Madeleine Albright wants women to get over their fear of speaking up

Madeleine Albright APMadeleine Albright speaking at an event in 2012.

Knowing when to sit back and listen is an art. So is recognising when it’s time to speak up.

At New York Magazine’s The Cut, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shares her best career advice for women. Her number one recommendation: learn when to interrupt.

“There are those who will perceive that you’re [a bitch],” she says. “But you have to interrupt. The advice that applies to men, too — or at least, it would apply to men, if it were necessary.

But in Albright’s experience, “the guys are really good at it.” It’s women who struggle, she says, blaming a combination general politeness and “lack of security … we question ourselves much more than men.”

She’s sympathetic to the challenge. As she tells The Cut’s Jennifer Vineyard:

…it was a lesson even to myself, having preached about this, to then be in a position on the Security Council where I kind of questioned, “Shouldn’t I just wait and not talk initially?” But if you raise your hand, and you don’t get called on, by the time you do, what you had to say doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s not germane.

There’s just one caveat — if you’re going to interrupt, “you have to know what you’re taking about. And you have to do it in a strong voice.”

Read the full article at The Cut.

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