Do Women Talk Themselves Out of a Job?

I talk a great deal about how few women there are in certain professional roles and how this affects marketing. For instance only 3% of creative directors at US ad agencies are women, resulting in advertising that does not communicate effectively with the female audience. And with only 25% of IT jobs being held by women we can only assume that the digital world is heading down the same path.

But Tara Mohr, author of “10 Rules for Brilliant Women,” suggests that women could be partly responsible for the low numbers, simply due to the way we talk.

Mohr recently appeared on two episodes of “Daily Dose with Jillian Michaels” a new show on the YouTube channel, Everyday Health.

I found her assessments and tips fascinating and helpful as I am guilty of so many of these myself! So, what are the little things that have such a huge impact on women getting hired?

  • We discount what we are about to say by adding words such as, “I’m just thinking off the top of my head, but…” or “I’m not an expert at this, but…” or following up a word of advice with…. “does that make sense?”
  • We instill doubt or question about a point we are making by using the inflection of “uptalk” at the end of a stateMENT.
  • We tend to ramble to accomodate awkward moments of silence.

These are just a few of the many nuggets I garnered from the interview. I would highly recommend checking out both episodes below as Jillian Michaels, aka America’s Toughest Trainer, reveals that she too commits these impairing speech crimes.




15 Responses to “Do Women Talk Themselves Out of a Job?”

  1. As someone in the middle of her career, I have pondered this with some seriousness.

    I do not find women solely to blame for this phenomenon. I believe the “programming” (for lack of a better word) begins at a young age. I clearly remember having to soften the delivery of my opinions in order for them to gain acceptance. Having a fairly high IQ didn’t help. As a young girl, I was even told “when you grow up, you shouldn’t act so smart if you want a man.”

    We do not start out apologizing for our opinions, we’re coerced into that demeanor by hundreds of subtle (and not so subtle) cues that we won’t be loved unless we let the men in the room take the lead.

    We probably need to really care less if we want to speak with authority. We need to stand up for each other, too, in those moments, if we want to bust through the programming to a better future, where women are just as often leaders as men.


  2. As woman, I am so proud that Women are now recognize not only in the field of business but also in any other event.

  3. I have to agree with the above. But you cannot lay all of the blame on the women.

    People who join the tech industry usually do so by interest in the products.

    In the tech industry this means introduction through Gaming.

    Gaming has consistently been marketed to the male demographic- across the board. So that is something to consider when considering the root of this gender disparity. Because the male gamer/male geek/male nerd is such a meme at this point there is a general conclusion in the market that women can’t “do tech”.

    I think that women buy into this belief as strongly as their male counterparts. it can cause them to be a bit reticent. I have seen it in younger women, although I have been in the business long enough to know my strengths.

    As a Creative Director for a renewable energy company and Web Design business owner for the past 12 years I am nearly always asked ‘May i speak with the owner or manager?” when taking calls about projects.
    And there is always that little ‘shock’ that happens when I explain that I am it.


  4. Now where is the LIKE button for Marta Victori’s comment?

  5. I always thought of promoting woman power right from my home by helping my mother and sister and now the change is infront of my eyes.

    My country India is also supporting women power so it’s a good sign now the nation will get more growth as it was not getting due to single hand support only from the men’s community.

    Thanks for putting up this article !

  6. Stephanie, It was so great to meet you at SEPRSA in Chattanooga! I went to your web site to get some ideas for a radio interview I am doing tomorrow. GREAT stuff here! Thanks.

  7. I have always thought women should take a stronger position in the workplace because there is always a doubt if a woman can do a job as good as a man. If you know something is right or wrong, state that. Be the expert you are or the professional you are so people don’t have any doubts about your ability, your resolve, or your character. Great read.

  8. A woman can choose any position she wants and stick with it to the bitter end. In relationships I mean. Why not transfer that kind of confidence and constitution into the workplace. If the men at home respect you, the people at work will too.

  9. […] SOURCE: This entry was posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2013 by […]

  10. I just love Jillian, she can be so angry when she is trying to get someone motivated to improve themselves on TV but she is really just a sweet person.

  11. I have had a long career in marketing management and what has struck me over the years is the capacity of women and how they can multi-task – far superior to males and that is experience speaking!

  12. I have had a long career in marketing management and what has struck me over the years is the capacity of women and how they can multi-task – far superior to males and that is experience speaking! Thanks for the article.

  13. I cannot take any either side of the gender based on job skills. These are thoroughly individual concentric. However women to an extent do face more challenges if judged from a holistic point of view and in that respect perform good sometimes way better.

  14. I have always had more women than men interview for a job and be so timid and nervous in the interview that you doubt their skills and confidence. However, the ones who we have brought on and showed their ability have far exceeded the mens’ ability by far almost every time.

  15. in the UK many of the top corporates have managerial women at the fore due to their ability to multi-task, however the downside is women’s emotional set-ups sometimes get in the way!

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