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Fireside Chat: Exploring the Likeability Trap with Alicia Menendez and Jessica Bennett

Date: 11/14/2019

Time: 6:30pm
Where: LMHQ, 150 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York NY

Ever had to edit your emails for “sorries”? Felt the need to smile or soften your language when asking for a raise? You’re not alone; you’re facing the likeability trap.
 
Alicia Menendez, award-winning multimedia journalist and author of The Likeability Trap was joined by Jessica Bennett, Gender Editor at the New York Times and author of the Feminist Fight Club for a conversation about why likeability holds so many women back from stepping out into positions of leadership and power. The conversation will explored the factors that influenced likeability and encouraged women to reject an outdated image of leadership instead of reinventing themselves.
Key points from the discussion included:
  • Culturally, women have been predisposed and encouraged to be well-liked; thus, even if a woman decides not to care about being well-liked, she still faces negative consequences.
  • "Not caring about what people think" becomes a process because you still find yourself caring and have to consciously notice and break that pattern.
  • As Sheryl Sandberg stated, the more successful a woman is, the less people like you simply for being who you are (a successful woman).
  • There's an important difference between a mentor and a sponsor; a mentor listens and gives advice, while a sponsor actively promotes you and provides you with opportunities for professional growth. Often you have to actively seek out both mentors and sponsors.
  • Respectfully push back on assumptions about emotions, attitude, behavior; "Compared to who?" "Can you separate my approach from my work product?"
 

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