Women’s Self-Advocacy Gap (Plus How To Overcome It)

Women Gaps in self Advocacy

Women’s History Month is in March, and at Newspaperads.pk, we want to better understand the problems that women experience in the workplace so that we can offer advice on how to overcome them. Newspaperads.pk collaborated with Luminary to poll 2,100 women to assess workplace satisfaction1.

Finally, the poll discovered that, while the majority of women (70 percent) reported being content in their current or previous employment, an even larger majority (77 percent) believe there is still sexism in the workplace, and many are concerned about how women are regarded while self-advocating (73 percent ). Self-advocacy is an important strategy for addressing gender inequities, yet multiple studies have shown that when women self-advocate assertively, they face pushback. Fortunately, a 2021 research shows that the backlash against aggressive women may be changing as more young professionals enter the field. Although it is encouraging to see improvement, persistent gender prejudices and conflicting findings can make self-advocacy difficult for many women to manage.Continue reading to find out how the survey data is broken down further, as well as our top advice for advocating for yourself at work.

The most important facts of workplace satisfaction

Employers are increasingly creating competitive working conditions to attract employees in the present labour market. Flexible hours and remote working are two innovations that have been widely embraced to address COVID-19 problems, resulting in improved work-life balance and overall job satisfaction for many. According to a recent NewsPaperads.pk poll, the majority of women who migrated out of full-time professions in favour of gig work enjoy flexibility; our findings in our most recent survey reflect the same values. Approximately 70% of women indicated overall satisfaction with their current or most recent employment, although there is room for improvement in the areas of remuneration and career growth.

The majority of women cited flexibility as the most important factor in their job satisfaction: nearly 60% cited location or ease of commute as a major source of satisfaction, 53% cited flexible hours or telecommuting as a major source of satisfaction, and 80% cited work-life balance as a major or minor source of satisfaction.

Compensation and opportunities for advancement were clearly the most often stated factors of job dissatisfaction: More than half of women identified pay as a significant or minor source of unhappiness, while over half reported a lack of progression or chance for growth. Approximately 40% of women say they are underpaid (or were not in their most recent role).

When positioned against males, dissatisfaction with salary and status becomes more negative: A huge majority of women (82 percent) agreed with the statement “Women are not rewarded as equally as men,” and more than half (54 percent) strongly agreed.

Many of the questions in our latest study concerned women’s perceptions in the workplace, and the majority of women cited disparities in treatment when compared to males in comparable positions. The majority of women who are unsatisfied with their previous or current employment mentioned insufficient salary and a lack of development chances as the primary drivers of their discontent, which is consistent with the persistent gender pay and leadership gap that women confront today.

Newspaperads.pk, 77% of women polled think that “there is still a lot of sexism in the workplace.” The opinions of the women questioned are reinforced by a 2020 UN research that revealed that, after decades of progress in decreasing the gender equality gap, about 90 percent of men and women had some type of bias towards women.

Self-advocacy in the workplace

When it comes to workplace equality, self-advocacy is one of the most effective methods women may use to achieve better pay and professional development, yet the majority of women questioned reported numerous hurdles to self-advocacy.

Women who advocate for themselves and feel supported to do so are roughly divided 50-50, although most women perceive gender or race-specific hurdles to self-advocacy.

Obstacles to self-advocacy due to race and gender

Slightly more than half of the women polled claimed they advocated for themselves at work: 43 percent say they advocate for themselves about the proper amount, while 41 percent say they don’t self-advocate enough or at all. Only 4% say they don’t advocate for themselves at all, while 11% say they probably argue for themselves far too much.

Fear or worry is cited as the primary cause for those who believe they do not self-advocate enough or at all. The split is as follows: overall shyness or nervousness (59%), fear of retaliation (43%), and/or fear of being considered “aggressive” (31 percent ).

A majority of women (48%) believe self-advocacy is supported by higher-ups in their company, while just 23% believe it is not.

In general, women feel that white individuals receive more support for self-advocacy than people of colour: 75% believe that organisations support white men’s self-advocacy efforts, whereas 57% believe that organisations support men of color’s self-advocacy efforts. Another 65% believe leaders support white women’s self-advocacy efforts, while 50% believe leaders support women of color’s self-advocacy activities.

A huge majority of women (73 percent) feel that women who self-advocate are regarded more adversely than men who self-advocate, and a majority (56 percent) believe that women of colour have a perception disadvantage when compared to white women.

When it comes to self-advocacy, women have a specific gender issue. Several studies have found an unfavourable impression of women who assertively advocate for themselves in the workplace, as well as those who do so insufficiently. Women of colour who self-advocate have a greater perceived disadvantage.

How emotions influence the gender difference in self-advocacy

Effective self-advocacy for males looks different than it does for women

Laura Guillen of the Harvard Business Review conducted a 4,000-person study and discovered that, while there was no evidence that women lacked self-confidence when compared to their male counterparts, they were frequently perceived as lacking self-confidence unless they exhibited signs of caring for others and warmth, neither of which contribute to men’s perception of self-confidence in the workplace. Signs of warmth and kindness might also assist women avoid being labelled as excessively aggressive at work. Managing other people’s emotions is a well-documented sort of emotional labour that women are disproportionately saddled with, especially in the workplace.

How to Defend Yourself in the Workplace

Here are our top recommendations for women who want to effectively advocate for themselves at work without fear of repercussions:

Be explicit about what you want: Take the time to figure out exactly what you want to request. Decide on a number if you desire a raise. Choose a position title that you prefer if you seek a promotion. When you don’t know what you want, it’s tough to advocate for yourself. Take the time to figure out what you need to do to stay in the same firm or job.

Use statistics to back up your request: If you are requesting a raise, research the market industry norm for your position. Consider speaking with friends and individuals in your business to decide what is appropriate salary for your function. If you desire a promotion, create a portfolio that includes your company’s successes as well as a description of your talents and how they would contribute to the position you are pursuing.

Communicate clearly and confidently: Begin your request with thanks for the opportunity to work at the organisation, then include the influence and accomplishments you have achieved. Finally, use your data to back up your request. Concentrate on conveying all of the information you acquired in a sequence of bullet points, without veering into backstories. Overall, strive for a welcoming yet confident tone.

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