Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Tackling sexism at work: a leading New York exec shares the lessons she’s learnt

erin brockovich.jpg

Britain currently hold one of the worst records for gender equality at work, with a myriad factors from the pay gap to board level presence skewing the balance between men and women.

Clearly, there are battles to be fought and we're rolling up our sleeves in anticipation of every new challenge.

But beyond the obvious mountains we need to climb – such as equal pay and maternity discrimination – lies the more subtle, insidious nuance of sexist behaviour that many of us face in the workplace.


Read more: “Why our stale working culture feeds a gaping gender pay gap”


Nicole Didda, VP of communications at construction group Skanska USA, knows a thing or two about working in a man’s world and has some wisdom to share when it comes to combating gender prejudice.

"Bring your amazing and flawed female self to work every day"

"Bring your amazing and flawed female self to work every day"

“Sexual harassment at Uber, porn in the military, pay inequality, and the current political tide aside, we are way beyond gloves up in corporate America,” Didda acknowledges, in an opinion piece for Fortune.com.

And yet, “as women, we cannot become the stories we hear or fear. Assuming you will be marginalized increases your chances of making it so,” she says.

Nicole Didda

Nicole Didda

“I’ve seen too many women stand in their own way, from not raising their hand for a promotion they deserve to letting someone talk over them in a meeting,” Didda continues. 

“Often, the default thinking is: I’m not ready; that’s not in my comfort zone; I’ve never done that before, instead of, ‘Can I learn that?’”


Read more: These darkly funny illustrations capture the sexism faced by female leaders


“I’ve told those I mentor to get comfortable being uncomfortable, especially those who do not feel empowered to speak up,” she adds.

“For the women just getting started in their careers, my advice is pretty simple: Bring your amazing and flawed female self to work every day. And get out of your own way.”

Images: Rex Features

Related

Nathalie Gordon.jpg

This woman’s frighteningly relatable story has gone viral on Twitter

united-women-firefighters-new-york-3.JPG

How women are helping other women become firefighters in New York City

joanna lumley.jpg

Joanna Lumley reveals kissing Leonardo DiCaprio was “no fun at all”

Comments

Latest...

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

How hot does it have to get before you can legally go home from work?

As temperatures climb, it’s time to talk about your rights

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jun 2017

Are you self-employed? These newsletters will help your business bloom

On-point emails packed with entrepreneurial tips

by Anna Brech
15 Jun 2017

How changing your name on your CV can boost career success

No deed poll required

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

This nanny job pays £50,000 – but you have to live in a haunted house

So… do you see dead people?

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

Annie Mac nails why maternity leave can be so difficult for many women

“It’s always weird when someone else does your job”

12 Jun 2017

The surprising way being friends with co-workers affects your career

Work wives, assemble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Jun 2017

Laptop with a view: how getting closer to nature fuels creativity

Fire up your imagination by heading outdoors

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Borrow Amazon’s ‘pizza rule’ for more productive meetings

Napkins at the ready...

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Women doing ‘men's work’: striking images smash gender clichés

Photographer wants his two-year-old girl to know there are no limits

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017