes on to say that “When women act forcefully, research suggests, men are more likely to react badly”.
At Avian Coaching we don’t try to unravel the many complex reasons behind these gender differences
Our approach is to help clients to establish a leadership brand that represents their values and strengths. We help them to create strategies to work in this complex environment in a way that’s personally rewarding. That might mean building informal alliances, working on personal impact (physical and content based) or being able to draw on a wider set of leadership capabilities. We talk about what success means for you – which could be building a highly engaged team.
Being the only woman on the team can feel very lonely
Having a coach who listens to all your achievements and challenges, as well as insecurities, can make a profound difference. It’s invaluable to have someone who will motivate you when the going gets tough and who will hold up a mirror when you’re in denial. We encourage you to focus on the things you can actually influence and change.