Who you know or how you do?

By Rachel Garretson

The Gilmore Girls revival is out! But I promise, no spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet.

We’ve learned so much from this show: family, friendship, and of course…..work.

For example, watching  Rory use her network to get that meeting. Like so many of us, Rory is very independent. While we really admire her if-I-just-work-hard-I-will-make-it attitude, depending solely on hard work is a mistake many women make in the beginning featured-imageof their careers.

But you can’t just rely on hard work- sometimes we think that reaching out to others to get ahead is cheating, but it’s not. This is because there are good people out there who want to help you. What’s more, they’re probably going to need you back at some point too.

Also, it’s not just who’s in your network that matters. How you network is important, and research suggests men and women do this differently. Case in point: Yvonne Benschop studied the how of networking by interviewing 20 female and 19 male account managers about their networking practices. She found that there are four types of networkers:

The first is the aspirational networker who views networking relationships as a means to the end. They often value assertiveness, authority, and upward mobility. Their networks consist mainly of people in the higher echelons and they call upon them when they need to get something done.

The second type is the supportive networker, someone who views the relationship as the goal. They might stop by someone’s desk and catch up or take personal time to call and see how they’re doing. Even when they have something urgent to get done, they think of others and pay attention to their needs.

These types follow the traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity. They aren’t necessarily separate, and many of us blend the two, although Benchop found that women are indeed more likely to embrace the latter. However, we can see how solely supportive networking won’t get you as far, since you’re placing others above yourself.

These next two types deal with the degree of separation you put between work and personal life.

Instrumental networkers draw strict lines between work life and professional life. That’s not to say that an instrumental networker won’t have friendly relationships with their coworkers (after all, you’ll be more productive if you get along) but they will be clear that it is a business relationship. Unfortunately this may make you feel alone in your workplace.

Open networkers blur the line between work and personal networks. To them it’s all one big network. Sure, work is work, but open networkers are more….well, open about their personal lives, and consequently form more genuine and personal relationships at work.

dwp-insertOpen networking sounds great right? Best of both worlds! You’re upwardly mobile and get to have friends! But… women tend to be instrumental. So what’s up with women? Are they just your stereotypical type A, Miranda Priestly?

 No!

Why? We often assume a level of professionalism about men that we don’t extend to women. Consequently to emphasize their professionalism, women sometimes place strict boundaries between work and play

It seems to us that the best is a blend between aspirational and supportive and a tendency towards open. We women face enough in the workplace without having friends by our side. We want you to have the Lorelai-Sookie relationship you all deserve.

giphy

The Leadership Double Duty: Being woman, becoming CEO

By Rebekah Peterson

Beyoncé knows “who run the world? Girls!”

Well, if Beyoncé declared it, then why hasn’t the business world caught on yet?

Only 14.2% of the top leadership positions at the companies in the S&P 500 are held by women.

What’s worse? Out of those 500 companies, there are only 24 female CEOs.

The good news? Companies that sustain a high representation of women board members significantly outperform companies with few or no women board members, according to a 2011 Catalyst analysis.

o-group-of-women-in-business-facebook

Point: Having women in leadership pays off. Literally.

In fact, there is research that proves women’s leadership is more effective than men’s. In a 2003 analysis of existing research, van Engen, Eagly, and Johannesen-Schmidt found that transformational leadership is the most effective for managing. This type of leadership inspires employees to go beyond the call of duty, foster creative solutions, serve as mentors, and articulate plans for achieving a vision. As shown in the analyses, women exceed men on overall transformational leadership, which leads to more effective styles.

In 2011 those same researchers teamed up with Claartje Vinkenburg to analyze questionnaire responses from 271 men and women participants who had considerable management experience and assessed their beliefs about leadership. They found that people perceive women as having effective leadership.

AKA, women demonstrate effective leadership, get stuff done, and people know it. So, why aren’t they reaching the highest level of management?

Well, in the second part of Vinkenburg et al’s study, they analyzed questionnaire results from 514 men and women participants who had considerable management experience to assess how they believe men or women should lead. They found “inspirational motivation” style, which is when one rallies optimism and excitement about goals or future states, was deemed a less important “should” for women.

Here is where the damage is done: While we don’t look to women for inspirational motivation,  Inspirational motivation is most correlated with promotions to senior level management, especially CEO.

Tricky how that works. Right?

Inspirational motivation was perceived as the most important for a male manager to receive a promotion to senior management. So, if a male manager is seeking a higher level promotion he should adopt this style to increase his chance.

…Women have to do double duty:

The research suggests that women managers who want higher level promotions must combine inspiration motivation and a style called “individualized consideration”—a leadership style that emphasizes developing and mentoring followers and attending to individual needs.

Why?

Women must show their leadership style is congruent with senior level management (AKA inspirational), but must also use individualized consideration because this is congruent with female gender roles as caretakers. In other words, women must combine leadership styles that correlate with the most common white male CEO, but also display leadership style that fits the stereotype of female roles to mitigate backlash.

Although reaching the top is not easy for anyone, or fair for women, knowing what leadership styles to combine can help get you that promotion. Be your team and employee’s motivator, while also reaching out as a mentor to them.whorunthe

Now get out there and prove Beyoncé right.

We can run the world… Next stop: CEO