Tag Archives: Career



By: Anja Uitdehaag

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” – Emma Donoghue

Women quite often have doubts about their capabilities. Research shows that men in comparable positions are much more confident in their capabilities than their female peers, even when they are no more competent. A prime example is that if a man can fulfill 60% of the requirements of a job description, he will apply, while if a woman cannot do the full 100%, she will not.

Self-confidence is a make-or-break attribute. Success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.

To become more confident, stop thinking so much and just act.

Believe that you can do it! If you are constantly thinking that you are not good enough or that you will never make it, that is what you will believe and that will become your reality.

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Pat Heim, Tammy Hughes and Susan K. Golant, “Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business”

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The authors of “Hardball for women” share their insights into gender differences in the workplace and offer suggestions on how women can soar in male-dominated environments.

It teaches women to use the unwritten rules of business to get ahead in their careers.

The game of business is hardball, played according to the rules of the male culture. The book explains the different behaviors and mind-sets boys and girls learn and carry into their lives as adult men and women. For example, boys learn to compete; girls learn to get along.

Some “Hardball for Women” quotes:

  • “Before negotiating a raise, start collecting a file of evidence, showing how you have impacted the bottom line… Don’t believe there is no money in the budget. Don’t assume your boss knows how great you’ve been doing. Don’t threaten to leave – you may be given the opportunity.”
  • “Actually power is like money; neither good nor bad. Its negative or positive spin depends upon how we use it.”
  • “Simply stated power is the ability to get things done.”
  • “I Strongly urge you to consciously consider what success means to you. Instead of allowing others or society to determine when you win, you determine it.”
  • “Whether you’re moving to a new company or a new department within your current organization, I believe you’ll end up miles ahead if you shop for a boss, not a position. You may secure the greatest job in the world, but a miserable boss will turn gold into ashes…. In many ways, your boss maybe more important than the job.”
  • “Women lose sight of their goals by taking on extra responsibilities. We are virtual responsibility magnets. We don’t make these decisions consciously or deliberately but out of fear that if we don’t act on a need it will never get resolved. But we fail to realize that once we become responsible for something we might be responsible for it forever.”
  • “Studies have shown that the terms girl and lady have pejorative connotations: They conjure images of someone weaker and lazier; someone more nervous, afraid, dependent, immature, and inconsiderate; someone less sexy, intelligent, and certainly less charismatic than ‘woman.’ Indeed, the term woman is overwhelmingly interpreted as more favorable and is most often used to describe adult females who deserve respect.”
  • “Leadership doesn’t mean giving marching orders that others must follow blindly. Rather, it means causing others to want to follow. Successful leadership is personal.”

“Hardball for Women” – the book:

Each chapter begins with a summary of the hardball lessons boys learn and the house-and-doll lessons girls learn. It concludes with key pointers for playing hardball successfully. Concepts are illustrated with compelling real-life examples.

This constructive, straightforward and no-nonsense guide deals with how and why the two genders are different, how to make the best of one’s assets and how to be forceful without being cruel or overly aggressive.

It also addresses the issues of being a team player or a leader, using language and non-verbal cues powerfully, and setting goals and staying focused. Staying focused is especially important for women since women tend to back off and lose when others become aggressive.

Most of my career, I’ve worked in male-dominated fields.

Biggest take away for me from the book was that I can truly do something to place myself on equal standing with both men and women in the workplace. It all depends on knowing the rules of the game and find out how to navigate them effectively.

A while ago I took my 20 years old “Hardball for Women” edition down from the shelf and loaned it to one of my female friends who had issues with her male boss. She recognized herself very well in the description of the gender issues and they were so much applicable to her own situation that she bought her own 2015 edited copy.

If you have a career in any workplace – and it does not need to be a mostly male workplace – this book provides invaluable advice.

At the same time, it offers men considerable insight into the strengths and contributions of the female culture.

I highly recommend “Hardball for Women” to any woman who works.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Every woman can be successful in what she does!


“It takes courage to become who you really are” – E.E. Cummings

Living your dreams mean “knowing who you are, then, do what you need to do in order to have what you want.”

This might sound easier said than done.

Sometimes you may lose your way toward your dreams or even feel like you never had a path in the first place.

Did you ever feel like you were unsure about who you are? What you want? Not brave enough to be who you are or make your dreams happen?

Finding joy in Being You and Belief in Yourself determine how you will make your life journey.

The more often you are brave enough to express who you are, the easier it gets…

We believe that every woman can be successful in what she does if she can generate the courage to give it a go.

Femflection.com is a creative and inspirational personal development website for professional and dynamic women in business and arts of all ages and cultures. We combine motivational leadership with the inspirational creativity of art.

We believe that Art is a language and like any other language it is a vehicle of communication, i.e. self-expression of ideas and most inner/deep feelings. Art provides ample opportunity for imagination and creativity; as such it also turns out to be a wonderful way to tackle important work/life issues and share (self)-leadership lessons, thoughts & experiences.

It is our goal to help professional women to build their courage and put it to good use through reflection, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, gaining self-insight, identifying potential areas for development and pointing out critical success factors. We encourage you to dream big and take practical action to live a life that matters to you!

When you have a few minutes, take a look around at our web address Femflection.com and let us know what you think.


Who do you regard as your mentor?


“Women receive fewer promotions than men because they are less likely to have mentors who are also advocates for them” according to the article “Why men still get more promotions than women” by H. Ibarra, N. Carter and C. Silva in Harvard Business Review (Sept. 2010).

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Jahrat Adib Chowdhury


Jahrat Adib Chowdhury is Chief Legal Officer at Banglalink, a Vimpelcom Group company. She is a Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln’s Inn, UK and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Jahrat speaks with us today about her formative experiences, what it means to be a senior leader in one of the country’s leading telecommunications and digital companies, and how she fulfills her personal and professional duties.

What made you decide to become a barrister and corporate lawyer?

I grew up in a small town called Moulvibazar where my father used to run his law chamber in the front room of our house. He had several junior lawyers in his chamber, including two of my male cousins. My father inspired all of his four daughters to follow his legal career and eventually take over the chamber. However, we grew up listening to jokes from my cousins that we would never be practicing law as we were girls, so they expected to inherit the chamber along with my father’s huge collection of law books. Without really understanding of the depth of their jokes, I became angry.

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Female Competition

Our first situation is about female competition. Femsy wants to fill the position of regional sales supervisor of an important sales territory. In this situation, she is discussing with boss her thoughts on filling the role.

We hope you enjoy our podcast. In order not to miss any of them we suggest that you subscribe to the “Femflection Podcast”. We are also always interested in hearing your feedback and ideas. So feel free to leave us a review on iTunes or let us know your feedback via Femflection.com or our page on Facebook or on Twitter.

I Am Just Doing My Job!

by Anja Uitdehaag

If you are anything like me, you probably believe your work should speak for itself.

Women, more often than men, believe that hard work will be recognized and pay off and do not do enough to network with their organization and self-publicize their achievements. When a more senior position opens up, they assume they will be considered based on their accomplishments and credentials, despite having been reluctant to voice them.

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Moving to another country: get ready to be surprised – Part 1

by Nataliya Semenova

I never had a plan to change my country of living. But when an interesting job opportunity came up, I felt that I would certainly regret it if I didn’t give it a try.

For now I am living and working in Amsterdam for a bit more than 2 years, and if you ask me “how is it?” I would answer: “absolutely different from what I ever imagined.”

No matter how well prepared you are, how many hours you spend surfing the internet: reading, researching and studying the peculiarities of the new country (of course the more – the better!) – still there will be moments you feel like a student who was asked an absolutely different question from all he has been boning up. Continue reading

What’s Next?

by Carmen Peeren

During my studies in Business Administration, I started an internship in Human Resources at the head office of a large international company. Once graduated, I was offered my first job at this same company whereby I entered the field of Compensation & Benefits. To be honest, during my studies I was never aware of this type of job but as I never had a very specific job choice in mind and therefore chose a more generic type of studies, I was more than happy to take on this opportunity.  Continue reading

Situation 29: ROMANCE

Betsy gets romantically involved with someone at work. Billy advises her to handle the situation in a highly professional manner.

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