Engirlneers Need to Help Create More Seats at the Table

Women get a bad reputation for being in competition with each other.  Unfortunately, they are often accused of being catty. There’s a common belief that strong, smart women are always trying to outdo each other and vying for the last place at the managers’ table. To be honest, there is some truth to this.

I’ve worked for companies where women make up less than 10 percent of the managers. This created a culture where women felt like they were competing for the next open position.

Women inherently do not want to take each other down. They just want to receive recognition for their hard work; however, sometimes the amount of praise and accolades does not cover everyone.

There are also times when women just can’t give credit where credit is due. Once I created a spreadsheet that pulled in data from multiple files with a quick search function, saving me time and making the task more efficient. When I trained a younger coworker using my method, and it came time to give a technical presentation to our team, she presented the information as if SHE had created it. She provided no recognition that I developed the spreadsheet. Not wanting to make a scene, I held my breath and didn’t address this in the room full of people. I got no credit for the hard work that I put in.

While receiving credit is not why I work hard or challenge myself to achieve higher standards, it is always nice to receive recognition from the people you help or your superiors. This is important for acknowledging other’s hard work as well. The next time you have the opportunity to thank someone or recognize their efforts, make sure you take the time to do so.  As women in the workforce, it is especially important to support and lift up our fellow hard-working women.  A small “Nice job” can do wonders for another.

We need to teach Engirlneers that their lives will improve if they work with, not against, other Engirlneers. If they hear another woman has an amazing idea, they should find ways to help her, not try to sneak in and steal it from her or take credit for it. We need to help them understand that everyone has different strengths, and even if another woman gets her seat at the table first by capitalizing on their own, it doesn’t mean there isn’t space left for her. If women work together, and uplift instead of denigrate, that one woman at the table can turn into a table full of women.