Successful Business Women Push Back

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A woman’s ability to push back has an astonishingly direct correlation to her success. By Blake Landau (Founder, Artemis)

For many of us (stubborn folks like myself), the best way to learn is through trial and error. And I’ve had a lot of errors. There are so many things I would say if I could talk to the younger version of me. I hope that other women don’t have to wait around until they figure out the answers the hard way. What I want to say to the younger version of myself about pushing back...

There are so many roadblocks in the corporate world and in life. The most successful people are constantly figuring out ways to overcome those challenges, despite how uncomfortable that can be.

There will be no shortage of people who tell you:

  1. You can’t do that.
  2. Here are all the hard rules why we won’t let you do that.

The biggest jumps in my career were through pushing back.

I asked for opportunities I wasn’t perfectly qualified for, I threw out the standard rules within the corporation, I negotiated my salary when I found out about people with the same role making more than me, and I jumped departments to the chagrin of my bosses.

The book Pushback by Selena Rezvani talks the ways women shortchange themselves at work and provides some powerful tools for women on how to be better negotiators.

I’ve been listening to a lot of my female friends lately who complain about their situations at work.

They are very unhappy and can’t change the situation because of X, Y and Z. They tell me if they push back they could be fired. Their boss would be mad if they mentioned being disgruntled about salary… and so on and so forth. Women make 77.8 cents to the dollar earned by men in the U.S. Then I hear my friends tell me how unhappy they are, and all the reasons they can’t make the change they want to see in their lives.

Women don’t push back enough.

Research in the book Pushback proves that a woman’s ability to push back has an astonishingly direct correlation to her success.

That means women who ask for what they want get what they want.

From experience I can tell you you’ll have to be prepared to leave, but most times if you ask for what you want you won’t have to leave. You’ll find that by figuring out your own negotiation style people will respect you more. Here’s what the book had to say:

“What caught my attention most in analyzing my data was the answer to a numerical question. I asked women leaders, “Assuming a woman’s career success equals 100%, what percentage is accounted for by her effectiveness in negotiating and pushing back?….The executives I met with felt, on average, that a full 60% of a woman’s career success hinges on her pushback skills.”

You are directing the show. The higher-ups at work don’t go to sleep at night thinking of how they can improve your quality of life. This is up to YOU! Make it happen!

Join other women who are navigating the same journey at Project Enough!

This post was originally posted at Artemis. Photo credit: M31 on Flickr. About the guest blogger: Blake Landau is the founder at Artemis. She is a blogger, speaker and consultant who has worked with brands such as Verizon Wireless on social media, branding, public relations and marketing. She started her career in customer strategy building Customer Management IQ, a social networking site and online business publication. She loves her running, book clubs and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter at @BlakeLandau.