The quote above is from Virginia Woolf, born 25 January 1882 died 28 March 1941. She was writing at a time when the prevailing attitude was a ‘woman’s place is in the home’. When women in the main experienced power vicariously, through their husband’s position in life.
It is different now.
However, women are still significantly under represented in senior management teams, on boards,in Government, in the top earning money lists, and in the top echelons of the Church of England.
The Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) in a 2011 report entitled ‘Gender and Ambition’ has identified four main obstacles which hold women back at work:
- Low ambitions and expectations
- Lack of self belief and confidence
- A cautious approach to pursuing career opportunities
- A less than straightforward career path
Confidence is a strange and elusive thing; one day you can be full of it and another day a chance remark can knock it back a few yards. Or a mile. So if you are a professional woman, looking to develop your career, I invite you to consider the following questions today:
- Do I sometimes wait for someone else to speak in case I say something way off the mark?
- Am I comfortable arguing my case or do I back down when challenged?
- Do significant people know about my strengths and qualities?
- Am I prepared to take a few risks, even the risk of failing to get me where I want to be?
- Am I anonymous in my field?
- How do I raise my profile?
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Posted on November 21st, 2012 by Jane