Summary: In today’s podcast episode, Andrea Simon, author of Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, discusses changing workplace culture and deconstructing myths about women in the workplace with Stephen Halasnik. The old ways of viewing gender and diversity are changing for generations to come.

Challenges for Women in the Workplace

For a large part of history, women and minorities have often lacked representation in the upper management of organizations. As more organizations put diversity and inclusion at the forefront, women have used the increase in opportunities to pursue once male-dominated careers. As of 2021, about 40 percent of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women entrepreneurs. This number can be expected to grow as the talent pool for capable women has steadily increased.

According to Andrea Simon, a common occurrence for many women is business is getting used to being the only women in the room. As highlighted in her book, Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, Andrea mentions how within an organization, men are more likely to be sponsored by someone higher up to be promoted while women often are mentored to stay in the same positions. Men are also less likely to be mentors to women, furthering the gender divide in the workplace.

Ultimately, organizations have the responsibility of providing equal opportunities to advance for women. Expanding the talent pool of women to fill leadership positions should be intentional. As for women entrepreneurs, success comes largely from knowing your business numbers. Investors are more willing to work with an entrepreneur that is confident and knowledgeable in regard to important facts about their business.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Women in Business

Smashing the Myths of Women in Business by Andrea Simon highlights the experiences of women that are highly successful in their field. Many of the women mentioned in the book have faced challenges due to sexism. Women are often discouraged from entering male-dominated fields or pursuing high-level leadership positions. Andrea’s book serves to empower women executives and entrepreneurs through real stories from real people.

Establishing Professional Networks

In order to be successful, women have gone the extra mile when establishing business connections.  Women typically have smaller professional networks than men, putting more pressure on women to establish meaningful connections. The success of the women mentioned in the book is largely attributed to creating networks with other women and helping one another. Humility and collaboration have played a huge role in helping women overcome employment barriers.

Men’s role in Supporting Women in Business

Men can also play a significant role in breaking down barriers for women in business. Men can support their female colleagues through mentorship, establishing trust, and listening and communication. Every woman has their own unique experiences when navigating the working world, making listening even more important when trying to understand a woman’s perspective.

Empowerment Through Diversity & Inclusion

Executives must realize that diversity is more than a number. Fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace requires more than meeting quotas, it requires organizations to deconstruct systems that exclude women and minorities on an organizational scale. Understanding someone’s story and their unique challenges and motivations is one of the best ways to support and enable growth among a diverse pool of employees.

About Andrea Simon from Simon Associates Management Consultants

Andrea (Andi) Simon, Ph.D., principal, and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) launched SAMC in 2002 to bring the methods, tools, and theory of anthropology to businesses that needed or wanted to change.

A frequent speaker, workshop presenter, and consultant, Andi has developed Simon Associates Management Consultant into a leading firm in its field. She has a very successful,  award-winning book,  “On The Brink: A Fresh Lens To Take Your Business To New Heights.”  and her podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, is in the top 200 of her business category in subscribers and listeners. Andi’s newest book, Rethink, Smashing the Myths of Women in Business is out now. 

Dr. Simon has won numerous Addy and Aster awards for her marketing and advertising campaigns. She is a well-published author with articles in ForbesBusiness Week, and numerous publications and online blogs.

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