Embrace your inner pitch: the art of self-promotion
29th January 2016 | Deirdre Coleman
Too many women believe that if they keep their heads down, work hard and meet their targets, they’ll be recognised as sales experts on the merits of their work and rise through the ranks. However, what really separates successful sales leaders from the pack is their ability to self-promote.
We’re all aware of the depressingly disproportionate number of women at senior levels. McKinsey & Co recently released Women in the Workplace, a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America today. The study, which covers nearly 30,000 professionals from 118 companies, concluded that women make up about 45% of those entering the professional workforce. At the senior management level, that percentage drops to 37% and, at the C-suite level, to 17%. In sales, at the top level – sales and marketing directors – the disparity between the sexes widens: 78% are male and 22% are female.
This suggests women face greater barriers to advancement at every level. Many believe that women take themselves out of the game due to lack of confidence or not wanting to subject themselves to the politics, game-playing and 24/7 work culture that has historically been necessary to ascend to leadership positions. In my experience, these factors do indeed contribute to the lack of women at the senior corporate table.