Why is self-promotion so hard? -Lessons from the remarkable "E"s
Is it possible to be surrounded by too much inspiration? That was certainly the experience of attending the International Women's Day Breakfast Meeting, organised by Google Ghana at the La Villa La Boutique on Wednesday 15th March.
The aim of the meet was to talk about better ways women can self-promote their accomplishments, their work, and worth. A survey conducted that was shared by Google Ghana Country Manager, Estelle Akofio-Sowah, revealed some interesting details about women and men in the work environment. One of the key pointers revealed that Confident women, in a workplace are deemed to be more unattractive and unlikable in comparison to confident men in the workplace. It also said that women are more likely to ask for a promotion at their jobs when they felt they had reached a 100% of their targets, where as men are more likely to ask when they had reached 60% of their targets.
If you're watching Bates Model, then catch Rihanna's scene here resonate with the post! Source :EntertainmentForBreakfast
When I tell you about the self-realisation that hit the room was overwhelming, it really was.. overwhelming. We learned that even the most capable women are not easily able to promote their work or capabilities as a general rule.. It is our natural inclination to take the back seat and let our male counterparts shine.
The survey also revealed that women are unable to effectively negotiate better when seeking jobs and demanding high pay. They are, however, able to negotiate surprisingly well, on behalf of others, especially, male workers.
It was more spectacular to listen to three very remarkable women who shared their own personal and professional journey and here are the things that stood out for me:
Ethel Cofie [CEO of Edel Technology Consulting] :If you know anything about Ghana's tech space then you must have heard of Africa's annual Women in Tech conference, held all across countries in Africa and beyond. Yep, that's her. After garnering such recognition for her work, speaking all over the world, she's said one of the hardest things to ask to be paid.
"My natural inclination asking was whether I was even good enough to ask to be paid", She said. It's pretty clear its easier for most women to want to be completely sure they are competent in their disciplined before making the requests they deserve without a second thought to the impact and value they are actually bringing to the table.
My lesson : Never be afraid to SPEAK UP.
Enyonam Kumahor[Managing Partner, The Cobalt Partners]:Manager Partner, of The Cobalt Partners and Youth Global Leader, made resounding remarks that was a clear eye-opener and solution to these challenges . For starters, she explained that the reason women tend to take a backseat from shining is because, we are just afraid at not being good enough, we are typically thinkers and we tend overanalyze the situation and the worst possible outcome.
Enyo’s stories from her previous career experiences taught us to learn how to simply say YES! Even when you are unsure of what exactly you’re required to do. Yes, you may feel the pressure, Yes, you may get a panic attack or Yes, you may even mess up. But say Yes anyways. She talked about also being easily underestimated as a woman coming into a tech-space which is ultimately a male dominated field. Over the years has learnt to accept that people will underestimate you, you have only to make a decision to be constantly aware that you are good at what you do and you should never feel apologetic of it.
Then comes third remarkable E, we had the opportunity to listen to was Esther Cobbah[ CEO, Stratcomm Africa] For those who do not know her, She is currently the CEO of Stratcomm, a Public Relations agency. She recounted her days at GNPC and West African Gas Pipeline. She said from early on she understand that she was only as remarkable as her relevance to these institutions. She knew her input and she delivered to the best of her abilities.
So class, what are our lessons for today?
1. Speak Up when you deserve.
2.Learn to say YES, anyways. Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
3. You are REMARKABLE because you are relevant.
Sounds good to me if I do say so myself.
The following exercises were nothing short of moving. I really must find a better word. We were are asked to write not less than 5 remarkable things that make us remarkable. Later, we would pair up with another participant and share our lists with each other.
During the recounting session, I think it dawned on us all, how very well we had done and how much strength we possessed to continue!
So it’s that simple really, we need to speak up, be unapologetic, confident and positive-minded in our work places, and in our homes.
Take the credit if you did it.
Ask for more if you deserve it
And always be ready with your elevator pitch!