Amber Mac, author and speaker, says that women apologize too much in the workplace, even as they take onroles. In particular, women become inappropriately apologetic when they have to say “no.”
Here are the three biggest reasons women apologize and what they can do to curb it:
1. Financial expectations. The wage gap remains a stubborn obstacle to women’s financial success. When asking for money, women should be clear about their needs and be tenacious about getting it. Pay attention to the fine print.
2. Physical appearance. Women devote more time to grooming than men do, but they still often feel they should apologize for how they look. “I have heard women apologize countless times if they’re not looking runway-ready at work, due to everything from pulling all-nighters to get a job done or battling sleep deprivation due to taking care of a sick child. Sure, it’s important to look professional in the workplace, but it’s time to lessen the pressure we put on ourselves to look perfect,” Mac writes.
3. Professional accomplishments. “Women are trained to be sensitive to everyone’s feelings, not to be selfish, and not to brag,” says Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. “These are good traits to have. But we also need to understand that sometimes it’s not appropriate to apologize—like when we haven’t done anything wrong.”
— Adapted from “3 Things Professional Women Should Stop Apologizing For,” Amber Mac, FastCompany.com.