Yes, it is systemic. There's a lot that has to change. And how do we do that? By changing our own behaviors and building momentum around a new way of interacting with our team members. And this ripple effect of acknowledging what isn't working of doing something differently, that is what's gonna change the system.
Welcome to the Managing Made Simple podcast. Where I bring a decade of experience working in some of the most influential companies in tech to help you navigate the ins and outs of being a people manager from conflicts to feedback to delegating and more, we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to what makes us love managing, kind of hate it and everything in between.
Doesn't matter if you're a new manager looking for some tips. Or a seasoned manager looking up their game. Everyone is welcome to hang out with Managing Made Simple. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Happy International Women's Day and welcome back to the show today on a day that is dedicated to celebrating the advancements of women across social and political and cultural and professional arenas.
I wanted to do a special bonus episode about how to support the women on your. Now I wanna caveat this by saying that, you know, the strategies that I'm gonna talk about help anyone regardless of gender, but there are really specific things we need to do to close the gaps around what women are experiencing in the workplace.
And to understand this, I think one of the most comprehensive sources of, of data, of what's really going on at work is the McKinsey and Leanin Women in the Workplace Report. Now, this is a report they've put together for the last eight years, and it surveys tens of thousands of women across hundreds of.
Now for the eighth consecutive year in a row, they have found that this concept of the broken rung in the ladder is the greatest factor holding women back. Now, this means that when women reach a certain place in their careers, there's a missing step that they have to get to to get to their next level.
And, and because of this missing step, it takes more work. There's a. Wider chasm than there is for their male counterparts to advance to the next level of their careers. In fact, this last year's report found that for every hundred men, only 87 white women and 82 women of color are promoted from entry level positions into management.
So you see that the problem gets even worse when you add intersectional dimensions like race to the equation. Now, if you're listening to this thinking, this problem is too big, it's too systemic, it's too far gone to do something about it, I want you to understand that yes, it is systemic. There's a lot that has to change, and how do we do.
By changing our own behaviors and building momentum around a new way of interacting with our team members and this ripple effect of acknowledging what isn't working, of doing something differently, that is what's gonna change the system. There are actions you can take every single day as a manager and a people leader to fix this broken rung.
And this is not too big of a problem that, that you do not have a, a role that you can do to solving. , and that's what I wanna talk about today. So to do that, I wanna talk about three gaps and share actual strategies. You know, I love actual strategies that you can literally do immediately in your next conversation with the women on your team.
So the gap number one is lack of feedback. Now feedback is something I train managers on all of the time. It's one of my favorite things to talk about with managers, and it's something I'll be talking about all the time on this podcast because it's one of the most important aspects of being successful in.
I mean, this is the information on how we stand. It's the perception of if what we're doing is working or not, if it's good or bad, it's the insights we need to be able to course correct or double down on in order to reach our career aspirations. Feedback is that information that we need to be having to know, you know, am I going on the right track?
Am I off track? What do I need to do differently? Yet women often report that they don't get meaningful feedback from their managers and the research backs it up. A 2021 Harvard Business Review study that I will link to in the show notes found that women on the whole get less actionable feedback than men.
So what do I mean by actionable feedback? You know, early in my career I was doing a job and, and I was supporting a manager who, who ended up leaving. And so I took on a lot of his responsibilities. So I was doing tasks way outside of my specific responsibilities, and after about six months of this, I asked my manager, I said, Hey, You know, I've been doing all of this work way outside of my role.
I wanted to know, is it, you know, can we talk about getting a promotion? Now, mind you, it was hard to have this conversation. It was hard to bring this up, and when I asked this manager, they said, no, it's not time yet. You know, come back to me later. And this is an example of the type of sort of general abstract feedback that women report getting more than men.
And this HBR article talks about it that men are getting more specific feedback, like, Hey, you need to work on this kind of project and this land, this kind of, you know, uh, outcomes. And then you'll be ready. But for their women counterparts, they're hearing, it's not time yet. Keep working. You're close, you'll get there.
And so when I say we need specific feedback, that's what I'm talking about. Moving away from generalizations. From abstractions in giving people specific feedback. Now add to this, the dimensions of bias, perceptions that women are more sensitive or emotional or might get their feelings heard if they hear feedback.
Now we're getting less feedback on the whole. So I wanted to share two things you can do about this, right? So first, if you're worried that your feedback's gonna hurt someone's feelings, then that is a message to you as the manager to develop your skills and giving feedback effectively. That's not about the receiver.
That's about you. Now go back to my episode on the Secrets to delivering difficult feedback effectively, to get a few tools under your belt on how to deliver a hard message with empathy, sharing where you take responsibility, talking about how you'll help close the. because when you do this, it is so much more likely that your feedback will be received.
Well. Second thing is to use a feedback framework. My favorite is the Situation Behavior impact model by the center of creative leadership, because it, it forces you to not, you can't help but be specific when you use this model. Let's say you wanna give feedback about how someone managed a meeting. Okay.
Using the situation behavior impact model, you would say. Situation in the executive update meeting behavior. You had a solid agenda going into the meeting, but the conversation went off track and we didn't reach the decision we needed to make in the meeting. The impact of this was now we have to get the whole group together again, which might take the number of weeks before we can reach that decision.
Now bonus thing to say is next time you have my full permission to flag more about 15 minutes before the end of the meeting so that we can regroup and make sure we make that decision. Now, I added this next time piece because this is the actionable part. Don't deliver feedback and drop the mic. Okay?
You wanna set the expectation of what you wanna see now using this situation, behavior impact. It forces you to be specific, cuz you've said where this thing took place, what happened and what the result was. And again, I added this next time so that you can set clear expectations around what you wanna see.
Now, if you do this, you will start repairing that broken rung because women on your team are getting the specific feedback they need to be able to, again, double down on what's working and course correct where something's changing. Now, the second gap that contributes to this broken rung is a lack of opportunities, and this reason is cited specifically in the women in the Workplace report as one of the top reasons that we are seeing more women than ever switching jobs or, or leaving the traditional workplace.
Al. Now, how do you fix this? Well, one way, and one thing you can do right away is to be having regular conversations with your team members, making it clear that you understand their professional aspirations and you have your radar out for them to achieve them. For example, a number of years ago, I shared with my manager that I wanted to be a people manager someday.
And she said, Hey, you know, while we don't have, you know, an opportunity to, to put you into a manager position right now, now I'm aware of it. And so I will be looking out for opportunities. And then in our next conversation she shared that she told our VP that I'm, I'm looking to move into management so that it'd be on her radar.
And in follow up conversations we talked about, okay, what do I need to do to develop these manager skills so that when it's time, I'm ready. So I took on an intern. There was an opportunity to do more coaching and mentoring. And so when the moment was right and then a number of months later, she said, Hey, you know, it's time we can hire someone.
I knew that the whole time she was looking out for me and this opportunity. That's the kind of thing we wanna do. If someone says, Hey, my goal is to move into this kind of role, I wanna build more technical skills. We're making space for that. We're saying, Hey, find a course to take and I'll, I'll make sure you can carve out a few hours a week to do that.
So this is how we make it clear that we are supporting our team members. In, in creating opportunities for them. Along with this, we need to make it clear to the women on our team that we're advocating for them when they're not in the room. You know, when there's fewer people who look like you, you can feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders to represent your whole identity group.
You know, I felt this way as a non-engineer woman in tech, that, hey, I, I have to make sure that I come across a certain way so that I'm taken seriously, or that people think, you know, I'm technical enough or whatever. All of these things that, that can create quite a cognitive load on your mind around I is the work that I'm doing.
Good. and when we have advocates within our teams that we know, Hey, this person is amplifying my work. For example, sharing, Hey, I was in a meeting with our V VP this morning talking about the great work you did on this project, and I'd love you to come and take 10 minutes in the agenda next week to share that with them.
We're saying, Hey, based on this great work landing Project X, I want you to lead a team that's focused on building out this, the strategy and execution for it. You see, when you connect the dots for people between, Hey, people are seeing what you are doing, it matters. , it's out there. It's being talked about.
It's being noticed. Now we see that, okay, there are opportunities for me, and that is a perception shift that we can make as managers and leaders. We can make it clear to people that their work is not going unnoticed. Their work is not invisible. It does matter. And we do this by talking about the moments when we were talking about them, when they were not there, and we're actively bringing visibility to.
So the third strategy to, to repair this broken rung is to be proactive. Now, research shows that women are less likely to negotiate on their own behalf than men. And when they do negotiate, they often negotiate for less than a man would. Now, knowing this. Take this as an opportunity not to save money, but as an opportunity to proactively close this pay gap.
Okay. If a woman does not negotiate or does not start at the same baseline, uh, ask as Amanda does. Be proactive about telling them, Hey, here's the baseline that we're operating from. Here's the salary range. In conversations about pay or bonuses or salaries, proactively ask, what are we doing to make sure that there's equity and compensation between men and.
Being proactive about asking these questions and sharing this information. This is going to close the pay gap. And this is going to normalize talking about this all of the time because pay equity should be talked about all the time, and I think there's more and more direction to getting there by sharing salary bans and different things in, in job descriptions.
And we need to be having this in the conversation all the time. And as a people leader, you're in more conversations where you can actually ask this question. The same thing goes with people raising their hand for opportu. Now, there's a number of reasons why someone might not raise their hand for an opportunity in a group setting.
Gender, culture, introvert, extrovert, age, tenure. All of these factors play into this. Now, for women often being told messages throughout their lives of, don't stand out, don't show off. Don't be too pushy. They might not feel comfortable at raising their hand and asking for something. Don't take this as them opting out.
Be proactive. Connect with your team members one-on-one and share your encouragement about their great work so they feel comfortable volunteering and stepping into new. And when they do, this is important. And when they do, if they're met with any doubts from their counterparts, talk about some of the great work they landed that made them perfect to take on this new opportunity.
Or talk about the potential that you see in them to do this new role. This is this triple threat because it addresses all three of these gaps I've been talking about at once. It's feedback on what's working, what they're doing well. It's providing career advancing opportunities, and it's being proactive.
So as a leader to recap, when you do these three. You will directly contribute to fixing that broken run. And not only that, you'll be creating a better experience for everyone on your team. So on this International Women's Day, I invite you to take action, to do something differently. And hey, if you've been doing all this stuff already, then coach up here, share this episode with another manager so that they can do it too.
Because all of us have a role in creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. And why not start today on International and Women's Day, making the workplace better for everyone.
If you're listening to this and want to double down on supporting the women on your team, my Accelerate Group Coaching Program is for you. This program brings the tried and true strategies for my number one bestselling book, Unstuck to your team to support women in bringing visibility to their work authentically, taking bold risks and tuning into their superpowers.
All within a community of support so they can not only achieve their career goals, but blow past them. I only host three spots per quarter, so head to my website at liagarvin.com/contact to share more about your team so you can grab one of those spots.
That's all I have for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to the Managing Made Simple Podcast where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive.
I always love to hear from you, so please reach out a liagarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn. See you next time.