Speaking Up For Yourself

The #metoo and #timesup initiatives have cast the spotlight on gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. Despite the numerous steps that have been taken to ensure gender equity, much more still needs to be done.

Although more and more women are coming forward to speak about gender discrimination at their workplace, women still face various forms of gender discrimination such as sexual harassment, unequal pay for the same responsibilities, unfair job termination, and positional bias. Take, for instance, the case of Michelle Williams, which only came into the limelight after she willingly exposed the kind of gender discrimination she was going through as a woman. Despite having played a significant role in the film “All the Money in the World,” her paycheck was only one-eighth of Mark Wahlberg’s salary.

It is such inequalities that have led to the emergence of online women’s empowerment programs such as #timesup and #metoo encouraging women to stand up and speak at their workplaces to ensure such injustices are brought to an end. Standing up and speaking for yourself is the only way you can stop some injustices from taking place. If you are always quiet and too timid, nobody will take you seriously. Below are three crucial steps that will help you find your voice in the workplace and use it.

Build Confidence

The most critical thing that stands between you and justice in your workplace is your self-confidence. In most cases, your managers and supervisors will assume everything is okay unless you bring it up, and you can’t do so if you lack self-confidence. For other people around you to know their behavior isn’t pleasing, you need to stand up and tell them; otherwise, you are simply reinforcing their unwanted behavior with your quietness.

Believing in yourself and knowing your rights will always go a long way in helping deliver your message to the relevant authorities. There are also several organizations that will help you in case you are discriminated against in the workplace due to your gender. Such organizations include the Women Employed Group and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can learn how to boost your self-confidence with these guaranteed confidence boosters.

Know Ways to Speak up and Who to Speak up To

If you feel it is time to speak for yourself, then be sure you are prepared to do so. If you need to speak for yourself, be sure you’ve got a few notes written down or practice and stick to what you are going to say. You don’t want to stand up and say something that doesn’t make sense at all. Plan your execution carefully before you approach someone about a certain issue in the workplace unless it is an emergency that you can’t hold back such as sexual harassment.

However, if the problem isn’t urgent, then take your time to prepare and assemble your thoughts. When the right time comes up, and you feel like you are ready to speak, approach someone you are comfortable speaking to, such as the manager or your immediate supervisor. Although there may be specific departments within your organization where you need to report your issues, don’t feel compelled to go there if you are uncomfortable with the people holding those offices.

Find an Advocate

This is another crucial way you can adopt for making your voice heard in the workplace. An advocate does not only act as your legal representative, but he or she also plays the role of a mentor. You will need someone to guide you and help you feel confident and comfortable in situations when you have to stand up and speak for yourself.

An advocate will encourage you and package the information you wish to communicate in the right manner to ensure you don’t offend your coworkers. As long as you have a strong network of support from an experienced advocate, you will always feel at ease when dealing with difficult conversations in your workplace.

If you feel like you are facing inequalities in the workplace, find your voice and speak up for yourself. You deserve equal treatment and by showing others that you will stand up for yourself, you instill a since of confidence in others to do the same.

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