Women in Business
Traditionally the place of women in business was in the shadows behind the men. The secretaries and personal assistants who run the business from behind the scenes. The designers who come in to make things pretty after the male teams have done the hard building work. Or the real estate agents who comes in to make the sale at the end.
Stepping out of the shadows
It’s only in relatively recent years that us ladies have stepped out of the shadows. Have given ourselves permission to shine our own light. What drove this? It was a change of mindset…
A mindset change
Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP from 1999 to 2005, was the first woman to lead a Fortune Top 20 company. She knew what it took to shine her own light. She knew what it was like to change her mindset to drive a successful career. What was her philosophy? What was her change of mindset?
It was, in reality, very simple.
“Don’t think of yourself as a woman in business.”
Let that sink in for a minute… don’t think of yourself as a woman in business. Don’t think of the barriers. Don’t think of the stereotypes. Ignore the inequality. You are purely a person with a goal that they want to achieve, and the skills and capability to do it.
Don’t compare yourself to others
In Carly’s situation, she led one of the leading brands in one of the most male dominated industries – technology and IT. She was a first, she led her own way; it was not without controversy, but that was unapologetically her way.
She refused to think of herself in the context of others. She didn’t compare herself to the strongest person in her industry. She was her own person, forging her own path, breaking her own ground and doing her own thing, in her own way.
Don’t limit yourself
In some situations, by thinking of ourselves as women in business, we can actually be limiting ourselves. Setting up limitations and barriers that don’t need to be there. Putting ourselves in a box and popping a neat label on it.
In reality, it was not and is not necessary. We need to stop limiting ourselves. If we don’t think of ourselves as women in business, we can think of ourselves as competent, capable parts of a system. Contributing to, or driving, great achievements. Try something different. Change your mindset. it can be very liberating.
Think of yourself as just another person who is committed, capable, enthusiastic and driven to deliver the task at hand. To realise your goals. To lead your industry. Nothing is going to stand in your way; you will get where you intend to go and you will do it well.
You are an equal
Don’t listen to the haters, the people who are too scared to step outside of their own comfort zones, so they must make sure others don’t also. It helps them feel better. Don’t give them the power. We are equals with diverse skill sets.
It’s a developing area
Women in business are fast growing up through the ranks. It’s been a matter of time and maturation, and now we are seeing more and more examples of women in high powered positions and leading with success and flair. It’s encouraging and empowering to see. To know that without the limitations that we place on ourselves, either by yourself or by others, you can make any dream or goal a reality. You can excel in business. You can lead with the best. Regardless of your gender. It shouldn’t dictate your success.
YOU are in control. YOU can lead with the best. YOU can achieve.