Gender discussions are usually about problems, and rarely about solutions. Therefore it was refreshing to read this article about how women can get promoted more often:
Actually, it is mostly women’s fault. They simply don’t ask for raises or promotions as often as men do.
My organization conducted interviews with hundreds of American, European and Chinese women, and most said they felt that if they worked hard and showed they were valuable to the company, they would get promoted. They also said they feared they could be fired if they appeared too pushy, especially in a downturn.
But the reality is that promotions rarely happen just because you’re there and you’re good. You need to tell people how good you are. This is especially true at more junior levels, where it can be harder to get noticed and there is more competition for plum positions.
Now I don’t agree with everything that is said in the article, but what’s good with the article is that it empowers women instead of suggesting that they are hopelessly trapped by a glass ceiling. Employers are interested in performance and profits, so why should they refrain from promoting a woman who can help boost both of those variables? In all likelihood, many men will also benefit from the same advice. Not all men are pushy individuals who naturally tell their boss about their strengths.
The most important point I want to make is not in the specifics of this proposal, but that we need to start focusing on solutions in the field of gender studies, as opposed to only focusing on problems and potential discrimination.