How to manage being ‘pushed off’ the table as a female leader.
Take your place in that board room! Don’t run away when you face resistance. Women work diligently and hard just like anyone else, women want to reach the top too without being accused of being aligned to someone powerful and lastly, like anyone else, they make powerful and capable leaders. Am developing the issue of how women could possibly manage the challenges they face in the work place as female leaders. Besides the work place, similar challenges manifest even in church ministries and other communities. Let’s share – if you have experienced challenges, do comment and tell me how you have managed. This could help another woman.No seat at the table!
It is easy as a female leader to be put down or pushed aside in the corporate world. At times you may not even be aware that is what is happening. For example there is a critical decision to be made and all your peers convene for the meeting and as it is about to start, you are requested to go and deal with a minor issue, and by the time you are back, a decision has been reached and meeting is over. You would never suspect this is being bullied off the table. You want another example? You are the boss, the project being discussed is yours and as you finalise it- just as you are about to conclude you hear, ‘to help you we will have John help you and lead the project’. Don’t mistake this for utter kindness, it speaks volumes that you are doubted to be able to handle, lead or bring results on the table.
Managing this type of challenge is never easy and usually requires wisdom. At times the perpetrators have no idea to their ‘issue’ until you point it out to them – from my experience, it is best in private immediately after the incident! Don’t even be emotional about it but be frank and express how it makes you feel when the seat is pulled off as you try to sit down. Another method to manage this challenge is that as a female leader you must build healthy relationships with advocates and sponsors. These are people who can quickly jump in to emphasize that you cannot be missing at the table. Remember to always position yourself as an expert in your field and to communicate with confidence. Take risks by making decisions and being responsible. At the table – be heard, speak up and be decisive.