How Do I Get My Ideas Heard?

"With my newly minted PhD in hand, I joined a renown, innovative company in the pharma industry. I am stoked that our project team has an engaging challenge in the sweet spot of my dissertation research. But I am the only female on the team, and I cannot believe how dismissive they are to my every idea! They roll their eyes when I speak during team meetings, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss academia where diversity was embraced! Any ideas how I can turn this around? I love the work and the company, and I am confident I can have professional success if someone will just give my ideas a chance." 🅰 AVA Advice: Positions in STEM would stereotypically be seen as having less drama and be more quantitative. Clearly that’s not how it feels to you right now. ❇️A: Turn around ideas come from a deep understanding of your situation. Assess your team and determine your teammates’ sources of power. Are they really Experts? Do they have strong Political power? What’s your director's power situation? If you are fortunate, you have a leader, who although silent until now, has Relationship and Expert power. Finally assess your own power situation. What do you objectively bring to the company? Get your director’s input on your teammates. ❇️V: With this full view of the players you can make a plan to change your situation, ideally with your director’s buy in. It sounds like you are in a promising spot with a good company, and you are clear on what you want. ❇️A: Lay it your assessment against your goal of staying within your current environment. Another tip is to use influence skills. For Similarity and Consensus, try using the words they use and frame your ideas based on the way they talk. Also work toward Reciprocity. Meet the most influential players 1-on-1 for lunch and discuss your ideas with them and ask them to support you in the meeting. To really dive into this scenario, join us at our upcoming Power & Influence workshop, and we will give you more tools and skills to work through this. ➡️How about you? Do you have a similar experience? To share your story anonymously, DM AVA or email us at

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