The Paula Principle Explained

This one nearly slipped by me so I’m very grateful to one of my RenewYou trainers for pointing it out to me. The Peter Principle has been around for some time and refers to men getting promoted to their level of incompetence. Professor Tom Schuller is working on a new principle which he calls the Paula Principle and which is getting a lot of attention.

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‘Paula’ refers to women who are more often than not working below their level of competence. One of the reasons, he posits, is part time working which affects mainly women and is career harming.

Personally, when I employed staff I found the part timers (yes, all women) worked incredibly hard and produced the same results as the full timers. Not for them chatting over coffee, they were always working full stretch and worth their weight in gold, yet they were penalised career wise for this. Until we have senior roles offered routinely as part time roles and performed by either gender, this will be hard to change.

Meanwhile, what can we do? We can start by resolving not to be a Paula. Know your own worth, and make sure others do too. It’s no good being good if no one knows you’re good. That means starting with yourself, being honest with yourself about your skills and qualities. Men routinely apply for jobs way above their current level while we women tend to play it safe and wait until we know the job inside out before applying for the next level up.

Be bold, be brave, be the best you can be and don’t settle for second best.

Jane C Woods

Women's Personal Development Specialist - Changing People, -

Hi, I’m Jane C Woods and I have an absolute passion for helping women achieve success in their lives. Be it the glass ceiling, the crystal maze, or very personal issues, I’m all about helping women achieve to their full potential and live the way they want to without being carbon copies of men. But I’m not about putting men down in order for women to get ahead, there’s plenty of room; I just want the guys to shifty up a bit… If my face looks familiar it's because I love Psychologies magazine (I've been buying it since the very first issue, such a good resource) and it's the only place I choose to advertise my courses. I write on women’s issues on my blog,, and am regularly featured in magazines, and on radio, but I’m probably best known for RenewYou. RenewYou is my one day personal development course for women. We have an international network of experienced, specialist women licensed to deliver it and empower women across the globe. Our goal is to reach one million women. It’s a big goal but… In 2013 we started with a single RenewYou specialist, me. Now you can find a RenewYou Courses across the UK, in the USA, Canada, Greece, Bangkok, Pakistan, South Africa, Belgium, with new countries being added all the time. My dream was to create a thriving and caring business on ethical, and dare I say, feminine terms, with a real community spirit of help and encouragement. And it’s actually happening with the support, expertise, and enthusiasm of my wonderful trainers. I think, (apart from my two lovely kids, a daughter and a son) that it’s probably my proudest achievement to date. Wonderful Changing People Women: One of the joys and privileges of my work is that I’ve connected with some really inspirational and wonderful women – from politics to entertainment to academia. They include: TV presenter, house fixer and matchmaker Sarah Beeny Amazing entrepreneur Sam Roddick of Coco de Mer Outspoken and entertaining academic Mary Beard Politicians like Siobhan Benita and Natalie Bennett Ex BBC broadcaster Miriam O’Reilly who bravely took on the might of the BBC- and triumphed A very rare interview with Sarah Montague, of the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme I hope you like the posts and I hope they are helpful. Live life to the max and never hide your light under any bushels!