The Challenges Women Face at Work (and How to Overcome Them)

February 26, 2017

 

How to Overcome Challenges: Women's Workplace Guide

Many women leaders are looking for how to overcome challenges they face in the workplace. We're sharing how to address them, and what you can do to feel better.

 
If there is one epic tool that every powerful woman needs in her remarkable arsenal of awesome, it's the knowledge of how to overcome challenges.

In the workplace, in particular, women have long since faced a myriad of taxing challenges, some as absurd as they are tiresome.

But, if the history of the workplace is a tale of the many challenges routinely faced by women through the ages, it is also a record of the overcoming of them. 

The Workforce For Women Today

Anyone who has cast an interested eye at the workforce lately will not have failed to notice, how richly populated it is with talented, qualified, fiercely powerful women.

And yet, challenges persist for many women at work. From the overt and obvious to the unspoken and unconscious, often those issues extend far beyond the difference in the paycheck. 

In this article, we're taking a closer look at some of the challenges many women at work attest to today. 

And, perhaps more importantly, we're sharing how to overcome them. 

Women at Work: How to Overcome Challenges

1. Taking Credit Where It's Due

This is a problem faced by some of the most accomplished women alive. 

Just why are women so reluctant to stand up and take credit for what they've achieved?

From the high achievers who have closed million dollar deals, to the women who have impressed on the global stage, not taking credit where it's due is a problem that many women overcome.

We've all seen this at play when we've witnessed a strong woman deflect the credit for an achievement elsewhere - to the team, to the others.

How to Overcome Challenges of Thinking You're Bragging 

While acknowledging the contribution of others is an important facet of leadership, acknowledging your own contribution is equally as important.

If the project had failed you wouldn't try to pass the buck, would you? So why would you try to pass it when you've succeeded?

Don't do that!

Instead, own your success.  

You can stand in the basking light of your accomplishments and still be a great person. These two things are not mutually exclusive. 

And, know this. If you can’t speak powerfully and compellingly about your accomplishments, very few others will.

Embracing your achievements isn't bragging. It's simply being on your own side.

2. Lack of Support

Overwhelmingly, women are excelling on the university front. In fact, women are more likely than men to earn a college degree.

So, what happens between university and the workplace?

Why do women transform from being the supreme achievers in one place to enduring stunting career progress in the other? 

And, for the women who do rise, the higher they go, the harder it seemingly becomes. 

What gives?

The lack of women rising to the top in leadership positions is certainly not due to a dearth of super qualified, ambitious women.

Rather, it can be blamed on the challenges posed by a lack of support on the home front.

Even though it sounds like something from the dark ages, a large majority of women are still left to juggle between a burgeoning career and raising children. 

How to Overcome Challenges Where Support Is The Issue 

There are many ways to tackle this problem. Here is a selection of some of the best ways that other women have used to great effect:

  • Seek a role model. Look to other women who have succeeded in the workplace and who also have responsibilities. How have they done it? What strategies have they employed?

  • Look to change your mindset. Often, some expert counseling can help hugely with this. If you are part of a couple, why is it falling on you to sacrifice your career? What ways can your partner share the load?

  • Ask for help. This may be a revolutionary concept for some! So often, many women feel that it's a sign of weakness to ask for help. If you can't do it all, you're a failure, right? Wrong! So, so wrong!

  • Look for peer group support. Often, simply coming together with a group of people who face the same challenges can be life-changing.

  • Expect men to advocate for women and childcare support in the workplace. And, expect it at home as a given. 

3. Lack of Role Models

We live in a world where men hold more authoritative positions than women, it can be difficult for women to see a successful path to success for themselves.Because

If the culture of the workplace is male-dominated, the lack of female role models can be devastating. 

But...

How to Overcome Challenges Posed By a Lack of Role Models

The first step towards overcoming this challenge is to understand that there is not a lack of role models at all. 

The world is filled with powerful women to the point of overflowing. These women have done what you want to do and have gone where you want to go. Just because they may not be present in your organization, doesn't mean they don't exist.

There is a sisterhood that you may not be familiar with just yet, but it really does exist.

Seek your kindred spirits out. Understand them, learn from them, then go and bask in the glory with them. 

Of course, once you understand the true power of role models, you can give yourself the permission to become one yourself. 

So what if nobody has blazed that particular trail in this firm before? Why can't you become the role model yourself?

Sure, this can be daunting at first, but, much like success, it can quickly become a habit. Once it becomes a habit, you then become an influencer yourself.  

And, once it becomes a habit, you've finally found the influencer you've always been seeking: It's you.

How to Overcome Challenges 

The truth is women face challenges in the workplace all the time. And, some of those challenges are uniquely faced by women simply because of their gender. 

This is a travesty, of that there is little doubt.

But, the challenges that women face in the workplace are also overcome.

Every. Single. Day.

In this article, we've focused on claiming your personal power because that is the place from where true, authentic power flows.

Once your empower yourself, your task is to empower others.

Every time you admire a woman for her accomplishments, you give yourself and others unspoken permission to follow her lead. 

Every time you choose to seek the support you require, you set the example for others to do the same. 

And, every time you choose to own your workplace achievements, you encourage others to stand proudly in theirs.  

Yes, women face challenges in the workplace. But, with support, grit, determination, and heart, they also overcome them.  

If you are facing some challenges right, or you need some extra support, reach out and talk to us. Help is always at hand.

 

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