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Dear Judy and Linda: EvolveMe’s new career column for women in midlife

Updated: Feb 27

judy and linda with coffee

There’s nothing we love more than helping you navigate the twists and turns midlife dishes out!

Welcome to the launch of Evolveme’s Dear Judy & Linda, your one-stop advice column for tackling women's unique challenges and opportunities in their professional prime! 

Woo hoo! It’s the column we wished we’d had when navigating career transitions in our 40s and 50s before we took a leap and became entrepreneurs.

Whether you're seeking to pivot to a new path, level up in your role, or figure out how work aligns with the rest of your life, we’re here to guide you!

After countless hours supporting hundreds of women in the EvolveMe community, we offer honest, practical, and empowering advice to help you thrive in your midlife career journey. 

And as 50-something women with career gaps and pivots as part of our story, we’ll share our experiences navigating ALL the things work and life (empty nesting, sandwich generation, menopause moments…)

So, don't be shy! Click here to submit your questions, big or small (chances are, others have the same question or are experiencing the same issue as you are.)

We’ll offer thoughtful answers and tips - and cheer you on to succeed!

Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Together, we can help you find your spark, own your value, and confidently move forward.

In this first column, we tackle Maya’s question about enlisting male allies at work to further amplify her contributions. We promise there’ll be a gem of wisdom in here for you! 

Dear Judy and Linda,

I’m so glad EvolveMe exists! Thanks for taking my question.  I’m a software engineer at a large tech company, and, having just started this job at 46, I’m thrilled to be working on a challenging new project at this stage of my career. 

But there’s one thing. My male colleagues, while technically talented, tend to dominate discussions and don't always acknowledge my contributions in meetings. 

I’m wondering if you have advice on approaching my male colleagues and encouraging them to be mindful allies to create a more inclusive environment where everyone's voice (including mine and other women I work with!) is heard and valued.


Maya R.

EvolveMe says…

Maya – we hear you! 

Your concerns about your male colleagues dominating discussions and not crediting your contributions are valid - and you're not alone. Unfortunately, many women experience being talked over at meetings but are uncomfortable addressing it. 

And too often, we struggle to balance being likable and collegial with being assertive and visible. That can exacerbate the situation.

Here are some ways you can approach male colleagues and encourage them to be more mindful allies in meetings:

Initiate a private conversation

Choose a calm and private setting to speak with one or two colleagues you trust and with whom you feel you have a good working relationship. Explain how their behavior, even if unintentional, can make you feel unheard and undervalued.

Use "I" statements

Instead of accusing them of being dismissive, use "I" statements to express how their actions impact you. For example, "When you interrupt me during meetings, I feel like my ideas aren't valued."

Focus on what works 

Instead of solely pointing out the problem, suggest solutions. You could propose specific ways to ensure equal participation in meetings, like taking turns speaking or using a round-robin format.

Highlight the upside

Use the research to back you up! Explain how creating a more inclusive environment benefits everyone. It fosters better collaboration, leads to diverse perspectives, and ultimately improves the team's performance.

Leverage your network

If a direct conversation feels uncomfortable, consider talking to female colleagues who share your concerns. Together, you can approach your manager or HR to discuss strategies for promoting inclusivity in the workplace.

And finally, don’t forget to show up for other women by amplifying each other’s voices. Actively listen and echo contributions made by female colleagues, ensuring these ideas are acknowledged and considered. Build on each other's points (crediting the original speaker!) and steer the conversation back if a woman is interrupted or her idea is co-opted. And be sure to ask others to do the same for you.


==> Have you ever faced a situation like this?

Reply to this email and let us know what you would tell Maya! 

Want to take the next step to take control of your career and own your strengths to feel even more powerful advocating for yourself?

Download EvolveMe's Career SWOT. It’s our #1 career strategy tool - we promise you’ll emerge with a refreshed sense of your value!


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