Inside Google Marketing: Why we’re teaching people how to self-promote
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Inside Google Marketing: Why we’re teaching people how to self-promoteKelly McKesten, Stéphanie Thomson March 2019
In almost every culture, kids — but especially girls — are taught that it’s not polite to talk about one’s achievements. In Japan, for example, the expression “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down” teaches children not to draw attention to themselves. Thousands of miles away in the U.K., kids learn that “the whale that spouts gets harpooned.” Is it any wonder that, by the time we enter the workforce, we’ve internalized the idea that we’ll be penalized if we tout our accomplishments?
But if you’re not comfortable talking about your achievements, how will anyone know about them? Researchers have found that people who feel uncomfortable self-promoting are likely to fall behind their more vocal peers. That’s why Anna Vainer, a marketer in London’s Google office, decided to launch #IamRemarkable with a former colleague, Anna Zapesochini.
“It’s a workshop that empowers women and under-represented groups to practice the skills of self-promotion and celebrate their success, both professionally and personally,” Vainer said.
Watch Vainer explain how she turned her side project into a global movement that has helped 20,000 people across 50 countries share exactly why they’re remarkable.
Learn more about #IamRemarkable here.
A lot of women grow up
hearing that you shouldn't brag.
It's not nice.
It's not modest.
But actually, if you're stating facts, it's not bragging.
It's just telling the truth.
My name is Anna Vainer, and I founded
the #IamRemarkable initiative.
#IamRemarkable is a workshop that
empowers women and underrepresented groups
to practice the skills of self-promotion
and celebrate their success, both professionally
In the beginning of the workshop,
we asked the participants to actually take a piece of paper
and write down what makes them remarkable.
And then we say, "Okay, now you need
to stand in front of the room and read it out loud."
And I think that’s the moment where
you hear [GASPING] like the air is being sucked from the room.
It's my favorite moment of the workshop.
And then you see people go up, and they're quite not sure,
but they read it, and then people clap.
And as the time moves on, you see that people
open up more and more.
I think what's really exciting is that people feel
really proud about themselves.
75% of people said that the workshop
boosted their confidence.
78% of people said that it helped
them portray their self-promotion skills
at their job.
There is a very uncomfortable stat
that shows that both men and women don't like
women who promote themselves.
There is sometimes backlash for people
who state their achievements.
But actually, we see that people who
don't practice self-promotion, who
don't share their accomplishments,
are left behind.
We see, from research, companies that
invest in diversity, that have women on their leadership
board, actually make more money.
If you're a business leader, and if your team doesn't represent
the world out there, you probably
need to change your team.
Be open to criticism.
Be open to different ideas.
Make sure you have at least that one
person in the room that would challenge any decision that's
When we bring #IamRemarkable to teams within Google
and companies outside Google, it really
helps people understand that they
need to rethink the way they do promotions,
and the way that they give pay raises,
and the way that they hire.
But it's really the understanding
that diversity matters, and it helps you make better business