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Self Promotion for Women; Not Something Aspirational

In a recent Forbes article, written by a man, of course, the usual suspects from a flawed premise (women need to know how to self promote their successes like men do to get ahead), were stated, with stats to add color.

"In that sense, asking women to be less humble, perhaps by incentivizing them to emulate the much more common variant of hubris found in men (e.g., encouraging them to apply for jobs even when they are not qualified for them, speak even when they have nothing to say, and make womansplaining as common as mansplaining), seems a reasonable tactic for advancing women’s career, except for the non-trivial fact that it may actually not work. Indeed, decades of psychological research have consistently highlighted a “double bind” whereby women are damned if they don’t self-promote (because this is interpreted as a lack of interest in being a leader), and damned if they do (because that is interpreted as unfeminine or overly masculine)."

Huddle up. We must start to evaluate the original premise in so many of these articles that are coming more and more often to our inboxes on how we can get ahead.

The answer, in my non-humble, self-promotional point of view, is not to find ways to toot our own horns louder, or smarter than men do, but rather, stop reinforcing men who do it.

Imagine ignoring some guy's self engrandizing story about how he slew the marketing dragon with this brilliant strategy or whatever. How about we instead, moved the conversation to something that might happen next, rather than telling him how fabulous he was, which is the nature of what we women have done in the past. How about we ask the obvious questions around his success about who else was involved? Or, better yet, something like, "What are you working on now?"

I don't want to join the ranks of bragging, self-promoters. I want to just do my new, engaging, entertaining, educational work over and over again and create a company that does work that speaks for itself, rather than needing me to promote it personally.

I hear you all now, "But that is not how things are." Well, the only way to make them different is to start living that way. How many men have I elevated and wooed exaggerating my appreciation of their acumen in something? Oh, don't make me tell you.

Self-promotion should not be on anyone's to-do list. But good work? And someone who benefitted from it telling my story? Now you have the winning lottery ticket.


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