What to do when someone else takes credit for your work?

Earlier last week, a LadyDrinks member asked an important question:

How do you deal with someone who works with you, and then they take credit for your ideas. I interviewed Fran Hauser, a long time executive at Time Warner, in a fireside chat at LadyDrinks this past year. She wrote a book called “The Myth of the Nice Girl.” The book arms women with tools and language we can deploy in real-time when finding our voices at work. She cited the example of a young woman she was mentoring.

Reshma was frustrated because she contributed an idea at a team meeting. She was shocked to learn that her male colleague took the credit for her idea. She wanted to scream from the rooftops, but she consulted Fran instead. Fran suggested these ideas.

Go to Reshma’s boss and

  • Tell a story about a ‘win’ such as brainstorming technique you used to come up with the idea in the meeting. Say, “When I came up with the idea at the meeting, I used this strategy. I’m happy to share it with the team.”
  • Submit a case study
  • Nominate yourself for a job
  • Add honors to your email signature
  • Share laurels when speaking one on one to recruiters
  • During weekly check in with boss, say how excited you are about the idea that has been adapted or put into play since you suggested it in the meeting
  • Be inclusive in your language “WE were having a great conversation in the meeting when the idea came to me”

I thought this advice was worth sharing, because if one person is miffed from someone taking their idea, chances are there are more women bristling from the action.

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