senior confident businesswoman featuredsenior confident businesswoman featured
Research has proven that companies with women on their boards of directors significantly outperform those with just men, and yet, in most industries, women are still underrepresented in the top roles. 

Women are sometimes held back because senior staff are actively choosing to promote men above them, but, often, a lack of confidence, and an unwillingness to make yourself heard can be the real reasons for women not reaching for the top. Here are some tips on how to get ahead in your career. 

Believe in yourself

The most important thing for anyone, not just women, who want to advance in their career is self-believe. If you don’t believe that you deserve a promotion, then no one else will either. 

Be proud of your achievements, and don’t be afraid to boast about them. Keep a record of your outstanding moments, not only so you can refer back to them in promotion discussions, but so you can remind yourself how amazing you really are at your job. 

Men tend to have more self-confidence than women, so they are not afraid to ask for what they know they deserve. Don’t let yourself be overworked and underpaid. And don’t let the man sitting next to you in the office take the promotion you deserved just because you were too afraid to ask for it.

Voice your opinions

Don’t ever think your opinion isn’t valid, or is less worth listening to than anybody else in your office. Have confidence in your ideas, and speak up in group discussions. 

Remember: it is OK if not every idea you have is great, or not every opinion you voice is met with enthusiasm. Everyone has good and bad ideas, but the more you voice, the more likely you are to hit on something that is really valuable to the company.

Take credit for your work

Own your good work. Yes, sometimes ideas are reached collaboratively in team meetings, but if the core concept was yours, take ownership of it. 

Don’t let louder voices shout you down, or bully you into letting them take over your projects. Stand your ground, and make sure your superiors know when you have done something great.

 Ignore negative opinions

When you are doing well, your true friends will always be really excited for you. But you may experience negativity from some colleagues. Just remember, they are only jealous that they are not doing as well as you are. 

Brush off their opinions, and focus on the ones that matter. You know you are doing a great job, and that is all that counts.

Ask for what you want

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Unfortunately most women shy away from putting themselves forward and as a result men are twice as likely to ask for a raise as women

Don’t let yourself become another statistic, getting paid less than your male colleagues for exactly the same job. You deserve a raise just as much as they do (in some cases more so!).

Quite often it will take a push from you to get management to put their hands in their pockets and increase your pay, so get on their radar and make it clear how much you are worth.

Share your problems

If you do think you are being treated unfairly, or are being undermined in the workplace, speak to someone. Bottling up your emotions is unhealthy and potentially damaging, not just in your professional life, but in your personal life as well. 

Speak to your colleagues, and, if it is serious, meet with Human Resources to discuss your options as well. 

 Know when to leave

If you have done all the above, and you are still being looked over then it is time to get out. Unfortunately, sexism is very much alive and kicking, with 83 per cent of women believing gender discrimination exists in the workplaceand sometimes, no matter how well you present yourself, you will always be overlooked in favour of your male counterpart. 

If a company doesn’t value you, you shouldn’t value them. You know you are great at your job, and they should feel lucky to have you. It is time to leave and find a company that really values you and treats you the way you deserve!

About the author 

Amy Durant writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To browse graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester, visit their website.

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