I had the privilege today of being a Moderator for Castell Project which is a nonprofit that provides organizations in the hospitality industry tools and support to accelerate development of their high-potential women. My topics as shown in the picture included the one I chose for my blog tonight; Finding your voice.
I have a voice in every aspect of my life; sometimes too much of a voice but I have a voice. As I have discussed in previous blogs I work harder these days in silencing that voice; W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking) and only speaking up when I can add value. Again it’s work because I seemingly have so much to say that to hold back takes real effort.
The fact that “Finding your voice” is still a topic in 2019 is surprising until you sit in front of these amazing women I hosted at my table; of all ages and career paths. The reality is that it is a topic and one that we have to spearhead with our daughters, sisters, best friends and every woman within our reach. We as a gender have a voice however what I witnessed today as the overarching issue silencing that voice is CONFIDENCE. The confidence to speak up about what you KNOW, the confidence to ask for what you WANT, the confidence to be HEARD. These women need the permission to speak and since that is not going to happen when they are sitting “at the table” we have to give them the permission NOW.
This confidence has to show itself in our words and our actions…
- It’s not being defined by the titles that are assigned to us. Who cares if you are an “Assistant” or “Associate” or anyone’s #2; it’s irrelevant. Do you know what you are talking about? If the answer is “yes” then apply that knowledge and speak up.
- It’s not “telling on ourselves”. One of these fabulous women said to me “I feel bad because I have an eight-month old and if I have to leave for an appointment…” blah, blah, blah. I stopped her and “gave her permission”! Why do you have to tell anyone what your appointment is for, why are you telling on yourself. If you have an appointment it’s enough to notify of the appointment, leaving out the rest. YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY OVER YOUR CAREER. You can have both; balance it unapologetic.
- It is asking for that raise if you deserve it, asking for the promotion if you have earned it and asking for what you want out of your career. No one is going to care about your career as much as you. Your career is your responsibility. You have applied for a job on your career path that suits your career at that time and your employer has employed you to do the job YOU applied for; what more do they owe you? Nothing. They have given you exactly what you applied for; if you want more YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR IT. Don’t wait for someone to come to you.
I don’t like to believe that there is still a gender bias in the boardroom but I know there is…however it is our responsibility to be heard by speaking up. Stop waiting for someone to hand you the mic! If you have something to say, if you have value to add, if you are the authority in the room than I give you permission to SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD!!!
I am woman, hear me ROAR – L.