This post is advice specifically for our six daughters and one granddaughter along with every other generation of women that come after these seven wonderful, brilliant ladies. Sorry boys, but you don’t need this advice so get over it. The advice comes from three old white guys who have seen how this phenomenon plays out in real life and how each of you can take control of your career.
More than once, I’ve had conversations with men and women at work about how each gender presents themselves when applying for jobs or pursuing promotions. Here’s the general difference in approach according to EVERYONE I spoke with. If the job requires ten specifics skills or abilities, men will apply if they have three or four of the qualities knowing that they can learn the other six or seven on the job. Women will not apply for the job if they have less than nine. There are different reasons for this: lack of confidence, conscientiousness about the requirements, fear of perpetuating sexist biases if they can’t do the job, etc.
Here is the advice: All three of us dads (the old white guys) KNOW that when it comes to professional occupations, you can do as well or better than ANY guy we know. This isn’t coming from your dads. It’s coming from three senior professionals with vast experience recognizing talent and potential. We know the guys are faking it and we hope and pray that you will too. It will make your life, and the lives of so many other men and women, immensely better because you dared to fake it until you make it.
By the way, we all did this in order to get where we are today so we know it works.