Do you think you could be a female boss? #girlboss #womenrule
Of course you can!! These days we are so much closer to equality than we ever used to be. However I don’t blame you if you have a few reservations. I have personally dealt with a fair share of uncertainties around being a woman in the workplace but I have overcome such self-limiting beliefs. I want to share more with you …
Sexism in the workplace
Sexism at work isn’t quite how it used to be. Gone are the days where it was common for men to refer to women in a derogatory fashion or give a little pat of the bum as they were passing by. However sexism hasn’t gone for good. It has just changed. There are still unwritten rules which seem to view femininity as being emotional and a trait ‘not strong enough’ for leadership positions at work. I have been subject to choosing between my authenticity and femininity during my employment within the medical sector. This was something I always found quite surprising; these sorts of things happening in a sector which is meant to share care and compassion to others?
Being a woman in the workplace
From what I have perceived in my time working to date, women who act very femininely in the workplace are not recognised as being likely future leaders. In contrast, those women who behave more powerfully and assertively are often disliked or seen as ‘bitchy’. But that’s not fair, is it? Why can men get away with adopting whatever personalities they want at work and it be seen as OK but women can’t?
What can we do about it?
What worked for me was personality development. Developing it – not changing it – I would never change who I am. I worked merely on managing it and minimising certain side effects that come with being passionate and inspired. I speak confidently and ensure I communicate what I think is right – not just agreeing with others. This enables me to have a voice in what seems like a male-dominated conversation.
The real trick is to become confident without being aggressive whilst also adopting an indispensable collaborative approach. In addition, you can learn to read faces and the reactions of those around you: both men and women. This proved exceptionally useful to me whilst I tried to progress my journey towards becoming passionate thriving feminine leader whilst still staying true to myself.
At times, it can seem an impossibility so it’s easy to understand why so many women are left for years in non-advancing positions.
In fact I realised that in many successful organisations headed by women, they use the exact feminine qualities to lead as we may have perceived would have prevented them from climbing the success ladder in the first place. So how did they become such strong leaders without compromising on their unique feminine and emotional self-traits? Those I asked encouraged me to start my own business and manage my work style.
In time, I discovered there is no need to compromise on being feminine and authentic. I can still form powerful relationships, I can ask questions, I can listen … all whilst remaining a woman!
I currently work for a great female boss. I don’t worry about expressing my emotions and being feminine and authentic at work around either men or women.
Sexism still exists but, with women’s rights in recent years, we have taken huge steps. We can become leaders. We may have to fight harder than our male counterparts but we can do it. And if we really want to do it, we will!