Speak Up! Why Women Don’t Ask for What They Want at Work

Women find it difficult to ask for what they want in the workplace. The book entitled Women Don’t Ask discusses the reasons women stay silent when they are well within their rights to speak up. The author considers that women may not know that change is possible, or that they don’t believe they are allowed to ask for change. Women also worry that they may damage professional or personal relationships, or that society will judge her for her assertiveness. Finally, they fear resentment or reprisal at that their request from male peers. 

Women Can Speak Up and Ask for What They Want at Work Using a Few Strategies 

Any of those reasons can cause the most outspoken women to pause before asking for what they want. Here are three strategies to help women to speak up with confidence and get what they want.

1. Refrain from Apologizing

Apologizing often comes naturally to women, but it does no good to be overly humble in the workplace. Only apologize when it is warranted to do so. It is important for women to own their position, even if it results in a disagreement. 

2. Be Informed Before Speaking Up

Embarking on a conversation, or an argument, without all the facts can leave anyone speechless. It is important for women who want to advance and earn respect to make sure they know their job, especially for making changes or adding to a potentially controversial professional conversation. 

3. Use Strong Language 

Women often use weaker language, such as “feeling” phrases that start with “I think,” “I feel,” and “We might.” Using more assertive language that includes phrases like “This is the best strategy” inspires more confidence and garners more respect. 

With some thoughtful planning, women can speak up, ask for what they want at work and get it. 

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