I’ve been watching a lot of powerful women lately. The one thing is, most of them are not very ‘womanly’. It’s kind of disappointing to gaze up the professional road and see females cloaking their femininity in order to be in the boardroom.
I can kind of understand why. My mother’s generation was told to burn their bras and be ambitious. I’d like to think I can be ambitious without lighting a match.
I’m not here for a feminist rant. The purpose is to find a mentor, a woman that is participating, succeeding and navigating the road ahead, without compromise.
To be strong, do we need to be brutish?
I’ve had this conversation with my male and female friends, parents and strangers.
Older generations seemed to think that ‘toughening up’ is an inevitable outcome of having to sit at the table, others think the dynamic will change in 10 years, just as it has evolved in the last decade.
One girlfriend who runs her own business told me she was expected to dress ‘dowdy’ in meetings, otherwise she was considered to be taking advantage of the situation by using her sex appeal. The kicker was this was the view taken by other women colleagues, not the men.
There’s been a few articles this week surfacing around senior female colleagues holding back their own in the workplace.
Is it our own fault then?
Perhaps, if we ‘manned-up’ or believed in ourselves a bit more, then we wouldn’t be in this predicament? Sheryl Sandberg’s inspiring TED talk explains how women consistently underestimate themselves, thus keeping themselves out of the positions of power.
Whatever the case may be, I’d just like someone to help shed the light on how to be a woman and still be killing it in the workplace.
Do you know this woman? Or is it you? I’d like to meet you.