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News - 24.11.2022

Posted by adam.mcelligott

News - 24.11.2022

3 Strategic Ways Women Can Ask for More Feedback at Work

3 Strategic Ways Women Should Ask for Feedback at Work

In order to succeed, employees need feedback, both good and bad, so they can leverage their strengths, improve their skill set and to simply perform better at their jobs. However, according to research by Harvard Business Review, men get more actionable feedback on the job than their female colleagues do. Similarly, research by Women in the Workplace also highlights that women are 20% less likely to receive actionable feedback that can contribute to their performance and growth at work.

Without any clear guidance from their managers, women must work harder to understand how to meet and exceed the expectations of their roles. This can be a daunting task and one their male counterparts are not faced with. Although this is, at its core, a management issue, and one that should be addressed by HR when examining their company’s culture, it still doesn’t change the fact that this is ongoing for many women, in many companies across the globe.

Therefore, it’s vital that women entering the workforce have the confidence to ask for feedback; but not just generic feedback that does not give any insight into one’s performance or skills. You need to be strategic in how you ask for it.

To get the feedback you need to grow, consider these three points:

  1.       Choose Your Timing

Don’t ask your boss for feedback randomly, like when you run into them in the hall. Feedback should be an ongoing, two-way conversation that takes place in a thoughtful environment and happens more frequently than annual performance reviews. Use one-on-one meetings and inflection points in your work to get the feedback you need.

  1.   Consider Your Sources

Your manager is not the only person you work with. Consider who else in the organization can provide you with clear and actionable insights about your performance. For example, peers, mentors, or contacts you trust are good sources to consider when looking for honest feedback.

  1.   Lead the conversation

Because we know that women get less feedback to begin with, it’s important for you to proactively and strategically seek out the advice that will help you in your role. Ask questions that will allow your manager to provide more specific information such as, “What are the things I do well?”, “How do my strengths align with the organization’s goals?”, or, “Is there anything I can do differently that would improve my performance?”

Frequently, managers can be hesitant when it comes to giving women negative feedback due to concerns around how they will respond. More specifically, they fear their feedback will be interpreted as “mean” or “hurtful.” These assumptions, largely built on gender-based stereotypes, can have direct negative repercussion on women’s careers. But remember, if you don’t ask for the feedback you need in order to grow and advance your career, you simply will not get it.


Are you looking to improve how you provide feedback in your organization? Let Our Tandem help you by booking a meeting with one of our performance management experts here.  

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