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Women And Promotions

What's stopping you from getting promoted?

Honestly, I think it's always been my direct manager finding my high performance to be intimidating. Oftentimes, I get praise from senior leadership, and instead of celebrating and recognizing that, bosses hold me back until I end up leaving.For the first time in my tech career, I got promoted this year. I think a few reasons for why it happened are because I voiced it to leadership consistently, my boss championed the cause, and the saddest/weirdest one is that my boss is a man...so we're not in some strange underlying gender competition.
WOW! Congratulations on your promotion. I’m glad you decided to advocate for yourself and that your leader valued championed your cause over competition. Thanks for responding.
@Ericka My boss doesn’t do the same type of work that I do (he’s a director of engineering & I’m a PgM) so he doesn’t understand what it means to be the next level in program management (or at least that’s his excuse). I’ve created my own development plan & walked him through the differences based on the job descriptions. I’ve also received excellent reviews from stakeholders. About to interview with another team at my company for same position but with clearer guidelines on how to get there. Open to suggestions!
It sounds like your company needs to implement some competency-based job levels and reviews across the board. This is one of the best ways to provide more transparent, clear paths to level progression in a role (regardless if your direct manager has experience in your discipline or not). I would raise this to your HR Director, if it's not already on their radar. And then get others agitating for it as well - if you're feeling this way you're probably not alone!
Thank you @RebeccaAp! This is awesome. What would you recommend if these things are already in place?
Use the defined competencies for your career track to assess your own performance and focus on completing them to a degree such as there's no objective way to dismiss the progress from a manager's perspective. This may mean getting even more granular about KPI's or "Definition of Done" for that competency- then plotting out an interim plan to meet each requirement based on your current & future projects, responsibilities, assigned tasks, etc. Then head into performance reviews armed with all the documentation proving each competency has been satisfied. The #1 way to unlock promotions is to be proactive in your own growth & development, don't expect it to be done for you.
Yes to all of this and solicit feedback consistently so if adjustments need to be made, you have time to course correct. Eliminate the opportunity for surprises.
1. Speak to individuals who have been promoted to the seat you’d like to occupy and ask them about their path to success. Have start, stop, continue conversations meaning tell them what you’ve done performance wise as well as steps you’ve taken to be promoted then ask them what you should start doing, what you should stop doing and what you should continue doing. 2. If the stakeholders are sponsors, even better. I believe women should have a mentor, coach and a sponsor at every level of their career. People will accelerate you in ways performance won’t. 3. Create a strategy based on: (1) the feedback you received from those who have been promoted (2) promotion criteria from your leader