"More women leaders", "equal pay for men and women", "more diversity"... These are just a few of the words that the participants - men and women - who attended the latest Cala Learning Hub webinar, which was moderated by coach Sara Bruzy and entitled "Getting unstuck : How women can overcome career limiting beliefs", would like to see in the workplace. More generally, according to the 10th edition of the Medef's annual barometer, 47% of employees consider gender equality as one of the priority issues in companies today.

It must be said that, in this area, the world of work is still very unbalanced. And there are many reasons why women do not have careers equivalent to those of men. This obviously depends on external factors that condition them (culture, education, society...), but also on their own individual behaviour. On this point, Sara Bruzy's message is clear: "Ladies, identify your psychological barriers, change your attitude and dare to succeed!"

French women's careers in figures

Where do we stand in France in terms of gender equality? Even if the country is far ahead in terms of the number of women on boards of directors (45% women), only 2% of companies have 100% parity in their overall workforce. And only one CAC40 company, Engie, is currently headed by a woman: Catherine MacGregor. This is why a bill to impose quotas for women in the management of large companies will soon be examined by the Senate.

As far as pay is concerned, the imbalance is still there. There is a 24% overall pay gap between men and women and a 9% gap between men and women with identical jobs, skills and experience... 

Certain habits that should be avoided by women

Through her coaching sessions and her reading on the subject - in particular the book How women rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith - coach Sara Bruzy has identified 6 bad habits that women sometimes adopt and that work against them in the workplace. For each habit, she offers concrete advice on how to get over them:

Reluctance to claim achievements

To encourage women to talk more about their career successes, they can start by making a list of their accomplishments and skills, as a way to build awareness of their value

Focussing on building and not leveraging relationships

The importance of the professional network is considerable! Women, who are a valuable resource for the company, are well advised to maintain their relationships over the long term and to ask for referrals and contacts.

Overvaluing expertise

Skills are not everything! Women should keep in mind that they will not be noticed for their expertise alone. They should therefore learn to delegate and be more visible, for example by speaking up more in meetings.

Expecting others to spontaneously notice and reward your work

Instead of constantly apologising and justifying their contribution to a project, women should stick to informing others about their specific work.

Falling into the perfection trap 

Always remember that most things do not need to be done à 100 %. On the contrary, setting the bar too high will tend to frighten your staff and leave no room for creativity.

Catching the "disease to please"

Many women tend to want to please in order to be liked. But you should not forget yourself and find a balance between your need to help others and your own needs.


Sara Jo