The unwritten rule

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Ring bellThe unwritten rule, what you don’t know can hurt your career was the title of Catalyst’s last piece of research and the symposium that took place in Brussels, this Tuesday.

Unwritten and not surprising: an audience predominantly feminine.

Unwritten and bizarre: the venue a “SAP lounge” used to be a prison, and car GPS did not spot it at all.

Key learning points:

  • Gender biases are most of the times unconscious. Therefore unveiling / writing the unwritten rules, is a way of making them conscious, and then discuss about them
  • Unwritten rules impact us all in diverse manners and gender remains a key variable. For example,  having the right age: some felt that companies perceived them as too young, while others it seemed they’re perceived as being too old a little while after
  • The need to clarify what certain concepts mean for the companies, managers and employees, such as: Flexibility; Being proactive; Taking risks,…
  • The importance of identifying mavericks in companies. Mavericks are good for companies, they get promoted and they have a life. They can have it all!
  • If your company does not have a definition of the “ideal worker” then this is good news!! It means that your work environment is capable to embrace diversity
  • Mind yourself about how and when is the best moment to “rock the boat”. Women’s networks, allies, and a bit of touch are needed to rock the boat while keeping your job and progressing in it.

It was a really inspiring day. Also useful to share these fascinating topics Eleanor Tabi Haller and Allyson Zimmerman from Catalyst, Jean-Michel Monnot from Sodexo, Emmanuelle Gagliardi of L-On Top and www.interdit-aux-hommes, among many others.

An enlightening day in a not so sunny Brussels.

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