Women and Self-Promotion

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Why aren’t women promoting their accomplishments as much as they should? Men seem to be more comfortable tooting their own horn so to speak. Self-promotion is essential for women that want to move ahead or be considered for exciting new projects.

Gender Differences In Self-Promotion

There are studies that show there is a difference in how women and men evaluate themselves. As part of the performance review process, whether it is formal or informal, there is generally a component where you evaluate yourself. Studies show women tend to give themselves a lower rating than their male counterparts. This is not attributed to women not performing as well as men. It is more about how women rate themselves. This lack of self-promotion can in part contribute to not getting the job, not securing the promotion and some of the wage gender gaps.

Considerations for Companies

It is a topic of debate today and we are unclear of the reasons beyond this difference in the genders. Something for hiring managers to keep in mind is there is a gender gap in self-promotion so during the interview process you may want to do some more probing. It is important to have a real understanding of each candidates accomplishments and what they will bring to your organization. Having clear, quantifiable measures will allow you to truly understand performance. That way, you won’t rely on the individual’s self-promotion as much.

Strategies For Women

It can be uncomfortable to promote your achievements. Depending upon your goals, self-promotion may be necessary. If you are looking to move up in the organization, you want to start becoming more visible to leadership. Volunteering to lead important projects is a good start. Your manager will appreciate you stepping up to the plate. You will make their work life easier and it will reflect positively on the department. Pick an area where you have a lot you can contribute. Don’t downplay your accomplishments. Think about how you performed in measurable ways. The numbers don’t lie. When presenting the team’s progress, point to those metrics and how you are tracking. You can recognize your team’s efforts without minimizing your own success. It’s a valuable lesson.

Things To Consider

There is a wage gap between the genders. In addition, men are in more leadership roles. Although there are other factors that impact this, self-promotion pays off. Initially it’s painful for those uncomfortable with talking about themselves. The good news is it gets easier. Taking some steps will help you gain the confidence to make bigger strides. Nothing comes without continuous effort. Setting small goals like making a commitment to contribute twice during every meeting is a good initial step. Another technique when promoting oneself is to give recognition to someone else as well. It may help you gain a greater comfort level to the point that you won’t have to use that strategy.

There are tangible rewards associated with self-promotion like getting a raise or landing a dream job. We all do things that we are not necessarily good at initially but it’s a learning experience. We grow from taking calculated risks, doing an honest self-assessment and recognizing our worth.