How to Push Back Against "Pushy"

Great article over at Fast Company (2014's magazine of the year) about the strict gender roles too many women are expected to conform to.

As diversity expert and speaker extraordinaire Verna Myers once told me, "if you expect a woman to act as a stereotypic woman, you waste her potential or are disappointed by her performance despite the results she produces."

I don't know any woman who hasn't been tarred and feathered by her fellow workers (male and female) for being too aggressive, bitchy, dykey (yes, homophobia lives on) pushy, or bossy and hence "not leadership material." 

So here's some advice from people other than the principals of She Negotiates with a bit of advice from us as well over at Fast Company.

There’s no shortage of career advice for women telling them to be more confident, “lean in” to their careers, and thrive. Yet, as antiquated as it seems, there’s also no shortage of pushback when confident, assertive women are tough managers in the workplace and elsewhere.

“As a woman, in many ways, people are expecting you to be a pleaser and when you’re not, and when you’re unapologetic and you don’t couch your ideas, but you deliver them very confidently, you throw people,” says leadership consultant Selena Rezvani, author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask--and Stand Up for What They Want.

Sure, you could ignore the perception and remain your hard-charging self. But even as you put forth your own brand of chutzpah, experts say there are some strategies you can use to win over even the most gender-entrenched skeptics. Counter--or avoid altogether--your critics with these strategies.

Read on at Fast Company.

There's also a conversation on this topic going on over at Citibank Connect Professional Women's Network here. What's your strategy?