Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Have To Do What the Guys Do

"You have to do what the guys do." That was a comment by a top-notch woman scientist during a round table discussion with four highly regarded women scientists recently conducted by The New York Times. You can read an excerpt by clicking here. The women talked about the challenges and satisfactions they had experienced in building their careers. They had to be tough - made of titanium!

Since 2005, I have worked with dozens of women physicians and scientists at a world-renowned academic medical center. I have heard many of the same stories shared by the women featured in the article. One recurring theme is the reluctance of women to promote their achievements with the same vigor used by men. A man will say his results are the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel, and he did it all by himself. A woman will say her results were very favorable and give credit to her collaborators. Some women fear that if they come on too strong, they will be considered pushy and overbearing. Finding the sweet spot of self-promotion continues to be a challenge for many talented, accomplished women professionals.

I advise my clients to move out of their comfort zone and take some chances in telling the story of their achievements and vision for the future. With their innate sense of fair play and professionalism, there is little chance they will go too far. You go, girl!

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