Advancing Women in Leadership and How Organizations are Getting It Wrong | Part 1

It was the Friday right before the long 4th of July holiday weekend; our team was gathered on our team call, and that’s where we found out that we were no longer allowed to work from home as part of our standard protocol. I’m devastated. I mean, working from home on Fridays, every Friday for several months, had been one of the key strategies that helped me overcome the burnout that I had been experiencing for the entire year before.

It’s also what made me realize that our senior leadership, the organization, wasn’t taking burnout seriously.

Because I had been with the company for over a decade; I was in a leadership role, had been in leadership for several years. I had won accolades, sales awards; I was a dedicated employee. And so to see that this small gesture by the company, offering me to work from home on Fridays, to help support me in being the best leader that I possibly could be, to see that small gesture be removed, absolutely demonstrated that they were not taking burnout seriously. And unfortunately, it is still happening today. Gallup just released that in 2021, while we saw burnout decrease within organizations across several roles, managers did not experience a decrease in burnout.

Managers are still burned out, and women as managers, female leaders are absolutely bearing the brunt of this.

We know that women often get pushed back into gender roles, forcing them to make decisions of choosing between their career or their family and their household. Today, in the circumstances that we have, leaders are taking on so much; they’re taking in new policies, new protocols, their direct reports are scared and nervous. There’s organizational changes, there are people resigning, leaving, new hires coming in.

I mean, oh my goodness! There is so much coming at leaders, much less women in leadership. So organizations may claim that advancing women in leadership is a priority, but there are three mistakes that they are making. And over the course of the next three weeks I’m going to be talking about those, starting with this first one, which is that they are not taking burnout seriously.

So you, as a female leader, what could you be doing for yourself? Now, you’ve heard me share several times about the importance of communication, but if that is not working for you, your next step is to elevate that line of communication. Do not wait if you are truly feeling burned out. If that message that you are trying to get across is not being heard with your direct leader, you need to elevate that conversation appropriately.

I also offer for you to stay creative! We don’t have to think about every solution; if what you may be trying for reducing your burnout isn’t working, reach out to other experts, other colleagues, confidants, people who could be able to help you. Stay creative. We’re all in this together; we want to see advancement of women in leadership, and it’s a long battle that we’ve been fighting for some time. Let’s accelerate this together by number one, beating that burnout!

Leave a Reply