4 Challenges Women Face That Men Don’t

Women work

I’ve just started writing a book on finance! It has a chapter on women in banking and below is some source material. It’s from perhaps the most comprehensive book on the general topic of women and work: “What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know” by Joan Williams. The four patterns:

1) Prove-It-Again! Women need to keep proving themselves again and again unlike men. They end up getting measured by achievements, rather than potential. This results in burn-out and early career exits or a much more protracted career progression.

2) The Tightrope. Women can be neither too feminine (soft) nor too masculine (cold), so have to tread a fine tightrope, unlike men.

3) The Tug of War . Other women may undermine women as they wish to be part of the male “in-group”.

4) The Maternal Wall. Unlike men, when women have children and want to return to work, they’re not considered ambitious anymore, so they’re put on a separate career track.

How to overcome these? Say “no” to unrecognised support work; build deep internal and external networks; don’t be apologetic when making one’s voice heard; advertise one’s accomplishments and impact; use facts when expressing anger; be aware of one’s biases and cover each other’s back.

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