Are You The Invisible Woman?
I love superhero movies. Who can resist a good Batman movie, or Gal Gadot playing the role of Wonder Woman? I think it was one of the Spiderman movies where the hero comes to the epiphany that his superpowers were not just for fun and games. With superpowers comes super responsibility. He then embraces his superpowers as his contribution to his fellow citizens.
There’s a “superpower” that you may have been given, but you probably didn’t ask for it and you definitely don’t want it. It’s amazing how many high-level female executives have this power. In this case, the epiphany needed is not to embrace, but rather to reject this unwanted and unsolicited “gift.”
“What is this superpower?” you may ask. I’m glad you did. It’s the power to be invisible.
It seems that certain alien forces have conspired to make female executives invisible to their peers. It’s the meeting where you make suggestions that are seemingly overlooked, but then they show up as policies or strategic initiatives later.
It’s when someone lesser qualified lands a sponsor who can open doors. It’s the woman with her head down, working really hard, but never really “seen.”
I found this quote from an article in Fortune Magazine very telling:
"As a psychology professor who studies stereotypes, I’ve examined how people’s brains are biased to ignore black women. When many think about 'black executives,' they visualize black men. When they think about 'female executives,' they visualize white women. Because black women are not seen as typical of the categories “black” or “woman,” people’s brains fail to include them in both categories. Black women suffer from a 'now you see them now you don’t' effect in the workplace."
But you know the part in the superhero movie, where it looks like all is lost, but the hero digs deep within to pull out the victory.
That is what will be required to take hold of our true God-given powers. We will have to dig within and take (at least) the following baby step.
Make an honest assessment of where you are in your company or organization. Do you feel invisible? Are you overlooked for plum assignments or promotions? If so, you need a plan of action. It’s time to take some affirmative steps to get yourself noticed. A part of this plan will involve pursuing and securing a senior gatekeeper for potential mentorship or sponsorship.
A personal mentor or sponsor is often the difference between remaining invisible and being able to soar.
This process may feel daunting or counter-intuitive. But I've seen it work in my own life and career. It's also backed up by numerous studies about business promotion and retention.
You were born to be a hero!
You were not made to be invisible!
If that's your story and you'd like to make a change, please contact me for a free 30-minute coaching call to talk through how you can make a change! Click on the link below to book your call!
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