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Handling Gender Bias At Work

Posted: September 15, 2012

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Gender stereotypes in the workplace can disrupt teams and make life difficult for women. Tips to handle gender bias at work.

By Mike Howard


All of us, at one time or another, have probably had to face “Challenges from Across Boundaries,” meaning challenges to your authority or position based on things like age, gender, colour, nationality or functionality. Though these challenges are always unpleasant to varying degrees, they can be learning experiences that make you a better person. By learning from other’s mistakes or negative points of view you can grow both personally and professionally. Let me share a story that illustrates this.

Many years ago, I was working for the CIA (U.S. Government) in a particular unit that over the years had traditionally been staffed by men. These men, like me, had backgrounds in military and/or law enforcement, and so the unit had a very macho kind of culture. There had been only a few women to ever do the kind of work this unit performed and even then, these women had similar backgrounds of the men.

She doesn’t belong here!

Things changed one day when a woman arrived on the scene, assigned to our unit, with no previous military or law enforcement experience. However, she did bring specialized skills that added tremendous value to the work we were trying to do.

Read the complete article here: Does she have what it takes?

*Photo credit: Victor1558 (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

About The Author: Mike Howard is a senior ex-CIA veteran and the Chief Security Officer at Microsoft Corporation. He is passionate about the cause of women and leadership. You can follow him at @MikeHowardmsgs

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