At the top of my list of “The 10 Unwritten Rules That Could Sabotage Your Career” is the basic gender double standard:
1. Men get the benefit of the doubt. Men generally get hired on their promise and women on their demonstrated experience. Men are usually taken at their word, while women get challenged more, required to deliver data and substantiation for their views.
What do you say when you face such a situation, when you’re judged on a stricter standard than a male colleague? Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey suggest these terrific responses in their book, What Works for Women at Work:
- “Can you give an example of what I would need to do to get the same opportunity as Sam?”
- “I would like to understand how my performance is different from Nick’s. Can you help?”
- “Thanks for the feedback on my performance. Can you tell me what I would need to do to get a raise as big as Joe’s?”
- “Where do I stand in relation to my peers?
- “I need this opportunity if I’m going to keep developing as a team member.”
Next week: an interview with the authors of What Works for Women at Work.
(Am I the right career coach for you? Email me to find out.)