International Women’s Day Challenge

3 min readMar 8, 2023

Did you know that women are more likely to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy” when they negotiate? Thus, they are branded as non-feminine, considered to be a “problematic” colleague, and sanctioned accordingly.

This is one of the challenges women face and it speaks directly to me.

Chioma, Herself

I remember vividly as I was giving a status report /update to one of my male managers in a very matrix organization where I worked. I was very passionate of the process improvements that needed to be made. I remember him saying “Chioma softer”, “please go easy”, “tone down your voice” with his face scrunched up in a frown as I raised pertinent topics and issues.

I hardly turn on my camera so my facial expressions could not be seen, but his camera was on and I was able to see his face, unfortunately it was not accommodating.

Make no mistake, I am not saying that I am less open to a feedback or outrightly rejecting what would be his own opinion. I truly appreciate constructive feedback because it is a crucial tool for self reflection.

However, in this particular case, I very much only wanted to be heard… and somewhere in the layers of my gut was this feeling of where I was told to be different. To slightly loose to my voice.