Nice Girls Brag: Here’s How

Women are told that it’s not ladylike to brag. But done right, it can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business and your influence.

If you’re good at what you do, why aren’t you shouting it from the rooftops? Because you’re a woman? That’s what researchers have found. Women don’t get ahead because, the pundits say, they don’t know how to speak up about their accomplishments; they’ve been trained to think it is “unladylike” to brag. Well, here’s your chance to drive a stake into the heart of that success-sucking adage.

But you can do it without sounding boastful. Brag without bragging by putting yourself forward as a success story in competitions, such as:

If you are a successful, high-growth woman entrepreneur and you want to increase your visibility as a leader, your company’s visibility as a supplier of products or services, and inspire other women to become entrepreneurs, being named to such lists is a canny business move.

Visibility as a leader

The honor adds weight to your bio and to your credibility and exposes you to a network of like-motivated women. It’s an outside voice saying that you’re great, which is more credible than the “about” section on your website. It’s less uncomfortable than outright boasting. Yes, you have to nominate yourself but that’s only awkward while you’re filling out the application. If you win, the kudos are forever.

Liz Elting, co-CEO of TransPerfect, was one of the Women’s Presidents Organization’s top 50 last year. “To me, the best thing about having been named among the WPO’s 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Businesses is being recognized alongside such a fantastic group of women who, very likely, have overcome many of the same obstacles that I did,” she says.

Visibility for your company

Past winners are the company you want to keep, multi-million dollar businesses that will be featured in business news stories around the web. If you have thoughts about bringing on investors or getting outside financing, being on the next list can only help. And all those stories and search engine hits will make your company more visible to potential customers.

And who doesn’t like working for a winner? Awards make it easier to hire and retain good talent.

Modeling entrepreneurship as a career for women

You can be an inspiration for other women. For Elting, one of the biggest benefits of being a Top 50 is to show smart, ambitious women who worked hard that they have a choice; they can be both successful high-rollers and good moms.

“It’s not that easy,” she says, “but you can develop a strategy that enables you to do both successfully.” She’s received calls and emails from women, telling her that seeing TransPerfect’s ranking helped them see what’s possible.

Speak up. Boast a little. If you’ve done the work, take the credit.

This post originally appeared on Inc.

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