Women Are Receiving Less Feedback and Here’s What to Do About it

Most employees want feedback when it comes to their performance at work and what they can do to take their job to the next level, however, women are being given less feedback than men even though they are just as likely to ask for it. A recent study by McKinsey & Company revealed that women are 20 percent less likely to receive feedback which could help catapult them to higher positions at work and even a higher salary. The study stated, ‘Women also receive informal feedback less frequently than men—despite asking for it as often—and have less access to senior-level sponsors. Not surprisingly, women are almost three times more likely than men to think their gender will make it harder to get a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead.’

Women get vague feedback about their communication while men get skill-based feedback

Joan Kuhl, author of ‘Dig Your Heels In | Navigate Corporate BS and Build the Company Your Deserve’ reveals how women can get better at work by receiving better feedback. “I think women are held back by vague feedback. They get a lot of feedback about their communication style or they need more presence in meetings, versus men get really skill-based feedback that helps them with their performance. It’s aligned to the business,” said Kuhl. Hence, women need to solicit feedback that is more specific that could help them advance in their careers. For example, if you are being told that you’re doing a great job, you should ask, “what exactly am I doing well?” This is because you need to know what exactly are your strengths and weakness, so you will know if you are ready for a higher position at the company. However, praise should not be a replacement for money, and women are guilty of this because they think praise should be enough when they don’t get a raise. Women should also strive to get a raise, promotions, and encouragement too, you shouldn’t take a job well-done comment as the raise. 

Kuhl’s Dig Your Heels is the first of its kind, a playbook for professional women to empower themselves

Furthermore, if your good performance is rewarded with more work, you need to ask, what more is in it for me? “You can ask: How will these new projects help to improve my visibility? What financial rewards will I get if I hit my goals? Is there more equity in taking that on?”, added Kuhl. According to her, women need to enter the workplace with a clear picture of what they want out of their careers and where they want to reach in their professional trajectory. Hence, Kuhl’s Dig Your Heels is the first of its kind, a playbook for professional women to empower themselves to disrupt the corporate game. In the workplace, it’s very important to create relationships that will serve you, and hence it is important that women have good networks so that they can get the feedback that they deserve. Sophia Amoruso, co-founder, and CEO, Girlboss said of the book, “Joan Kuhl has proven to be an unabashed champion for girls’ leadership and advancing women in the workplace. Dig Your Heels In is a solid playbook that arms women with real-world strategies for disrupting the corporate world and getting what we deserve.” The bottom line is that women need to learn to ask in order to get what they want. 

Image credit: Lumina Technologies

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