Advocating for Ourselves as Women Leaders

by Deborah Rocco

You have to advocate for yourself. Your voice is absolutely as important as everyone’s in the room.” — Susan Cates, Executive Director of MBA@UNC, and President of Executive Development at the University of North Carolina

Women are getting a lot of advice these days, from all corners — and some of that advice is about speaking up and advocating for ourselves.

Studies like this 2014 Thompson Reuters/Women of Influence survey have found women in executive leadership positions report they are uncomfortable engaging in self-promotion. This hesitancy is likely costing women promotions and pay raises – especially since men don’t have the same reluctance to self-promote. In fact, 76 percent of executive women surveyed claim an inability to self-promote and draw attention to their accomplishments.

In her latest HBR article, “Be Your Own Best Advocate,” IA’s partner author Deborah Kolb has practical advice for women who are ready to advocate for themselves. Kolb counsels focusing on four steps: recognize, prepare, initiate, and navigate. Read Deborah's article here (free registration required).

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