WIN Leadership Book Club

Posted: 12/12/2022
Category: General News

The WIN (Women in Neuro--Ophthalmology) Leadership Book Club met on December 11, 2022. They discussed "Breaking through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work" by Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris. 

The group discussed the following key points addressed in the book: 

  •  Gender Stereotypes create general expectations of behavior and roles and contribute to deeply rooted implicit gender bias that creates obstacles to women's career advancement.
  • Women may self-embrace these and hence be limited in their self-confidence (self-limiting bias) and these stereotypes can affect how women are viewed as less talented for certain leadership jobs (negative bias).
  • Additionally, agentic traits can be misread in women as pushy versus determined, bossy versus leader, show off versus confident, selfish vs go-getter, etc.
  • We need to remember that workplaces are not meritocracies and impressions and our attitudes matter. 
  • Effective communication techniques (‘attuned gender communication”) can help us manage the impressions we make.
  • Self-monitoring and adapting the use of different communication styles as needed e.g. decisiveness versus inclusiveness/warmth is one such skill. Avoiding Self deprecating statements: “I may be off base”, avoiding emotional words: “I feel” are some examples of verbal behavior important for women to adopt such that they exhibit competence and power.
  • Nonverbal behavior such as claiming space, dressing the part, speaking with few hesitations can also be leveraged to manage our impressions. Additionally, adopting a long view and grit, a growth mindset and humor goes a long way in reducing stress for women in gendered workplaces.

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Attention future neuro-ophthalmologists! Applications for 2024-25 neuro-ophthalmology fellowship positions will be coordinated through the SF-Match Ophthalmology Fellowship match.