Women: How to Gain Confidence
At least 75% of the people working for associations and nonprofits are women. Sounds great except that only 45% make it to the top ranks, says DC-based executive coach Carol Vernon. It comes down to confidence, a theory echoed in books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. It inspired Carol to launch a program in DC in the fall that will choose 20 women who have worked 7-10 years in associations or nonprofits, to fine tune their confidence in four months. Paid for by their employers, the women work on everything from voice inflections to the type of language used in the workplace.
It’s a personal mission for Carol as she struggled with confidence early in her 25-year career. She remembers 15 years ago working for an association, and a colleague told her she needed to take up more room at the table. She was competent in her role but didn’t go for bigger opportunities. It’s a common struggle among professional women, says Carol. She coaches them out of using phrases like, “I’m not sure if this is right but...."