Too many women let other colleagues take credit for their work.
Many women workers will know the feeling: an idea they put forward in a meeting that was barely acknowledged is later floated as an initiative from a manager or colleague.
“It is bad enough too many of our women members are talked over in meetings and don’t have their ideas taken seriously,” said PSA/CPSU NSW Women’s Council Chair Leanne Smith, who has experienced “idea theft” several times throughout her career.
“It is even worse when a colleague later puts forward the idea themselves.
“Too many women are conditioned to keep quiet, which leaves them vulnerable to being usurped by other members of staff.”
Research by Cornell University in the United States estimates nearly 30 per cent of all workers “report having had an idea stolen by a colleague, at least once”.
“The problem with this is that your future prospects for promotion may be at risk if your ideas are hijacked by another person you work with,” said Ms Smith.
Solutions to ‘idea theft’ include speaking up as soon as possible to claim the idea as yours.
Writing in Forbes magazine, business consultant Caroline Turner recommended, “Women can practise speaking up more; they can learn to interrupt, hold the floor, and speak with greater confidence and power.
“Both men and women can notice when a women’s idea doesn’t get the reaction it deserves. They can endorse the idea and give credit where it is due if another person ‘steals’ the idea.
“We need to be grateful to those men and women who speak up, generate discussion on good ideas presented by women, and recognise the source of the idea.
“The result is more engaged women – and more good ideas.”