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the “not sorry” campaign: randstad women leaders weigh in

When Pantene released a video examining the way women overuse the word "sorry," it got the public talking about the power of language and how women are so quick to apologize for things that aren't their fault. Whether it's habit or learned behavior, many women use this five-letter word as a way to appear softer and more likeable -- especially in the workplace. But is it time for women to stop apologizing so much? "Sorry is a crutch — a tyrannical lady-crutch," according to a Time article. "It’s a space filler, a hedge, a way to politely ask for something without offending." According to another Boston Globe article: "It’s not that we’re actually sorry, but it’s that we think we’re consistently doing things we should be apologizing for. And that’s an even bigger problem." Six Randstad women leaders have shared their own experiences of apologizing when it wasn't necessary --  and they've offered women workers some advice on how to rethink their use of the word "sorry."

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gender leadership styles: is it really man versus vs. woman?



Communication skills: (45 percent of men and 49 percent of women)Effective leaders frequently exude an identifiable style. Female leaders are often known for their ability to listen and multitask, while their male counterparts are praised for being strong and aggressive.But do valuable leadership qualities stem from gender or are they developed over time from life experiences?

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infographic: can women succeed in the tech sector?

While women in technology have made great strides, they still face many barriers, which is the focus of a comprehensive infographic from IT Manager Daily. Percentage of women earning IT-related degrees has declined Over the past 25 years, the proportion of females earning tech degrees has steadily dropped from 37 percent in 1985 to 18 percent in 2009.

A recent New York Times article titled “I Am Woman, Watch Me Hack” addresses possible reasons why fewer women are interested in tech degrees:

One of the biggest challenges, according to many in the industry, may be a public-image problem. Most young people … simply don’t come into contact with computer scientists and engineers in their daily lives, and they don’t really understand what they do. And to the extent that Americans do, “they think of Dilbert,” explains Jeffrey Wilcox, vice president of engineering at Lockheed Martin. (“Dilbert” being shorthand, of course, for boring, antisocial, cubicle-contained drudgery, conducted mostly by awkward men in short-sleeve dress shirts — a bit like “Office Space,” only worse.)
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Infographic: A Closer Look at the Wage Gap

Much of the recent discussion around women in the workplace has centered on pay inequality between men and women, with one popular statistic often cited: On average, women earn only 77 cents per dollar, compared to their male counterparts. But a new infographic from the website topmanagementdegrees.com titled “Why Women Don’t Make Less Than Men” takes a closer look at that well-touted claim and examines five factors impacting pay inequality: occupations, positions, education, job tenure and hours worked per week. According to the infographic below, when you factor in those issues, the wage gap between men and women shrinks to a nickel, with women earning 95 cents per dollar, compared to men. Choice of Occupation When it comes to careers, women often choose the lower-paying route, such as health and education, while men opt for more lucrative options, mainly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). A recent article in The Daily Beast explained the wage gap this way: “Much of the wage gap can be explained away by simply taking account of college majors. Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones. In the pursuit of happiness, men and women appear to take different paths.” Working Moms vs. Working Dads The infographic also found that women with children under 18 had a much harder road to advancement compared to men, with 51 percent of working mothers saying it was harder to advance, compared to 16 percent of men. Working moms also face career disruptions -- such as reduced work hours, taking time off, quitting a job or turning down a promotion -- at a higher rate than men. Closing the Gap According to Randstad’s latest Employee Engagement study, women want more visible female leadership and family-friendly work policies in order to advance to leadership levels, which can in turn close the wage gap. Some highlights regarding what companies can do to promote women in the workplace:

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“I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

Could banning one word today really affect the leadership of tomorrow?

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To cry or not to cry?

Time and time again, we as women are told that in order to rise to leadership positions, we have to be tough. That means being assertive, bold and most importantly – keeping our emotions in check.

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Sponsors vs. Mentors: What’s the Difference?

For women looking to open the c-suite door, sponsors may hold the key.

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How Can Companies Pave The Way For More Women CEOs?

2014 started off as a great year for women in leadership, with the January announcement that Mary Barra was tapped as the new CEO for General Motors, making her the auto industry's first female chief executive officer.

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Advice For Women Workers

The New York Times recently asked readers to share advice for young women in the workplace. More than 500 responses followed, with insights ranging from how to be a leader and taking risks to negotiating salary and finding mentors.  Some highlights:

  • Strive to be the person that people count on.
  • Don’t just sit at the table; talk at the table! Make it a point to contribute at least once in every meeting you attend.
  • To stand out and excel, especially as a woman in the business world, you need to lead.
  • Keep track of your accomplishments. Don’t brush them off; write them down and add them to your working résumé.
  • Stop apologizing. Women say they are sorry far too much for things they had no control over.
  • Never think of yourself as a woman first, but as a competent and capable individual who can get the job done just as well as your co-workers.
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The Power of Networking

Imagine a business luncheon, with men and women professionals mingling about.

One woman is at the table chatting with a hiring director about their shared love of traveling; another man is in the corner talking with the president of an IT company about his skill set and experience.

Both of these professionals are looking for new jobs, but which method of networking is more efficient?

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