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 Front End Analysis

Instructional Need & Goal Analysis

As professional trainers whose seminars have been attended by thousands of women, Sofia Santiago and Dr. Susan Harrison have identified the need to close the gap between (a) the level of assertiveness at which women tend to communicate and (b) the level at which they would need to communicate in order to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Since Santiago and Harrison are knowledgeable about the problem and the target audience,[1] applying goal analysis to the needs suggested by them assumes that the need exists and that the training intervention is required to address it [2].

Research has provided ample evidence to support this expressed need:

  • Studies show women are perceived as either too hard or too soft, but not just right.[3]
  • This is particularly harmful to minority women. For instance, African-American women, who tend to value the open expression of their opinions, are often perceived as argumentative and dominant, forceful and aggressive [4], and they are penalized with social rejection [5]. In contrast, Asian American women have been stereotyped as being overly competent, yet not warm, sociable, aggressive, or assertive.[6]
  • Both men and women are prejudiced against women, considering them less likable when they are highly assertive.[7] This could harm a woman’s career in ways she may not even be aware of.[8]
  • Women tend not to ask for what they want and they pay for this, financially and otherwise. For instance, not negotiating a salary offer can cost a woman as much as three-quarters of a million dollars over her working lifetime.[9]

This performance gap is due to a lack of skill or knowledge, and therefore training is an appropriate intervention[10] that will help individuals and organizations develop their female employees in order to continue their growth.

[1] Morrison, G., Ross, S., Kalman, H., & Kemp, J. Designing Effective Instruction 7th Ed. NY:Wiley, pp 41.

[2] Ibid, pp. 38.

[3] Catalyst (2007).  The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t. Retrieved on 3/1/2016 from http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/ double-bind-dilemma-women-leadership-damned-if-you-do- doomed-if-you-dont-0.

[4] Davis, S. (2015). The ‘‘Strong Black Woman Collective’’: A Developing Theoretical Framework for Understanding Collective Communication Practices of Black Women. Women’s Studies in Communication, 38:20–35.

[5] Catalyst (2007).  The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t.

[6] Li, P. (2014 ).  Hitting the Ceiling: An Examination of Barriers to Success for Asian American Women. Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice.

[7] Lao, R. C., Upchurch, W.H., Corwin, B.J., & Grossnickle, W.F. (1975). Biased Attitudes Toward Females as Indicated by Ratings of Intelligence and Likability. Psychological Reports, 1975, 37, 1315-1320.

[8] Catalyst (2005). Women “Take Care,” Men “Take Charge:” Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed. NY: Catalyst.

[9] Babcock, L. and Laschever, S. (2009). Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want.NY:Bantam Books.

[10] Morrison, G., Ross, S., Kalman, H., & Kemp, J. Designing Effective Instruction 7th Ed.NY:Wiley, pp 42.

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