Gender miscommunication started in the Garden of Eden and has been tangling understanding ever since. When your career is at stake, it takes on a whole new dimension.
Through the Accounting MOVE Project, which measures and supports the advancement of women, the Wilson-Taylor team listens to women accountants who don’t understand what they don’t understand about making partner.
Here’s the thing: they lean in till they are nearly falling over, but when they simply ask their sponsors or mentors “What do I need to do?”, they inevitably get back a cryptic, opaque response: “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
In this piece that ran August 2, 2013 in the Chicago Tribune’s opinion section, I tell the bosses of America what they need to do to turn this conversation around.
But here’s what women need to do: be more specific. It’s not much more risk to get a lot more information. Ask, “What specific skills or experiences do I need to master to fill in the gaps that qualify me for partner?” or for your next critical career step.
When you ask a detailed question, you get a detailed answer. And just like that, you understand what you need to do next. Then, of course, you need to do it.