At our Irvine panel forum on Wednesday morning, we heard from three fabulous male executives on “what men do….that women won’t, to get ahead in business”.  While our man panels are always a bit edgy, I was delighted in how spirited the discussion was among our female attendees on what THEY think hold women back the most in business.  Here are a few of the ideas shared:

Women and communication:  Ladies, we need to shorten our communication to “just the facts, ma’am!”  It was widely agreed upon that sometimes we don’t get to the point…..and telling the “back story” and “side story” doesn’t get our point across effectively.

Less emotion:  There were quite a few comments on this, as everyone agreed…….we are wired differently than men…..and sometimes our emotions can be beneficial in business, but we need to stop internalizing and second-guessing the meaning behind the words… include what was said or how it was said.  Remember that 90% of the time it’s not about YOU… don’t make it personal or get too emotional about what was meant behind the words or actions.    The best tip here was to ask for clarification and strive to SEEK to UNDERSTAND first!

Keep asking:  Most of the women agreed that women don’t get their ask on consistently.  There’s also a perception that men keep asking and are more persistent than women in asking for what they want and need in business.  I do believe we, as women, need to ask more…….and then to keep asking!

What do YOU think women do that holds them back in business?  We’d love to hear from you! Better yet, if you’re a b2b woman owner, executive or professional, I hope you’ll join us for our next CEO/Executive Panel Forum!



About Your Columnist

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women of Influence, Michelle Bergquist is a passionate advocate for women in business. At Connected Women of Influence, we believe that more women need to lead in business and everything we do is center-focused on designing platforms, programs, connections and collaborative opportunities for professional women to prosper, succeed and lead the way in business today!

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