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Why Women Need to Toot Their Own Horns at Work

There are many statistics out there proving that, despite the fact that we live in “modern times,” women still earn less than men in comparable positions. While it’s easy to put the blame on men, women must take some of the responsibility.

Part of the reason we’re earning less is because we’re often reluctant to talk about our accomplishments to our bosses. In a recent conversation on the LinkedIn group, Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi, women discussed the topic.

Why We Don’t Talk About Ourselves

While it’s difficult to lump all women into one stereotype, many women do feel like they’re perceived differently than men when they talk about their accomplishments.

Tameeka Robinson, Store Manager at CB2, said: “ If we go overboard with ‘tooting our own horn’ we can be viewed as cocky, not a team player, self absorbed, etc.”

Men, on the other hand, are quick to take credit for what they’ve done. Whether women don’t feel entitled to the pat on the back or simply lack the confidence to bring it up, it’s affecting not only our morale but also our bank accounts.

How to Put Yourself in the Limelight

While it may not be comfortable to do so, tooting your horn is a necessity if you want to get ahead in the workforce.

Leticia Guzzetta, Technical Publications Manager at Imagination Technologies, said on the LinkedIn conversation: “It is appropriate to speak honestly and openly about your accomplishments because no one is going to do it for you.”

1. Look at Your Accomplishments from the Outside. While you may not think it’s that big a deal that you generated half a million in sales for the company, others do. Consider what others will be impressed with. Ammie Neal, a Consultant in Sales Operations suggests keeping a summary of what you’ve done:

“Time flies and by end of year it is easy forget your earlier accomplishments. So, be sure to print a copy of the summary and put it in your mid-year/yearly appraisal file.”

2. Don’t Brag, but Be Honest. There’s no reason to constantly tell your office mates about your achievements. Save them for your performance review, when they’ll have the best impact on your boss.

3. Be Visible. It’s not always about pointing out what you’ve done. Sometimes it’s as important to simply be noticed. Speak up in meetings. Voice your opinion. Share your ideas.

4. Believe in Yourself. If you don’t show confidence, how can you expect anyone else to have the confidence enough to promote you or give you a raise? If it’s hard to come by, try faking it until you make it.

5. Ask for that Raise. Don’t wait until your boss decides you deserve a raise, or you’ll never get it. Come armed with that list of your accomplishments and convince your boss that you’re worth it.

6. Don’t Let Someone Else Take Your Credit.

Diana Wittenbrock works as Senior Sales Manager for Hilton San Francisco Union Square. She was so humble in her first job out of college that she didn’t put her name on many of her projects. She quickly learned her lesson:

“Little did I know a male supervisor I trusted was actually writing his name on them – until the day he got an award for all the wonderful work he had been doing. 100% all mine.”

Don’t be shy about taking ownership of your work. If you don’t, someone else might.

It’s time we change the fact that there only 40% of executives are women. Stand up for yourself, accept credit where it’s due, and don’t be afraid to polish that horn when necessary.

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