Lead Like a Woman

July 5, 2018

“You can’t rely on the organization to help women advance,” says instructor Vaughan Limbrick, who will be leading the UNH Professional Development & Training seminar titled “Lead Like a Woman: Intentional Career Planning for Quality of Life” this fall. “Women need skills to advance on their own.”

Limbrick has seen gender discrimination first-hand while coaching women in STEM fields on career advancement. She recounted a story when a female scientist was denied a spot on a team working for a Navy contract when a man in the group said “she can’t do math,” despite having a Ph.D. Limbrick noticed a pattern for women in STEM fields who were trying to advance their career. She realized that women require a different set of skills needed for career advancement in order to overcome issues like gender discrimination and implicit bias.

Another challenge for women is they are more likely than men to be judged on past performance whereas men are more likely to be judged and promoted based on potential alone, according to the Chicago Tribune[1].

“It’s really up to you to manage your own career,” says Limbrick, “not only do you have to ask for what you want but you also have to ask for it in the right way.”

The “Lead Like a Woman” retreat is for mid-level women who have never been coached on how to advance their career. Women will learn to integrate the priorities of family and work rather than trying to keep them separate. Balancing these priorities proves difficult for many women who often have to choose between career and family.

Limbrick hopes to help women become better negotiators in order to get the compensation they deserve despite the gender wage gap. Women will have the opportunity to learn how wages are determined by the state, and how they can ask for better compensation in smarter way.

She also emphasized the importance of female mentorship and female sponsorship. Networking and female sponsorship is extremely beneficial for women in the workforce who might need a supportive network while overcoming challenges based on gender.

According to Limbrick, 60-70% of career advancement is based on previous job assignments. However, men are more likely than women to be assigned more visible jobs that lead to opportunity. Many companies do not provide women with equal opportunities to advance, which is why it is important for women to know what they want and what to ask for when seeking opportunities. Limbrick will also share tips and strategies for women on how to  become skillful negotiators.

UNH PD&T’s “Lead Like a Woman” retreat will be held October 4-5 at the Browne Center in Durham. For more information please visit https://training.unh.edu/intentionalcareerplanning

You can view all of our women's leadership programs at: https://training.unh.edu/womensleadership

 Additional Sources:




Olivia Olbrych

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