3 Ways Social Collaboration Tools Help Women in the Workplace

As women, we’re not great at taking compliments. We’re not great at announcing our accomplishments and seeking recognition.  I know I’m especially not good at these things in the workplace. At my old job, as a junior associate at a law firm, I would rather say nothing and let my contribution to the team go unnoticed than come across as overly self-promotional or boastful.  A good part of my reluctance to speak up was also just stage fright.  It’s uncomfortable to toot your own horn when faced with a room full of confident men in suits who are used to commanding attention.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only woman who has done this.

The Problem

© Parker Knight

The problem is that our hesitation to speak up and ask for recognition on the job is forming a significant career barrier for women everywhere.  According to a 2011 survey by Catalyst, “Two of the biggest barriers for women in advancing their careers are: (1) failure to make their achievements known and (2) to find people who could help their careers.”

3 Ways Social Collaboration Tools Can Help:

You have probably heard of the power of social media to build your brand and spread your company’s word to the world, but there are social collaboration tools that can be powerful when used internally in companies.

Internal social collaboration tools help with the workplace challenges that women face by creating cultures where workplace achievement is less “me me me” and more “we we we.”  This builds an environment in which women’s careers can thrive.

1.  Social tools are a friendly, non-confrontational way to share achievements.

Internal tools like iDoneThis help you to build a clear, visible record of your contributions to the team.  They don’t require in-your-face announcements of accomplishments. Women can share their progress and achievements at work without being put on the spot or compelled to compete with colleagues for attention.  Because these internal social tools are unobtrusive and interpersonal, they can help make announcements seem that way as well.

2.  Social tools help connect you with coworkers.

Tools like Yammer and Campfire allow women to connect and interact with team members in real time about projects they’re working on, laying the foundation for workplace advocates and sponsors.

Social collaboration tools also encourage regular interaction and individualized feedback.  When everyone can see each other’s achievements and interact around them, it creates many more opportunities to form friendship and sponsorship.

3.  Social tools help women find sponsors.

Too often, women mentors and mentees are paired solely on the basis of having female-ness in common.  Sometimes, they may not even work together on any projects.  With internal social collaboration tools, interaction can arise organically around specific tasks and projects on a daily basis.  Women are able to meet more people who tout their work and support their careers.

Innovative, fast-growing companies are increasingly using social collaboration tools internally to foster transparency, enhance engagement, encourage teamwork and increase productivity.  Women can use these tools to overcome our biggest career barriers: lack of recognition for our work and lack of advocacy for our work.

We’d love to know, what internal social collaboration tools do you use in your company to share and celebrate a job well done?

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Ginni Chen is the Chief Happiness Officer at iDoneThis, the easiest team-building progress-tracking tool around.  She’s committed to changing the way people work so that people are more productive, more motivated, and happier at their jobs.  Check out the iDoneThis blog for more, or follow her on Twitter at @iDoneThis or @GinniChen.

Comments

  1. Very good article!
    I also use social tools to increase traffic to my website.

  2. Interesting article regarding women in business and how social collaboration tools help them. Social collaboration and project management platforms are becoming a must for all businesses small and large and also for the individual to help plan their social as well as business life. We developed Tracky, http://www.tracky.com which is different from many of the platforms on the market as the account is the individuals and stays with you for life so you never lose those important contacts We are a team spread over several time zones so Tracky is essential to our day to day work and keeps everyone on the team informed. It is also useful for keeping our clients informed on the progress of their projects and enables them to feedback to us online. Tracky enables us to upload documents. publish to social media sites, chat online and much more.

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