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As the new year approaches, it may be a good time to take stock of past career accomplishments and make plans for the future. For many women, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is at the top of their wish list.
according to 2021 ISU Corp researchthere are 3.5 million entrepreneurs in Canada, and 72.4 percent of Canadians “consider entrepreneurship a desirable career option.”
But in this age of looming recession, it can be scary to make the leap into small business ownership.
Hereentrepreneurs Rumeet Billan, Amanda Schuler and Sue Henderson share their lessons learned and the secrets to their success.
Insecure guardians are ineffective leaders. Here’s how to change that culture
If you’ve been working long enough, chances are you’ve come across a “guardian” leadership character. The one who doesn’t allow anyone in his organization to do anything without cumbersome and often painfully slow personal approval from him.
The signs are easy to spot. The leader requires that all important communications with customer groups and stakeholders go through them, or be promptly reported to them with regular status updates or rounds of forwarded emails. Individual team members develop a protective “I better ask if it’s okay to do it” attitude based on past interactions that have gotten them in trouble for acting independently.
Clients have learned that the group with such leadership is often slow to respond and often seeks to avoid the leader in question when presenting new assignments.
Unfortunately, this is a very common problem for new or insecure leaders, and it inhibits the development of an effective leadership culture of trust and empowerment.
Read more from talent and leadership development specialist Eileen Dooley here.
Should I find a balance between passion and pay at work?
Career advice books published in the 1950s and 1960s generally advised workers to find a stable, well-paying career and gradually learn to enjoy the job itself. The prevailing wisdom at the time suggested that fulfillment would come from mastering a craft, but made little mention of aligning professional ambitions with personal interests.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that a narrative began to build around finding interest and fulfillment as a centerpiece of career decision-making, says Erin Cech, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.
“Having a job that is interesting and meaningful has been vitally important to workers since at least the early 1980s,” says Dr. Cech, author of The passion problem: how the pursuit of fulfillment at work fosters inequality.
Forty years later, employment has become more precarious and more intertwined with personal identity.
“Even at this time when people are really struggling and reassessing their relationship with the paid workforce, many see self-expression and passion as the dominant way they want to think about career decision making,” says Dr. .cech.
Read the complete article why it can be risky to mix hobbies with professional ambitions.
In case you missed it
How trans inclusion in the workplace is wrong and what can be done to correct it
Last year, Adrienne Smith brought a case to the BC Human Rights Court that, in her own words, was “a fight”.
“I wish there hadn’t been a need to discuss it,” says Smith, a Vancouver-based lawyer and transgender rights activist who runs a boutique firm specializing in law that affects marginalized communities. “But, seriously, [my client’s] the working conditions are quite ordinary.”
The case concerned a waitress named Jessie Nelson, a non-binary, gender-fluid transgender person who asked her employer to use the pronouns they/them to refer to them at the restaurant where they worked. While most of the co-workers complied with this request, there was one holdout: a bartender, who repeatedly used her/his hers pronouns for Nelson and gender-provocative nicknames like “sweetie” and “honey.”
Eventually, this resulted in a verbal altercation between Nelson and the person who deliberately misunderstood them, although the result was not as expected. It was Nelson, not the bartender, who was fired before his next shift.
“The manager told Jessie, ‘You ordered too much too soon,’” Smith says.
Read the complete article here.
Cybersecurity is a hot career choice: why aren’t more women working in this space?
How many women do you know who are cybersecurity experts? If you can only name a handful (or maybe none), it’s not surprising.
In 2021, women made up just 25 percent of the global cybersecurity workforce, according to an estimate from cybersecurity companies, an organization that conducts research on the global cybereconomy. Meanwhile, it is an industry in high demand, that same year there was 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally.
This dearth of women in the cybersecurity field is a problem Waterloo, Ontario-based data privacy consultant Cat Coode has experienced firsthand.
“When we walk into a room and start talking about cybersecurity, we’re supposed to be the vendors and not the people who know how to implement,” says Ms. Coode.
Read the complete article here.
Ask women and work
Question: I am a business owner and my employees have become increasingly casual in their dress (eg sweatpants, sneakers, t-shirts). Should I institute a dress code or does that really matter more? We meet clients in the office. I am about 30 years older than most of my team. Am I getting stale thinking that it matters what people wear to work?
Dress codes are still relevant to businesses, but how you enforce them depends on your workplace culture and values, and what workplace wellness means to you and your organization.
As a millennial who grew up in the Middle East and attended a private school with very strict uniform rules, there was no ambiguity when it came to dress code. We had different uniforms for different days (blazer or no blazer, tie or no tie). I also spent more than a decade in corporate Canada, where work attire was always different from non-work attire. Casual Fridays explicitly meant no ripped jeans, sweatpants, and dirty sneakers.
Currently, as a business owner who works primarily from home, the way I show up to work every day hasn’t changed. I start the day by dressing in my work clothes instead of lounging around in my pajamas; is an infallible wellness strategy.
Before instituting a dress code, you may want to think about the following:
1. Culture. What kind of work environment do you want to create for your employees and how can a dress code reinforce your organizational values? Is your workplace culture fun, friendly, welcoming, relaxed, casual (sportswear, solid color t-shirts, plain polos or blouses, shiny clean sneakers)? Or is it professional, innovative, fast-paced, and respectful (button-down shirts, blazers, pants, skirts, dresses, dress shoes, loafers, heels)?
2. Values. A dress code is a reflection of company values. What is your workplace mission statement and the dress code you want to institute is consistent with business values and goals? Does it demonstrate what kind of relationship you want to develop with your customers? As an owner, are you embodying those values and do you expect your employees to promote them to create trust, harmony, equality, authority and cohesion at work?
3. Well-being in the workplace. Burnout and stress in the workplace can affect an employee’s appearance and behavior. Companies that have wellness on their agenda are encouraging employees to fully dedicate themselves to work. A great workplace wellness strategy is one that promotes employee mental health and personalizes work attire for the occasion. Can an employee effortlessly slip into a yoga session or hit the Peloton and effortlessly return to a client meeting?
It is not so much about instituting a specific dress code, but about providing guidance on work environments. Can you come up with some guidelines on dress for client meetings vs. individual deep work vs. scrum vs. internal office meetings vs. Zoom meetings?
Whether you are selecting a business formal, business professional, business casual, smart smart, relaxed smart, or sporty smart dress code, examine your personal bias to ensure you are implementing an unbiased and neutral dress code policy at regarding gender for its employees. That will ensure that you provide a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.
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