Join Lori Mackenzie for an in-depth discussion in this video Code switching for success, part of Women Transforming Tech: Breaking Bias.
- People often ask me what are the most important things that I can learn? And I often say put a lot of tools in your tool belt. Learn a lot of ways of being successful in the workplace. And pull them out when you need them. Now to deal with bias one of the things I often tell young women is this. So women who learn to self monitor, to move between being seen as assertive and decisive and warm and friendly. Women who can monitor between the two appropriately. It turns out they get more promotions than even the most assertive men. Sometimes this is called code switching. Learning to read a situation and figuring out if you need to up your assertiveness or up your warmth. Now it can be a lot of work. And it can be exhausting to move between the two all the time. Am I intimidating you too much? Warm up. Now I'm too warm and you're not taking me seriously? Be more assertive. Especially for women of color, sometimes LGBTQ women, they feel like they're told to code switch so much that being asked to code switch one more time feels like too much of a burden. And I agree. It's work we shouldn't have to do. But what helps me think through that is what I'm here for. I believe that the ideas, the contributions I'm bringing to an organization can really help make things better. So I learn how to code switch in part because I know that when I do my ideas will be heard more effectively, I'll be able to have more impact. And at the end of the day when we become the ones who are making the decisions we'll be able to create organizations where women aren't required to code switch quite so much. And I keep that in mind knowing that it is a little bit extra work. But I hope in the end it'll be worth it.