What does it mean to amplify women?
Early in Obama’s first term as POTUS, female staffers noticed something important. A male staffer could say something once and be heard, while a woman had to say it three times. To combat this, the women created an “amplification” strategy. Whenever one of the woman made a key point, the others would repeat it and give her credit. The “amplification” strategy paid off. And during Obama’s second term, women finally gained equality with the men in the Presidents inner circle.
This situation is not limited to women working in government though. Woman the world over experience it in all kinds of working environments, as well as in their personal lives. In her book, ‘Amplify: Power Moves for Women & Their Allies to Ignite Change’, Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D. shares power moves she claims can deliver outstanding results for women. Both at home and in the workplace.
These moves enable women to not only move past individual barriers, but it might also help fix the broader system. A system that so rarely recognises the potential of women and consistently undervalues their work.
Men get ahead in the workplace because they do one thing that most women do not—they declare themselves. They ask for what they want and, as a result, they get it! Women need to do the same. They need to ask for what they want in their careers. They need to announce their readiness for the next step up. And they need to remind people they have value. Women need to learn to voice their demands for salary raises, promotions, development opportunities, and work-life balance.
Radiating confidence means to own yourself. To walk out the door comfortable in what you’re wearing. To engage in conversation and not worry about saying something you’ll regret. To be sure of every decision you make. It’s an unfortunate side effect of centuries of patriarchy, but women are taught to constantly question themselves and to pay attention to everything they could be doing wrong. However, women have had enough. It’s time to replace self-conscious, nervousness with confidence. The key to doing this is to fake it ‘til you make it.
No one likes to fail. It hurts our pride and so many people work hard to avoid it. Yet, if you do a little research on anyone who’s accomplished anything and you’ll soon discover, they failed. Multiple times. They just never let it stop them or define them. While we all fear letting ourselves and others down through failure, we must learn to fail forward. As John Kennedy once said, ‘there is a risk to any course of action, but there is a risk to inaction’. In other words, playing it safe can feel safe, but it can also be the ultimate high-risk strategy.
Super-power your network
From LinkedIn online to networking events in real life, there is no shortage of ways to build your network. But just because you have a wide network, doesn’t mean you have a solid one. The idea is to find people who believe in you and will prop you up. This includes peers and mentors who can provide you with insight, guidance, and advice. Furthermore, research shows that for women, their inner circle is a key component to gaining high-ranking leadership positions. So, let’s super-power our networks and help each other get ahead.