It happens…..A well-meaning hiring manager who happens to be a man tells me that he “would love to have more great women on his team,” and that he “is a passionate advocate for diversity” but that he just doesn’t have “that many” women applicants in his pipeline from which to consider. To which I immediately respond, “Bulls**t!”
Here is the truth. The best applicants for any position are the chest-beating, humble-bragging, ego-stroking candidates who won’t take no for an answer, believe that they can learn any skill that they don’t have and can nonsense their way through a difficult question. Most of the time, they are men. Is it their genes? Is this overconfidence the reason that men take more risks professionally, apply for positions that are more out of their reach and network with leaders who are more likely to be able to affect the outcome of their careers. Men are twice as likely to apply for a position for which they meet exactly HALF of the REQUIREMENTS! How can that be? They justify it because they believe they are quick learners, read trade journals, are mentored by experts, etc….
To the contrary, women are only likely to apply for positions for which they meet 100% of the requirements and even still if they lack even a bit of expertise they are likely to take themselves out of consideration even before an interview with a hiring manager.
How can you be a better bullsh**er?
- Believe in yourself! Vary rarely does any applicant meet 100% of the criteria for any position. Know your strengths and emphasize them. Focus on those bullet points where you could add real value and quantify how you could impact the business.
- Talk like a man. If you haven’t done it before, how will you learn? Do you have a mentor? Do you read trade journals? Are you willing to take a non-credit course? Or stay late to work with your predecessor? (I bet you are.)
- Be seen. I wish that male hiring managers like the one I mentioned above would take it upon themselves to stalk down incredible female talent and offer them a seat at the table but they aren’t. Invite yourself in, take a seat and show them what they are missing.
It is my belief that most of the successful male executives in this world are genuine when they say that they believe women make great contributors, lead incredible teams and deliver superior results. They are not standing on our shoulders and trying to hold us down but they also do not recognize the social and historical mores that still can subconsciously effect how women go about pursuing career advancement. As always, they bullshit like they do. Now, why don’t we go out there and bullshit like we can.
Courtney Jones, Founder and President, MomSource