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Leading While Female – Margaret Downs

Leading While Female

Are you tired of working twice as hard to get noticed or promoted? Do you want to know how to hold more power and influence at work?

Leading While Female

Are you tired of working twice as hard to get noticed or promoted? Do you want to know how to hold more power and influence at work?

Maybe you…

Were a top student in school, but somehow the “stars” at work are mostly men. It’s easy to feel sidelined watching your male classmates propel themselves through the old boys’ network.

Have noticed that strong, ambitious women often attract negative attention while male executives with the same attributes are praised for their “bold” leadership.

Are aware that sometimes when a woman speaks in meetings, nobody seems to hear her. Or, she is quickly interrupted by a man—who may well make the same point—while everyone jumps in to agree!

Struggle with building stronger relationships with your male colleagues, while the men in your organization easily bond over beer, golf, etc.

Are keenly aware in this #metoo moment that many organizations turn a blind eye toward powerful men who prey on and demean women.

Since the recent media reports of sexual harassment, almost half of male managers are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman such as mentoring, working alone, or socializing together.”
(Source: January 2018 poll by LeanIn.org & Survey Monkey)

You want your fair share of the opportunities and recognition, and to feel comfortable in your own skin when you go to work.

 You feel confident and want to “lean in” but that seems easier said than done.

You suspect that your personal brand of leadership can use improvement, but you’re not sure what habits may be holding you back.

You want and deserve a top job – and maybe you have one today – but you also want to balance work with a healthy and whole life.

You may have taken a break from work to raise young children—or you are thinking about taking some time in the near future to focus on your family—but you aren’t sure how you will ever get back on track.

You want your fair share of the opportunities and recognition, and to feel comfortable in your own skin when you go to work.

You feel confident and want to “lean in” but that seems easier said than done.

You suspect that your personal brand of leadership can use improvement, but you’re not sure what habits may be holding you back.

You want and deserve a top job – and maybe you have one today – but you also want to balance work with a healthy and whole life.

You may have taken a break from work to raise young children—or you are thinking about taking some time in the near future to focus on your family—but you aren’t sure how you will ever get back on track.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in
the right place

These frustrations and desires are common among high achieving women. I’ve been there myself as a senior manager in very demanding organizations, as a management consultant, and as a leadership coach.

I know firsthand the structural issues women face in asserting themselves in male-dominated settings. As a student at Harvard Business School, where the ratio of men to women was 3:1 and half the grade depended on classroom participation, I struggled along with my female classmates to make my voice heard.

I was fortunate in my first job out of graduate school to have a terrific boss who took me under his wing. But, I have seen that many others are not so lucky, as the men leading the organization tend to gravitate toward mentoring other men, while there aren’t enough powerful women to fill the gap. In fact, in a Harvard Business School study of 14,000 alumni participants, 74% said, “a lack of senior women role models impedes women’s career advancement.”

As a consultant, I have advised professional services firms on their difficulty with retaining talented women. These assignments enhanced my awareness of the particular issues and opportunities facing women professionals.

Just Imagine

Feeling truly comfortable in your own skin at work.

Finding a new, deeper connection with the people you work with.

Getting the promotions you deserve.

Speaking your mind in groups, powerfully and persuasively.

Asserting boundaries for how you expect to be treated as a woman leader.

Leading with confidence, using a style that fits who you are.

I dream that in my lifetime, American women will reach parity with men in holding leadership roles. I am passionate about supporting the advancement of women in leadership. So let’s dig in together.

With all of the systemic gender bias out there, it can be hard to see the way forward, but there is exciting research about women’s habits at work that helps light the way.

Do you identify with any of the following habits which have been shown* to hold women back at work?

“Reluctance to claim your achievements” 

“Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions.”

“Overvaluing expertise” and “putting your job before your career.”

“Building rather than leveraging relationships” and “failing to enlist allies.”

“Striving to be perfect.”

“The disease to please.”

“Ruminating…mulling over your mistakes, regrets, and negative experiences.”

* How Women Rise, Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith, Hachette 2018.

With all of the systemic gender bias out there, it can be hard to see the way forward, but there is exciting research about women’s habits at work that helps light the way.

Do you identify with any of the following habits which have been shown* to hold women back at work?

“Reluctance to claim your achievements”

“Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your contributions.”

“Overvaluing expertise” and “putting your job before your career.”

“Building rather than leveraging relationships” and “failing to enlist allies.”

“Striving to be perfect.”

“The disease to please.”

“Ruminating…mulling over your mistakes, regrets, and negative experiences.”

* How Women Rise, Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith, Hachette 2018.

Habits are not easy to change. As advances in neuroscience have shown, our brains are hardwired to respond in habitual ways. But with a coach in your corner, fresh thinking and sustainable change are within your grasp.

Habits are not easy to change. As advances in neuroscience have shown, our brains are hardwired to respond in habitual ways. But with a coach in your corner, fresh thinking and sustainable change are within your grasp.

I coach women to shift old habits and achieve their professional goals by working closely together through 3 stages:

I coach women to shift old habits and achieve their professional goals by working closely together through 3 stages:

I coach women to shift old habits and achieve their professional goals by working closely together through 3 stages:

1.

Insight

We assess your current situation to identify what is and isn’t working for you. This may include looking at your leadership style, personal habits, work-life balance, and emotional intelligence. Based on this assessment, you’ll set priorities for the changes you want to see. This will give you the focus to build on.

2.

Vision

Next, I’ll help you create a vision, goals and specific action plans to address your priorities. You’ll decide what is achievable given your existing commitments. I’ll provide support as well as a reality check. I may also suggest key resources to help you strategically move the needle forward.

3.

Change

We will review progress on a regular basis to help you stay on track, break through obstacles, and continue dreaming of new possibilities. Accountability is the “secret sauce” to sustaining change. It turbocharges motivation and helps keep the focus on your new agenda.

I have walked in your shoes. I bring to my coaching practice more than three decades of management and consulting experience, as well as functional expertise in strategic planning, organizational design and transformation, and team and leadership effectiveness. I also have a wide range of industry experience, from media and marketing to professional services, engineering, health care, financial services, and non-profit

Learn More

I have walked in your shoes. I bring to my coaching practice more than three decades of management and consulting experience, as well as functional expertise in strategic planning, organizational design and transformation, and team and leadership effectiveness. I also have a wide range of industry experience, from media and marketing to professional services, engineering, health care, financial services, and non-profit

Learn More