Dear Sharon – November 2018

Q: I’m hesitant to submit this question, but I believe I have been passed over for numerous promotions because I am female. I’m a top performer in my organization, but I work for an owner who is very traditional. Any suggestions you can give me for getting noticed?

A: This is a tough one and not the first time we’ve had this question. History will prove that men get promoted for potential, women for proven performance.

If you really love what you do and want to stay with your organization, it is time for a candid conversation about a career path. Ask the owner if there are areas that you can focus on to learn and grow within the organization and be honest about your desire for promotion.

The challenge here is you must be ready to not only implement these changes, but also keep your emotions in check and not get offended by his response. Women sometimes react with their heart instead of their head — now is not the time to allow this to happen. Take the news like a champ and be professional.

This is the bottom line. If you do everything they ask and then you still are not promoted, the answer is clear. It will be time to seek out a new organization willing to help you progress in your career. Not every place is a culture fit, but give your current organization a chance before you make this decision. If nothing happens, then the decision is an easy one.