And the “good girl” syndrome that society has ingrained in us prevents women from advancing up the corporate ladder.
It also plays a role in gender inequality (as discussed in my Amazon best selling book: “Money Can Buy You Happiness: Secrets Women Need to Know to Get Paid What They Are Worth”. (www.womenandmoneybook.com)
The high value placed on being the “good girl” runs rampant throughout women’s lives. It begins in preschool and extends throughout high school – and even into college, with teachers, coaches, and youth leaders praising and rewarding “good girl” behavior.
What exactly does “good girl” behavior look like?
Childhood “good girl” behavior
It’s demonstrated by girls who follow the rules, wait their turn, stay in line, play fairly, share, seek consensus, accept authority, maintain (and not challenge) the status quo.
Teachers tell parents their daughter is a “good girl” because she “never gives me any trouble,” “always does what she is told,” “cooperates,” “helps others,” “is patient,” etc.
Adulthood “good girl” behavior
Adult “good girl” behavior is exhibited by women who are people-pleasers and consumed with perfectionism. In their attempt to please everyone, women sacrifice their own happiness and voice in their personal and professional lives.
In the workplace, this “good girl” behavior makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for women to advocate for themselves, lead, take initiative, and ruffle feathers when it is appropriately called for.
It’s not hard to see how the “good girl” syndrome as exhibited by women in the work place significantly contributes to the abysmal representation of women in the C-suite, on the Board of Directors and other leadership roles within the corporate world.
To increase the number of women in the ranks of leadership – and to make sure women get paid what we are worth – women must ditch the “good girl” syndrome and learn to advocate for themselves, speak up and insure their voice is heard.
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