The Paula Principle Explained

woman cleaningThis one nearly slipped by me so I’m very grateful to one of my RenewYou trainers for pointing it out to me.

The Peter Principle has been around for some time and refers to men getting promoted to their level of incompetence.  Professor Tom Schuller is working on a new principle which he calls the Paula Principle and which is getting a lot of attention.

‘Paula’ refers to women who are more often than not working below their level of competence. One of the reasons, he posits, is part time working which affects mainly women and is career harming.

Personally, when I employed staff I found the part timers (yes, all women) worked incredibly hard and produced the same results as the full timers.  Not for them chatting over coffee, they were always working full stretch and worth their weight in gold, yet they were penalised career wise for this. Until we have senior roles offered routinely as part time roles and performed by either gender, this will be hard to change.

Meanwhile, what can we do? We can start by resolving not to be a Paula. Know your own worth, and make sure others do too. It’s no good being good if no one knows you’re good. That means starting with yourself, being honest with yourself about your skills and qualities. Men routinely apply for jobs way above their current level while we women tend to play it safe and wait until we know the job inside out before applying for the next level up.

Be bold, be brave, be the best you can be and don’t settle for second best.

If you have plenty of time you can listen to what Professor Tom Schuller says in this recorded seminar. For a shorter the highlights only the link at the end will take you to The Telegraph’s online explanation and a much shorter video clip.Whichever one you look at, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

As RenewYou trainer, Penny Sturt says, RenewYou has been perfectly designed to eradicate any lurking inner Paulas! (Thanks, Penny)

If you can’t see this link, click here to see a recent newspaper article which contains the video link.

Photo courtesy of StartaBusinessCanada

Thinking of expanding your training business? Are you passionate about empowering women? I can help you! To find out how, click here.


Posted on January 28th, 2014 by

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