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Effective communication with remote employees
Strategies for building trust and accountability
Techniques for managing remote teams
Giving and taking credit is a tough subject to speak up about. The prevailing cultural narrative around the world is to be humble, that no task is too small, and when you work hard, the satisfaction of a job well done should be reward enough. If you keep working hard, you’ll be recognized—or so the logic goes.
But women and women of colour, in particular, are often denied the opportunity to do the work that is recognized and celebrated in an organization.
While a gap exists even in the recognition that white women receive compared with white men, white women are still more likely to be in high-visibility positions compared with women of colour.
For people who do get credit for their brilliance, and whose social identities largely afford them opportunities to progress and prosper, there is a chance to use their privilege for good.
If you’re a manager who leads many meetings, there’s ample opportunity for you to be inclusive on purpose. The first step is to take stock of who usually leads meetings, who gets to present at them, and who is celebrated as innovative and productive during them. In most cases, this is a white person. Being inclusive on purpose requires leaders to seek opportunities to create room for women of colour.
If women are interrupted during meetings by their male counterparts, we need to interrupt the interrupters.
Often when women state an idea, it’s ignored, but when a man repeats it, it’s revered and applauded. This even has a name: hepeating.
Meritocracy convinces us that like cream, brilliance rises to the top. But in reality, it depends on who delivers the message. The phenomenon shows us that men are frequently viewed as brilliant and leader-like—the ones with the good ideas, while women supposedly don’t have good ideas.
If you find that you don’t have trouble getting attention in meetings, but the woman of colour next to you does, you can repeat the idea, credit her and then get out of the way.
Become aware of who is considered a visionary and who is seen as a follower. Once you intentionally observe, you will notice that it’s largely white people and men who are given the floor to air ideas or ask questions.
Whenever possible, call on women of colour in meetings or other settings to share their ideas, especially if you are facilitating the gathering. Avoid tokenizing behaviour, however, or just taking this action as a symbolic gesture to signal that you’re including women of colour in the moment.
Research shows that high-visibility projects disproportionately are led and staffed by men. Just 22% of the women’s project budgets exceeded $10 million, compared with 30% of the men’s. Most troubling of all, one-third of men reported that their assignments got significant attention from the C-suite compared with only a quarter of women.
Recommend women of colour for high-visibility assignments and roles. Take the time to cultivate relationships with various high-potential employees in your organization, not just the ones who are the same race or gender as you.
Office housework refers to routine administrative tasks that keep an organization running smoothly.
Measure what work in your workplace has to be done for things to run smoothly—from taking meeting notes, organizing birthday/retirement celebrations, ordering lunches, and serving on committees. Where possible, create a rotating system so that different people are responsible for these tasks and it doesn’t default to women of colour.
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