Anna Jozwicka: Stop Trying to Be Miss Perfect
Anna Jozwicka, Talent Development Manager at Jabil Europe discusses topics related to male and female leadership development. While Jozwicka believes that both men and women are held to the same leadership standards, she says that women generally believe “they are not ready yet” and therefore are more cautious to move up the career ladder.
Similarities & Differences In the Development of Male and Female Employees
Men and women are equally predisposed to being leaders. At Jabil, we are continuously striving to create equal opportunities and build an environment in which the leadership assessments and development are the same for men and women.
As far as leadership build-up is concerned, both men and women are held to the same expectations. Regardless of gender, leaders are supposed to have the same set of skills to be successful. Additionally, both genders are equally success-oriented and equally as focused.
However, there are definitely recognizable differences when it comes to the leadership development process. The number one distinction that Anna Jozwicka noticed is that women are, on average, more cautious. They tend to seek 120 percent self-confidence and feel they need to know everything before taking the next step in their career. Men, on the other hand, are okay with only knowing about 80 percent and learning the other 20 percent along the way. Women also tend to need more outside reassurance and encouragement, whereas men are more inclined to act on impulse and take risks.
Challenges Faced By Women in the Workplace
Aside from dealing with more self-criticism, women (particularly mothers) have to find the perfect work-life balance. Organization and sharing the responsibilities at home are key. It helps to remember that if you are a working mother and are frequently away from home, it creates an opportunity for your children to grow and become more independent and self-reliant.
One issue that isn’t necessarily discussed frequently, but is very prevalent, is maternity leave. Particularly in Europe, there is quite the variety of rules and regulations regarding maternity leave. Often times, how to manage the workload while females are on maternity leave and the uncertainty around their return dates is a big concern especially to male colleagues. Jozwicka believes that the key to solving this issue is an open and upfront dialogue, rather than avoidance.
The Importance of Female Empowerment
Jabil Joules is a very important and powerful program. There are a lot of women out there that are dealing with the same challenges. The interviews and resources that this program provides helps women at Jabil understand how other female colleagues manage work and life. After all, no one else is able to understand women leaders as well as other women leaders. It is important for women to make strong connections and to share and support other females in the company. The more we share and exchange, the stronger we are going to be as individuals. Female leaders are not alone and we should help one another to get our work done and continue to grow and develop.
First and foremost, be brave. Don’t limit yourself and don’t try to be perfect. Actively create strong links and connections with your female colleagues by understanding how each individual copes with the challenges of work and private life. By supporting one another, working together, providing feedback and sharing our experiences, we can help ourselves and other female colleagues.
Anna Jozwicka is Jabil’s Talent Development Manager for Europe. Anna joined Jabil in 2006 to manage leadership training and development programs for the European region. Before joining Jabil, Anna worked as a site Human Resources Manager as well as a Total Quality Manager at Philips. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Studies and Business Psychology from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland.