Submitted by: Dena McMartin
Professor, Environmental Systems Engineering
In her TEDWomen Talk Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg notes a need to think beyond the important gains made in promoting flextime work and corporate mentorship opportunities. She particularly notes three strategies in which women can become more involved, self-promoting, and valuable to employers and ourselves:
1. Sit at the table – literally
Women often choose to sit to the side during meetings and physically separate themselves from the decision makers sitting around the boardroom table. Women chronically underestimate their value and do not negotiate their workplace conditions as vigorously as men. So the next time you’re in a meeting, sit at the table!
Reach for the opportunities, grasp and accept success, and put yourself forward with confidence.
2. Make your partner a real partner
At the Spring 2012 Convocation all three honourary degree recipients noted the value of finding a life partner who supports work activities and shares home responsibilities.
Ms. Sandberg states in her TEDWomen Talk that more progress has actually been made in the workforce than in the home around sharing of responsibilities and supporting success. Women tend to carry a much higher burden of housework and childcare. This is, in part, due to the undervaluing of daddies versus mommies in our society, so let’s remember to share the work and value our partners at home and at work.
3. Don’t leave before you leave
Many women in the workforce begin to mentally and emotionally disengage from work once they’ve made a decision to start a family. They won’t, for instance, take on new projects, opportunities, responsibilities, accept promotions, or other factors in corporate success.
So, rather than checking out early, “keep your foot on the gas pedal” until the very day you physically leave.
This post is part of a series about women in the sciences and engineering on the University campus, in Regina, the province, and across the country. You can find other posts in the series on the University’s blog: here
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