Hello SOTGC community,
How many times have you volunteered to take notes at a meeting? Have you often sacrificed your own down time to volunteer on projects that are not in line with the promotion you are seeking? Are you seen as a “team player,” but not as a person with edge? According to Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s recent article, Madam C.E.O., Get me a Coffee, we have, unfortunately, created this stereotype ourselves. Sandberg and Grant write,
“This is the sad reality in workplaces around the world: Women help more but benefit less from it. In keeping with deeply held gender stereotypes, we expect men to be ambitious and results-oriented, and women to be nurturing and communal. When a man offers to help, we shower him with praise and rewards. But when a woman helps, we feel less indebted. She’s communal, right? She wants to be a team player. The reverse is also true. When a woman declines to help a colleague, people like her less and her career suffers. But when a man says no, he faces no backlash. A man who doesn’t help is “busy”; a woman is “selfish.”
This behavior can lead to serious consequences. If you are the note taker in the meeting, busily recording each point, then you are less likely to make an impactful point yourself! Additionally, if you are not taking time to practice good self-care and focus on your own career, then you may miss the big promotion you have been waiting for!
What can we do? Sandberg and Grant suggest, “For women, the most important change starts with a shift in mind-set: If we want to care for others, we also need to take care of ourselves. One of us, Adam, has conducted and reviewed numerous studies showing that women (and men) achieve the highest performance and experience the lowest burnout when they prioritize their own needs along with the needs of others. By putting self-concern on par with concern for others, women may feel less altruistic, but they’re able to gain more influence and sustain more energy. Ultimately, they can actually give more.”
I have been guilty of office housework many times. And I know my work sisters have as well. From taking notes to meeting planning, I have done it all at one point or another. By taking one step at a time, we can change our behavior and thereby change other’s expectations!
To read the full article, click here.
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How can we stop ourselves from participating in office housework? Continue the conversation with me and SOTGC on Twitter @ryangreenonline and @SOTGC
Grant, Adam; Sandberg, Sheryl. Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee. NYTimes.com. 6 Feb 2015.