There\u2019s career advice \u2026 and then there\u2019s career advice for women. How to negotiate a raise \u2014 use concrete examples of your accomplishments and facts and figures that prove your worth to the company. How to dress \u2014 be professional; not too seductive, but don\u2019t ignore your femininity. How to speak \u2014 low and modulated; lose the vocal fry and definitely no \u201cup talk.\u201d Oh, and banish words like "just" and "actually" from your vocabulary. How to demand a seat at the table \u2014 without actually seeming too demanding. It\u2019s enough to make your head spin.\nAnd as Ephrat Livni posits in this article for Quartz at Work, all of it is a subtle-but-not-so-subtle form of gaslighting.\n[ Read also: 4 approaches to diversity and inclusion leadership | Get the latest career insights: Sign up for CIO Leader newsletter. ]\nHere\u2019s her point:\n\nIf you\u2019re a working woman, you\u2019ve likely been inundated with advice about how to ensure that gender double standards don\u2019t impede your brilliant career.\u00a0Assert yourself boldly\u00a0at meetings\u00a0in an appropriately low tone\u00a0of voice, yet purr pleasingly when\u00a0negotiating salary.\u00a0Be smart but never superior, a team player though not a pushover, ever-effective yet not intimidatingly intellectual. Calibrate ambition correctly, so that none are offended by your sense of self-worth, but all seek to\u00a0reward your value.\u00a0Dress the part.\nInevitably, even in the most allegedly enlightened workplaces, women\u00a0contend with subtle biases. And so the fairer sex gets the message that we can\u2019t just work. We must also contort and twist and try not to seem bitchy as we lean in.\nBut the obstacles that come with working in\u00a0a sexist culture\u00a0are beyond any individual\u2019s control.\u00a0And so advocating a do-it-yourself approach to on-the-job equality may actually be a kind of gaslighting\u2014just one more way for institutions to deflect blame and make women question themselves and doubt their sanity. It\u2019s the society we operate in that needs fixing, not how we ask for money, the tone of our voices, or our outfits.\n\nBy furthering the narrative that women themselves can overcome the very real challenges and obstacles that prevent them from achieving their full potential, this type of \u201cDIY\u201d career advice places the blame squarely back on women for their own oppression. It\u2019s victim blaming; if you don\u2019t succeed or if you don\u2019t progress, don\u2019t get that raise, don\u2019t land that client or get that promotion, well, you must have done something wrong. It\u2019s ignoring the systemic and institutional sexism that pervades every aspect of the world.\nIt\u2019s a similar point to one I\u2019ve been making for years when it comes to diversity and inclusion in tech: The industry can do all the \u201cdiversity hiring\u201d it wants. It can sponsor Pride parades. It can facilitate bootcamps and STEM early-education partnerships and all those great programs. But at the end of the day, if the society in which we\u2019re all living remains racist, sexist, homophobic, and ableist, how much of a difference is really made?\nResearchers at Duke University confirmed \u2014 though with a single study \u2014 that this DIY ethos is harmful both to individual women and to society at large. We cannot ignore each individual\u2019s contributions to solving the problem, but we cannot stop there until society itself is transformed.