Career and Jobs

Give Your Female Colleagues Credit For Their Ideas

An ideal workplace offers a supportive environment where working professionals can safely collaborate with colleagues, share ideas, brainstorm and inspire each other. For both male and female managers, it is imperative to give credit where credit is due. While this practice is essential for all sexes, it is especially vital for your female colleagues. It is no secret that gender bias exists in and outside of the workplace and  is frequently illustrated in recruiting, hiring, performance support, review, compensation and communication. Research involving United States senators and their communication behaviors on the Senate floor revealed that women were timid to speak up and were interrupted more frequently than men. They also feared negative consequences for speaking up. Because of gender bias, it’s that much more critical to make it clear when your female colleagues have good ideas.

A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that employees who feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental health and higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation, compared to those who do not feel valued by their employers.

Gallup researchers have found that “when employees receive meaningful feedback… they learn how to apply their strengths to their role. They are empowered to do more of what they do best.” Highlight your colleagues’ ideas to support and encourage their success. By crediting your female colleagues, they will likely return the favor in the future when you share your ideas. It will also encourage other colleagues to want to work with you.

It is human nature to want our hard work to be recognized and appreciated. Here are three tangible strategies for giving credit to your female colleagues:

1. Praise your coworker for her idea or work by acknowledging it via a written note (email, an online communication platform, etc.) or spoken out loud in a meeting or virtual call. Always make sure to cc or include her boss.

2. Support your female colleagues’ ideas by putting them into action, always being vocal about where the idea originated. 

3. Try implementing a standard weekly practice of giving a female colleague credit for great work or ideas.

With a growing number of women rising beyond the glass ceiling and into solid leadership roles, giving your female colleagues credit for their ideas is a powerful way to propel them forward in their careers and your organization.

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