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

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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


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